Research by Black Female Professor Reveals Startling Truth That White Women Made Up 40% of Slave Owners

A set of data uncovered by University of California-Berkeley professor reveals southern white women played a heavier role in the enslavement of Africans than previously thought.

Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers, an associate professor of history at the university, combed through data from the 1850 and 1860 census and revealed that white women made up around 40% of slaveowners.

The findings helped Jones-Rogers compile her book, “They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South.”

On her department page, Jones-Rogers describes the February 2019 release as “a regional study that draws upon formerly enslaved people’s testimony to dramatically reshape current understandings of white women’s economic relationships to slavery.”

In the book, Jones-Rogers explained that white women’s involvement in slavery comes from family, as their slave-owning parents “typically gave their daughters more enslaved people than land.”

“What this means is that their very identities as white southern women are tied to the actual or the possible ownership of other people,” she said according to

Her book also notes that owning enslaved Africans served as white women’s primary source of wealth. Plus, owning a large number of enslaved people reportedly made women better marriage material.

Once wed, white women were said to have fought and frequently won the right to continue to have ownership over their enslaved Africans, not handing over ownership to their husbands.

“For them, slavery was their freedom,” Jones-Rogers states in her book.



























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