The C.O.W.S. THE DELECTABLE NEGRO Part 4

Friday, February 17th 8:00PM Eastern/ 5:00PM Pacific

The Context of White Supremacy hosts the fourth study session on Vincent Woodard’s The Delectable Negro: Human Consumption and Homoeroticism within US Slave Culture. Mr. Woodard passed away in 2008, but this book was posthumously published in 2014. NYU Press explains the void this book aims to fill; “Scholars of US and transatlantic slavery have largely ignored or dismissed accusations that Black Americans were cannibalized.” Woodard excavates primary sources, like the memoirs of Olaudah Equiano and Frederick Douglass, as well as black newspapers and slave advertisements from the antebellum period. Last week’s session detailed how an enslaved black male was literally quartered by his master as a form of punishment. Woodard also described multiple incidents where White sailors admitted to acts of cannibalism against black ship passengers. Woodard emphasizes the White sense of shame about these events being publicized as well as the private white fraternity forged by the common experience of plundering and consuming black people. Many themes explored in this book, are staple elements of White culture, visible in the 21st century – like convicted serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer or the delicious “black man cookies“.

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