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HOW BREEDING CHANGED THE DNA OF AFRICAN AMERICANS

Updated: Jun 2, 2023


Breeding of African American slaves was a common practice in the United States during the 18th and 19th centuries. The implications of slave breeding on the black race were severe. For enslaved people, breeding often meant being forced to have sexual relations with other enslaved people, often against their will. This not only violated their basic human rights but also resulted in many children being born into slavery.


The trans-Atlantic slave trade was a forced migration that carried nearly 400,000 Africans over to the colonies and later the United States. Slavery and its aftermath had a direct impact on two critical demographic factors that are especially important in genetics: migration and sex.


Slave breeding was the practice in slave states of the United States of slave owners to systematically force the reproduction of slaves to increase their profits. It included coerced sexual relations between male slaves and women or girls, forced pregnancies of female slaves, and favoring women or young girls who could produce a relatively large number of children.

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