Dey [the white folks] would dig a hole in de ground just big nuff fo her stomach, make her lie face down and whip her on de back to keep from hurtin' de child.

As Dorothy Roberts notes in Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty, The brutal domination of slave women's procreation laid the foundation for centuries of reproductive regulation that continues today. Control of slave women's reproduction was essential for slavery's continued success on two levels: (1) sexual assault and rape (often resulting in pregnancy) served as a weapon of terror that reinforced whites' domination over their human property, and (2) encouraging slaves' reproduction furthered the white master's economic interest by literally multiplying his property.