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Chained in SilenceBlack Women and Convict Labor in the New South$
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Talitha L. LeFlouria

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469622477

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622477.001.0001

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Sustaining the “Weak and Feeble”

Sustaining the “Weak and Feeble”

Women Workers and the Georgia State Prison Farm

(p.140) Chapter Four Sustaining the “Weak and Feeble”
Chained in Silence

Talitha L. LeFlouria

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explains the development of Georgia's state prison farm, exploring how black female convicts helped transform the public industrial plantation into a “self-sustaining” entity. These women had assumed the burden of fieldwork, had implemented skilled trades, and had assisted male inmates who were, “by reason of age, infirmity, or disease, incapable of performing necessary labor.” They also supported the scant population of white women prisoners who were enfeebled by their race. Thus, these black female felons became the state farm's most vital asset and its most productive and skilled source of labor. Just as black male captives formed the backbone of the state's industrial penal enterprises, African-American women prisoners buttressed the agro-industrial penal complex of the New South.

Keywords:   state prison farm, black female convicts, public industrial plantation, white women prisoners

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