I recently wrote a new article about a tender subject still hotly debated where I come from, but also undermined at every turn: sexual abuse in slavery. My focus was on Thomas Jefferson and the exploitation of Sally Hemings. I responded to another hubber who had a benign take on it, so I decided to clear up some of the misconceptions. Here's my link:
https://hubpages.com/politics/It-Wasnt- … ly-Hemings
Are you asking for help in improving your hub? Otherwise, you are not supposed to self-promote in the forums.
When posting, look to the left: "Do not start threads for the sole purpose of promotion or posting links."
This type of article is highly subjective to the point of view the author applies to it. As you stated you wrote the hub in response to a perceived benign version of another hub. It's also an inflamatory subject since some will absolutely disagree and it discusses subjects that are still taboo(rape, slavery).
My best advice is to re-write the article and remove all semblance of personal opinion and instead collect and state facts and (most importantly) cite sources in support of each statement.
Think wikipedia here, there is very little chance a search engine ranks anything but a comprehensive wikipedia-like well researched and well cited article for this subject.
Remember, even slave owners didn't think they were doing anything wrong because of the laws and attitude of the time. Heck, some blamed the people in Africa, typically other African Americans, who sold the slaves and felt they actually helped improve their lives after buying them. Trying to apply today's morals and laws on a period of time that did not share them serves only to create "blame and shame".
A clinical emotion free, opinion free statement of fact a-la wikipedia layout is your best bet here, especially since offering only your opinion runs against hubpages terms of service to a certain degree. It's a tough subject to write about but perhaps even harder to rank for.
One other piece of advice. Try to keep in mind that nobody today has legally owned a slave, it's been outlawed and not practiced for a long time now. Your article mentions "black" views compared to "white" views but the subject is based on events that happened a long time ago. Nobody today is guilty of the perceived wrongs. Certainly there was suffering by today's standards but the standards were different so blaming people today feels equally wrong to those being blamed.
To get you to realize what I mean, imagine if it was discovered that hairy neanderthals used dinosaurs to attack their enemies while non-hairy neanderthals didn't. If we had racial tensions between the two today would it serve any purpose to attack one side or the other over the use of dinosaurs millions of years ago?
It's a sensitive subject but one that happened in the past and has been illegal for a long, long time. Certainly longer than anyone currently living has been alive. Ending racism means ending hate based on past events that no longer apply in my opinion.
I think the Sally Hemings story is fascinating, and I wish there were more information about her life. There is no way of knowing much of anything about the nature of her relationship with Jefferson.
While I would agree that "slave rape" seems to have been a fairly regular thing, it doesn't necessarily follow that Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemings was of that kind.
The relationship looks more like the plaçage relationships that were common in the French and Spanish colonies of North America--in New Orleans and the Caribbean--which amounted to common-law marriages. This was a legally binding contractual relationship in which the woman's "protector" provided her with a house (in her own name) and financial maintenance, and provided for the education of their children.
Placées actually had stronger property rights than the legal (white) wife, since at that time all of a woman's property became legally her husband's upon marriage. The placée's property was legally her own.
While Sally Hemings didn't get that kind of deal, I don't think there is much reason to believe she got a worse deal than many or most other white married women of the same era--who were often married off very young, and whose choice of partner may not have been entirely their own, nor entirely to their liking.
I think marriage is always somewhat problematic in that way, even today.
One book that offers some perspective on this is "America's First Daughter," by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie, which is about the (somewhat fictionalized) life of Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph, Jefferson's daughter.
Martha Jefferson's husband, Thomas Mann Randolph, was quite a piece of work. To me--even though so little is known about Sally Hemings's life--it sure sounds like Martha was by far the worse off of the two.
While Sally could not "walk away" from her relationship with Jefferson (except for a brief window of opportunity in Paris), neither could Martha divorce her husband. Like every other wife and mother of that era, she had no freedom in that regard--not much more freedom, if any, than Sally.
by John Tuttle 15 months ago
Hi Hubbers,I'd like some help with passing the Quality Assessment Process. Will you please give feedback on my article Why I Feel Like Thomas Jefferson As a Writer. What can I do to improve? Thanks!
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