By forcing young African American boys and men to wear dress-like shirts, the owners of flesh attempted to feminize and humiliate enslaved males on a daily basis. By feminizing African American males, slave owners likely reassured themselves that they were the most masculine men on the plantation, which could be demonstrated, of course, by the rape and sexual abuse of enslaved women and girls. Unsurprisingly, the practice of withholding pants seemed to occur commonly on large plantations, where the concentrated number of slaves required constant surveillance and discipline. This was kept in place by a string tied around their waists.
Why These Early Images of American Slavery Have Led to a Lawsuit Against Harvard
Harvard slave photos: Lawsuit says descendants, not university, should own iconic images - CNN
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The descendants of slaves want Harvard to stop using iconic photos of their relatives
CNN An enslaved African man named Renty and his daughter Delia were stripped and forced to pose for images commissioned by a Swiss-born Harvard professor who espoused a theory that Africans and African-Americans were inferior to whites. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. Tamara Lanier says she is a direct descendent of the man in the iconic photos. Nearly years later, Renty and Delia "remain enslaved" by the Ivy League university, which is being accused of the "wrongful seizure, possession and expropriation" of the photographs, according to a Massachusetts lawsuit filed by Tamara Lanier, a direct descendant demanding that Harvard turn over the images, recognize her lineage and pay unspecified damages.
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