The Sexual Abuse Of Black Male Slaves

The Sexual Abuse Of Black Male Slaves

The dark history of the slave trade remains an important part of African history that most scholars and historians have explored. The slave trade can be referred to as the transportation of enslaved African people by slave traders in exchange for money (and in cases where money is not involved, commodities such as cotton, brass pans, gin, and guns were exchanged) mainly to the Americas to work on plantations.

As mentioned earlier, slave trade history has in fact being over-explained by various historians and scholars, however, the sexual exploitation of male slaves has been unexplored for various reasons. One reason is those male victims of rape or sexual abuse did not produce evidence of their assault in the form of children. Another reason is that there are also few accounts of enslaved males that were sexually abused that it makes it hard to write about and bring light onto the situation. Asides that, the few male rape cases and sexual exploitation of male slaves were not believable because many of the white slave masters that raped them were either married or had several girlfriends.

Many enslaved men were raped by their masters on ships while en route America, Caribbean or to other parts of the world where they were shipped to, while some were raped at secret sex farms. The slaves were expected to cooperate while they are being raped; there were cases of slaves that were killed because they rebelled against their masters’ wishes. Because of the great physique, strength, and stamina, many African slave men were forced by the slavers’ wives to sleep with them when their masters were away. 

Another way by which the slaves were abused is referred to as “buck breaking”.  Buck breaking is the raping of male slaves by their white owners, it initially started with the striping of male slaves and having them flogged while other slaves watched. It later graduated into raping them in public to embarrass them and to make them feel less of a man. It is also used to serve as a warning to other slaves. On several occasions, enslaved men with families were forced to have sex with each other in front of their family or their sons. Many enslaved men humiliated through this process killed themselves afterward.

The Sexual Abuse Of Black Male Slaves
Buck Breaking

The prohibition on the importation of slaves into the United States due to the efforts of abolitionist Christians such as Williams Wilberforce reduced slave supply as slave ships were stopped while those captured were released. As a result, slave masters who could no longer meet the market demands due to shortage of labor on their farm engage in “breeding farms”.  At breeding farms, healthy and strong enslaved men were coerced to have sex with women in order to get them pregnant. The slave masters would force the enslaved men to have sex with at least 6 women a day in order to increase the possibility of the number of women that got pregnant. The slave masters did not care if those women were the daughter or mother or relatives of these men. This act created the term “mother fucker” which literally explains a male having sex with his mother. Many of the enslaved men who were the heads of breeding farms died from sexual exhaustion.

When the slave masters decided to punish a rebel or an enslaved man caught in bed or perceived to be in a relationship with their wives, daughters or even an enslaved woman who is the sexual interest of the master, such slaves were either castrated or genial mutilated. This was also done to take away any form of pride from an enslaved man. Once a slave has been castrated or mutilated, they are then referred to as “woman” just to show the white mans’ dominance.

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The Sexual Abuse Of Black Male Slaves
A poster advertising slave sale

Many white slave masters often used enslaved men as a form of sexual entertainment. Enslaved men were often made to line up naked for their sexual organs to be scrutinized, discussed and laughed at. They were also made to dance naked. In extreme cases, an enslaved man was made to forcefully have sex with an enslaved virgin to entertain the white viewers.

The historical accounts of this evil against the Negro man remains a dark stain on their roles as fathers, brothers, and protectors of their women and children.

Because most of the men were emasculated and later sold (separated) from their wives and children, a vacuum was created in the family structure of the African-American and African-Diaspora.

Women learned to fend for themselves and their children without the help of men. Children grew up without a father figure, and this greatly affected how they saw life and how they reacted to issues.

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