Indeed African women have endured it all

Watching 12 Years a Slave always brings tears into my eyes especially when I see how African-American black women were mistreated at the hands of their slave masters and wives. Besides the fact the women were often reduced to being domestic workers, the one thing that bothers me is the fact that the women were used as objects to satisfy their masters’ sexual desires and hence became victims of sexual abuse. The abuse caused from rape did not lead to physical damage but also lead to psychological and emotional damage. Imagine yourself, sister, mother or daughter being raped countless times by man who cannot even let you take a bath.

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Through the movie 12 Years a Slave, we also see how African-American women were confronted with harsh realities of being separated from their children. The struggle of being separated from your children can lead to depression because once your children are separated from you, you would never see them again nor know whether they are still alive or not. The African American black women lost children at the hands of the white slave traders that disregarded the rights and feelings of slave mothers.


                                                      Photograph Obtained from

The movie shows us a grieving female slave named Eliza who is forcibly separated from her two young children and because she is a slave she does not have the capacity and means to fight nor protect the children. The result of the separation is grief, sadness and depression because there is no one to fight for her.

The slave owner’s exploitation of the black woman’s sexuality in the film 12 Years a Slave shows how the experience of slavery for black male slaves differed from the females because black women became victims of sexual abuse. The fact that the white slave owners had the power and authority over slaves meant that the slave master could what the slave masters wanted including turning black women into objects of to satisfy the sexual needs. Therefore, black women were continuously raped due to the inability of the slave husband and males to protect the women from such violation.



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