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Africans to Spanish America

Expanding the Diaspora

Sherwin K. Bryant

Publication Year: 2012

Africans to Spanish America expands the Diaspora framework to include Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, and Cuba, exploring the connections and disjunctures between colonial Latin America and the African Diaspora in the Spanish empires. Analysis of the regions of Mexico and the Andes opens up new questions of community formation that incorporated Spanish legal strategies in secular and ecclesiastical institutions as well as articulations of multiple African identities. The volume is arranged around three themes: identity construction in the Americas; the struggle by enslaved and free people to present themselves as civilized, Christian, and resistant to slavery; and issues of cultural exclusion and inclusion._x000B__x000B_Contributors are Joan C. Bristol, Nancy E. van Deusen, Leo J. Garofalo, Herbert S. Klein, Charles Beatty-Medina, Karen Y. Morrison, Rachel Sarah O'Toole, Frank "Trey" Proctor III, and Michele Reid-Vazquez.

Published by: University of Illinois Press

Series: The New Black Studies Series


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. 1-23

On August 1, 1708, the now infamous privateer Woodes Rogers departed Bristol to sail around the world, “first to the South-Sea, thence to the East-Indies, and homewards by the Cape of Good Hope.” Sailing down the Atlantic coast of South America...

Part 1. Complicating Identity in the African Diaspora to Spanish America

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pp. 25-92

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1. The Shape of a Diaspora: The Movement of Afro-Iberians to Colonial Spanish America

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pp. 27-49

The presence of Afro-Iberians who helped shape the cultural and physical webs that bound together the African, European, and American continents forces us to broaden our understanding of the history of Iberian empires and the African...

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2. African Diasporic Ethnicity in Mexico City to 1650

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pp. 50-72

On January 21, 1640, Pedro Sánchez and Mariana filed a petition for the right to marry at the Catedral Metropolitano, which served the main parish of Mexico City. The prospective bride and groom were both slaves, owned by Diego de Barrientos...

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3. To Be Free and Lucumí: Ana de la Calle and Making AfricanDiaspora Identities in Colonial Perurachel

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pp. 73-92

In 1719, Ana de la Calle paid a notary in the northern Peruvian city of Trujillo to compose her will. She identified herself as a free morena of casta lucumí or, as I will argue, a free woman of color from the Yorubaspeaking interior of the Bight...

Part 2. Royal Subjects, Loyal Christians, and Saints in the Alley

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pp. 93-160

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4. Between the Cross and the Sword: Religious Conquest and Maroon Legitimacy in Colonial Esmeraldas

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pp. 95-113

It has repeatedly been remarked that the beginning of African slavery in Spanish America brought with it the earliest rejection of slave life. Revolt, rebellion, and escape, along with myriad other forms of resistance, emerged in Spain’s colonies...

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5. Afro-Mexican Saintly Devotion in a Mexico City Alley

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pp. 114-135

In October 1699, María Lópes de Avilés informed Mexico City inquisitors about a rumor that Isidro the sweet seller, along with others, had “made in his house a certain feast, or celebration to which a variety of men of all species...

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6. "The Lord walks among the pots and pans": Religious Servants of Colonial Lima

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pp. 136-160

In his sermon given in 1681 at the profession of a donada, José de Aguilar emphasized that each nun was the señora of her own cross but that each servant, whether a...

Part 3. Comparisons and Whitening Revisited: Race and Gender in Colonial Cuba

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pp. 161-169

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7. Whitening Revisited: Nineteenth-Century Cuban Counterpoints

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pp. 163-185

Two unreconciled perspectives on “whitening” have shaped the historiography on Latin America’s African descended people for the past forty years. On the one hand, scholars have defined whitening as a reproductive strategy pursued by black and mulatto...

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8. Tensions of Race, Gender, and Midwifery in Colonial Cuba

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pp. 186-205

In February 1828, the Cuban newspaper El Diario de la Habana reported a “truly painful” discovery: the “honorable” profession of midwifery had become “disgraced.” Its demise, the article claimed, centered on shifts in the female population and overall deficiencies...

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9. The African American Experience in Comparative Perspective: The Current Question of the Debate

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pp. 206-222

I would like to return to a theme that has been much neglected in the recent discussions on the African Diaspora in the Americas, and that is the question of the comparative differences and similarities between slave regimes in the Americas...


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pp. 223-228


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pp. 229-262

List of Contributors

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pp. 263-267

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pp. 268-275

This volume is an outgrowth of a 2005 international conference, “The African Diaspora to Latin America: New Directions,” sponsored by the Center for African American History at Northwestern University. The symposium communicated an effort to complicate our understanding...


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pp. 269-279

Further Reading, Production Notes, Back Cover

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pp. 281-290

E-ISBN-13: 9780252093715
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252036637

Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: The New Black Studies Series
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OCLC Number: 826684900
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Africans to Spanish America

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Blacks -- Latin America -- History.
  • Blacks -- Race identity -- Latin America -- History.
  • Slavery -- Latin America -- History.
  • Slavery and the church -- Catholic Church.
  • Slavery and the church -- Latin America.
  • African diaspora.
  • Latin America -- History -- To 1830.
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