• Wicked Flesh

  • Black Women, Intimacy, and Freedom in the Atlantic World
  • By: Jessica Marie Johnson
  • Narrated by: Machelle Williams
  • Length: 11 hrs and 31 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Wicked Flesh

By: Jessica Marie Johnson
Narrated by: Machelle Williams
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Publisher's Summary

The story of freedom and all of its ambiguities begins with intimate acts steeped in power. It is shaped by the peculiar oppressions faced by African women and women of African descent. And it pivots on the self-conscious choices Black women made to retain control over their bodies and selves, their loved ones, and their futures. Slavery's rise in the Americas was institutional, carnal, and reproductive. The intimacy of bondage whet the appetites of slaveowners, traders, and colonial officials with fantasies of domination that trickled into every social relationship - husband and wife, sovereign and subject, master and laborer. Intimacy - corporeal, carnal, quotidian - tied slaves to slaveowners, women of African descent and their children to European and African men. In Wicked Flesh, Jessica Marie Johnson explores the nature of these complicated intimate and kinship ties and how they were used by Black women to construct freedom in the Atlantic world.

Johnson draws on archival documents scattered in institutions across three continents, written in multiple languages and largely from the perspective of colonial officials and slave-owning men, to recreate Black women's experiences from coastal Senegal to French Saint-Domingue to Spanish Cuba to the swampy outposts of the Gulf Coast.

©2020 Jessica Marie Johnson (P)2021 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Wicked Flesh

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Very good narration . Great information

I learned a lot of new information. One drawback was the use of French and Spanish words that I didn't quite understand why they were not said in English

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Get the book too!

Exceptional scholarship by Johnson. The detail of this exploration makes me also want to have the physical text on my shelves to return to 2-3 chapters I noted as particularly poignant. Williams’ mispronunciations of some French and Spanish words were at times a tad distracting, but her reading captures the generosity and spirit of Johnson’s storytelling well.

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Education is key to successful liberation

I loved it! I'll listen again and purchase the actual book to read for myself. The information in this book is so good that I need to highlight and dig deeper into what is shared here.