Natalie Hopkinson over at the Root posted a fascinating conversation with Dolen Perkins-Valdez on Toure’s…
by Guest Contributor SLB, originally published at PostBourgie
In an effort to eradicate the myth of the “seductive/sexually-empowered slave mistress” (most recently perpetuated by Touré on Twitter, apparently), new novelist Dolen Perkins-Valdez has penned a work of historical fiction set in a real location: Tawawa House, a summer resort that catered to white slaveholders and their enslaved “lovers,” in the free state of Ohio.
Wench chronicles the lives of four slave women: Mawu, Sweet, Reenie, and Lizzie (the central protagonist) whose masters annually “whisk them away” from the hardship of their plantation lives and put them up in cottages for a few weeks in summer.
For the women, few things have changed, other than their location: they’re still monitored, chained on a whim, and systematically raped. Only now, they’re also given once-lovely ball gowns—years-old cast-offs left behind by the resort’s previous white patrons—and encouraged to doll themselves up for a semi-public dinner and dance. Read the Post Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s Wench