Chapter 3, "The Hold," presents a critical development for In the Wake as Sharpe traces the ways that Black women specifically are, through their bodies and the legal obtaining of their bodies through partus sequitur ventrem
, occupied by the hold of slavery while occupying the hold itself.
17) A "condemnation of blackness" (to borrow Khalil Gibran Muhammed's apt phrase) taken, now, as so much "common sense" and traceable back to slavery's law of partus sequitur ventrem that established that the children of a slavewoman inherited the mother's condition.
Cradle to Grave": The Afterlives of Partus Sequitur Ventrem
Inventing the rules of slavery, in 1662, Virginians decided to adopt the Roman rule partus sequitur ventrem
, which says that you are what your mother was.
Women without History: Slavery and the International Politics of Partus Sequitur Ventrem
in the Spanish Caribbean.
The rule derives from the ancient Roman principle: partus sequitur ventrem
The progeny of animals are the property of the mother's owner under the maxim partus sequitur ventrem
("the birth comes from the womb").