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Women’s experience of capture and transport to the Americas was both the same as and different from that of men. Tasked with taking care of children and infants and exposed to the threat and experience of rape in slave forts and on board ships, women’s sexual vulnerability and reproductive capacities marked their understanding of the Middle Passage. Chapter 4, “Accounting for the ‘Most Excruciating Torment’: Transatlantic Passages,” considers both the experience of the Middle Passage for captive women and the archival challenges of framing their presence. It argues that women resisted and refused their capture and confinement as well as the early commodification of their pregnant or childbearing bodies on board slave ships. This refusal of the fundamental terms of their capture is at the core of racial slavery and of what would come to be the Black Atlantic.

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