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December 29, 2008 at 8:22 pm #4091
If I could add to my comments, I will provide documentation to backup my points here, just need a little time to be sufficient inn my response. Also, I want to say that I in no way intended to single out Southern Plantation owners for particular scorn, nor do I condemn T.Jefferson for being a man in the time of slavery. He was known to be quite decent as slave owners go and the institution was far greater in scope and influence than any one group of people.December 29, 2008 at 10:14 pm #4092
http://us-civil-war.suite101.com/article.cfm/slave_breeding_in_the_antebellum_southThis addresses Lynch's appeal to breed slaves. Certainly livestock was selectively bred, why not slaves?December 30, 2008 at 12:14 am #4093
I vouch for what you're saying cadremum. Breeding was decided on economics and breaking family ties so that free will was broken and submissiveness achieved. Very evil practice it was, but culturally it was very difficult to see that in the South because of the social status it gave slave owners.December 30, 2008 at 8:57 am #4094
I have read the slave narratives, and while the treatment of slaves in the American south was indeed horrific, it provides very little evidence, and that anecdotal, of deliberate selective breeding programs. There is a difference between breaking family ties for control purposes and selective breeding. It is my impression that slaves were bought and sold more on the basis of economics than any type of breeding program. I am admittedly not an expert on this subject.I did have a chance to visit the Tuskeegee Institute NHS and George Washington Carver Museum on the campus of Tuskeegee University last year. There is a significant section on slave history and the living conditions of African slaves there but I do not remember any mention of potential selective breeding programs. I would posit that while this is an intriguing hypotheses, the lack of specific positive evidence for the practice argues its use. It is not as if southern slaveowners were ashamed of what they did, and there is evidence of all kinds of brutal treatment, but very little discussion in the historical record that I can find that seems to point to deliberate programs of this kind. That is the reason I tend to discount claims that the practice happened. It may have but if it did, it was not widespread.I will have to do soe further research though. I am not prepared to definitively state that it did not happen.December 30, 2008 at 4:16 pm #4095
http://www.isteve.com/blackath.htmHere is an oft cited article on the black v white athelete disscussion.Any genetic traits for skillful running and jumping would have come with a slave from Africa. Isn't it possible that a lineage exists among descendants of slaves, who share physical traits that were hand in hand with brawn and hieght? Some have suggested that diabetes(often afflicting blacks more than whites) can be traced to the days of sugar cain production. The idea that a slave owner could find a 'stud' and insist apon unions for desired traits is documented, not everywhere and not by all. Only about 5% of slave owners in US had more than one or two slaves, there are demographics to show that even after slaves ships were illegal and denied passage across the Atlantic, the populations continue to swell, while they decrease in Europe, Barbados etc. The reasons for which are multi-faceted but I think it can be inferred that breeding has a part in it.Are slaves' diaries any more anecdotal than a letter from Jefferson to Madison? Jefferson clearly expressed the need to grow his slave population, they were scare and expensive and you would not want to beat a slave to death.December 30, 2008 at 5:38 pm #4096
http://books.google.com/books?id=XB_-gBJF6yoC&pg=PA46&lpg=PA46&dq=jefferson+breeding+slaves+edu&source=bl&ots=JqoQwJng0C&sig=MIKtxQSF1rAaVTfmpe0ly70fzOc&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA36,M1Here is Jefferson specifically adding emphasis to breeding women, as a key to profitable ownership and the methods by which it can be done.It goes on to reveal his considerations for the plight of slaves and the ultimately unworkable plan to achieve a socially just place for former slave to live.December 30, 2008 at 6:17 pm #4097
As a caveat the athleticism argument. If blacks have superior athletic attributes because of athleticism how do you then account for the apparent dominance of Kenyans and other East Africans in Distance running? Surely you are not going to insist that they bred themselves?I read somewhere a good point in this argument. Is it not possible that the conditions of slavery naturally selected for stronger people? Slavery is definitely a condition in which only the strong can survive. Another point to consider is even without deliberate selective breeding isnt it plausible that slave owners only let their more productive slaves marry or take wives as a form of reward? I also question whether a few hundred years of selective breeding could produe such profound changes as are claimed. That is at most six to ten generations even assuming the females were bred as young as possible. Humans have a much longer breeding period than dogs or horses.I am not saying some breeding did not happen, it is clear from the record that some did. What I am disputing is the notion of a large scale slave breeding program that could be responsible for the supposed athletic abilities currently observed.December 31, 2008 at 12:24 am #4098
One of you guys needs to change your avatar LOL. I get confused who is saying what. 🙂December 31, 2008 at 1:31 am #4099
I think cadremum should since I am the one that took the picture at the US Army Ordnance Museum in Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. I have been thinking the same thing for the past couple of days. I have to read the name or I catch myself thinking that I did not write that.December 31, 2008 at 1:34 am #4100
But if you like it cadremum I can let you keep it. I have several hundred other pictures I have taken at various battlefields and museums I can pick from. I am sure that if I petition the emperor properly he will let me change my avatar pic again. especially since I now have the rest of my profile set so I shouldnt be messing it up all the time anymore.December 31, 2008 at 2:12 am #4101
As a caveat the athleticism argument. If blacks have superior athletic attributes because of athleticism how do you then account for the apparent dominance of Kenyans and other East Africans in Distance running? Surely you are not going to insist that they bred themselves?
No Scout the Kenyons are built differently, to this day you see them, they are marathon runners. The Gold Coast tribes were built larger, the Maasi were tall and gracile. Women may have been taken from one tribe for breeding but I don't there was a lot of inter tribal mixing. Remember slaves taken from the interior, were taken by other Africans.
I read somewhere a good point in this argument. Is it not possible that the conditions of slavery naturally selected for stronger people? Slavery is definitely a condition in which only the strong can survive. Another point to consider is even without deliberate selective breeding isnt it plausible that slave owners only let their more productive slaves marry or take wives as a form of reward?
I agree, only the strongest would survive, there, we have already improved the odds for stronger bloodlines.Certainly some slave owners did allow thier slaves to marry by choice while some were forced into relations with unknown and unwanted partners.
I also question whether a few hundred years of selective breeding could produe such profound changes as are claimed. That is at most six to ten generations even assuming the females were bred as young as possible. Humans have a much longer breeding period than dogs or horses.
To that I say I am no Mendel but (as I understand it)traits are passed along depending on whether or not both parents carry a gene for hieght, freckles or sickle cell anemia for that matter. Even then the trait can be dormant and passed on in the next generation. Ideally a woman can have a baby once every two years and breeders would have taken good care of breeding women.
I am not saying some breeding did not happen, it is clear from the record that some did. What I am disputing is the notion of a large scale slave breeding program that could be responsible for the supposed athletic abilities currently observed.
Generally speaking Africans evolved to meet thier needs on the savannah, in the jungle, or desert and time was spent on surviving. Linnaeus describes a precursor to Darwin's theory, that a giraffe grew his neck because he willed it, Darwin would say he needed it. So did the Africans need thier physical adaptations which could have been improved apon by selective breeding.I agree it was not, could not, have been large scale operation, since most slave holders only had one or two slaves.December 31, 2008 at 2:14 am #4102
I'll change mine, it will be one that is more distinctive. 🙂December 31, 2008 at 2:24 am #4103
I've read about Linnaeus before. He was a botanist wasn't he? I think our readers would benefit from a little background information on him. Can you tell us more about him cadremum?December 31, 2008 at 2:32 am #4104
I too have a little knowledge about Linnaeus. Havent his theories been disproved? I thought he was the one that theorize that in the girraffe example, they would actually strecth their necks and they stayed that way and were passed on. Darwins evolution kind of blew that one away.December 31, 2008 at 2:48 am #4105
Well I'm not sure on that example. I do think his botanical theories were more sound since he is still given credit in that field for some things (which I cannot remember).