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Compelled to live under the same roof with a man forty years her senior, he daily violated her. Her misery seemed inescapable, for there was no law to protect her from the constant insults, violence or even death. She finally managed to escape and went into hiding for seven years, before she could flee to another place. Though reluctant mistresses, these enslaved African women were often labeled as ‘jezebels’, innately promiscuous or even predatory by the white women. They were perceived to enjoy higher status and privileges than other slave women, but these privileges were tainted by the fact that they were forced into sexual submission (Africans in America). However, research based data indicates that quite a few of these formed short term liaisons with their white owners for vested interests (Southern Mulattos Population) and, yet others willingly maintained long-term relationships with their masters, begetting them children. Contemporary sociologist K Sue Jewell in her book …describes ‘Jezebel’ as a tragic mulatto indicating they formed the bulk of black women sold into prostitution. In a system termed placage, many such freeborn light-skinned women were willing mistresses to wealthy white southerners.


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