Slavery took hold in Florida under the Spanish in the ‘forgotten century’ of 1492-1619.

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Religion, Slavery, United States on 2022-02-09 03:42Z by Steven

Slavery took hold in Florida under the Spanish in the ‘forgotten century’ of 1492-1619.

Tampa Bay Times
2019-08-29

J. Michael Francis, Hough Family Endowed Chair
University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

Gary Mormino, Professor emeritus of History
University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

Rachel Sanderson, Associate Director, La Florida: The Interactive Digital Archive of the Americas
University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

Artistic rendering of Luisa de Abrego and others [ KATE GODFREY | University of South Florida, St. Petersburg ]

Every 16th century Spanish expedition to Florida included Africans, both free and enslaved.

On Jan. 5, 1595, an infant boy named Esteban was baptized in the small Spanish garrison town of St. Augustine. In the priest’s three-line baptism entry, Esteban’s mother is identified only by her first name, Gratia. Described as a slave owned by a Spanish woman named Catalina, Gratia was one of perhaps 50 slaves who lived in St. Augustine at the end of the 16th century. And like Gratia, most of the town’s other slaves appear only briefly in the historical record, with few personal details besides a Christian name: Simón, María, Agustín, Francisca, Ana, Baltasar, Felipe or Ambrosio.

Collectively, their long-forgotten stories document and complement a remarkable history that dates back more than a century before the first slaves reached Virginia in 1619. They portray a society that was fluid and eclectic. By 1619, La Florida’s population included Spaniards, Portuguese, Greeks, Italians, French, Flemish, Germans, two Irishmen, West Africans, Sub-Saharan Africans and a diverse group of Native Americans. In other words, early Florida reflected a population that resembled modern America.

Floridanos of African descent were present from the earliest Spanish expeditions to the peninsula. Most readers are familiar with the founding myth of Florida and Juan Ponce de León’s alleged search for the Fountain of Youth. However, his 1513 voyage takes on a different complexion when we understand the crew’s composition, which included several free blacks. One of them, Juan Garrido, a native of West Africa, later participated in Hernando Cortés’s 1519 conquest of Mexico, where he lived over the next two decades, participating in numerous conquest expeditions. In a lengthy petition submitted to the Spanish Crown in 1538, Garrido highlighted his three-decade career as a “conquistador,” adding that he commissioned the construction of Mexico City’s first Christian chapel and that he was the one who introduced wheat into Mexico

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The Persistence of Racial Constructs in Spain: Bringing Race and Colorblindness into the Debate on Interculturalism

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2022-01-06 03:13Z by Steven

The Persistence of Racial Constructs in Spain: Bringing Race and Colorblindness into the Debate on Interculturalism

Social Sciences
Volume 11, Issue 1
Published 2022-01-02
DOI: 10.3390/socsci11010013 (Registration in process)

Dan Rodríguez-García, Serra Húnter Associate Professor
Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

In this article, I argue that persisting racial constructs in Spain affect conceptions of national belonging and continue to shape and permeate contemporary discriminations. I begin by describing several recent political events that demonstrate the urgent need for a discussion about “race” and racialization in the country. Second, some conceptual foundations are provided concerning constructs of race and the corollary processes of racism and racialization. Third, I present data from various public surveys and also from ethnographic research conducted in Spain on mixedness and multiraciality to demonstrate that social constructs of race remain a significant boundary driving stigmatization and discrimination in Spain, where skin color and other perceived physical traits continue to be important markers for social interaction, perceived social belonging, and differential social treatment. Finally, I bring race into the debate on managing diversity, arguing that a post-racial approach—that is, race-neutral discourse and the adoption of colorblind public policies, both of which are characteristic of the interculturalist perspectives currently preferred by Spain as well as elsewhere in Europe—fails to confront the enduring effects of colonialism and the ongoing realities of structural racism. I conclude by emphasizing the importance of bringing race into national and regional policy discussions on how best to approach issues of diversity, equality, anti-discrimination, and social cohesion.

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Free People of Color in the Spanish Atlantic: Race and Citizenship, 1780–1850

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Law, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs on 2021-08-30 22:27Z by Steven

Free People of Color in the Spanish Atlantic: Race and Citizenship, 1780–1850

Routledge
2020-08-07
252 pages
5 b/w Illustrations
Hardback ISBN: 9780367494926
eBook ISBN: 9781003046813

Federica Morelli, Associate Professor of History of the Americas
University of Turin, Turin, Italy

This book grapples with the important contemporary question of the boundaries of citizenship and access to naturalization by analyzing a body of relevant juridical sources, dating from the end of the eighteenth century to the first half of the nineteenth century, concerning the free people of color in late colonial and early independent Spanish America. Their precarious status makes this group a privileged subject to examine the negotiation and formation of racial identity as well as the definition of citizenship requirements in colonial and post-colonial contexts. Based on archival material collected in Spain (Seville and Madrid) and Latin America (Mexico City, Bogotá, Quito, Lima and Buenos Aires), the book demonstrates that the access of free people of color to citizenship both in the late colonial and early independent period was not established by state authorities, but resulted from complex dynamics between the state and the local society.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. Seeking Spaces for Mobility
  • 2. The Revolutions of the Hispanic World: New Citizenship Rights?
  • 3. Between Grace and Rights
  • 4. Race and Equality
  • Conclusion
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The Boundaries of Mixedness: A Global Perspective

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Books, Europe, Family/Parenting, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Oceania, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Social Science, South Africa, United States on 2021-08-30 20:41Z by Steven

The Boundaries of Mixedness: A Global Perspective

Routledge
2020-10-12
164 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9780367522926
eBook ISBN: 9781003057338

Edited by:

Erica Chito Childs, Professor of Sociology
Hunter College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York

The Boundaries of Mixedness tackles the burgeoning field of critical mixed race studies, bringing together research that spans five continents and more than ten countries. Research on mixedness is growing, yet there is still much debate over what exactly mixed race means, and whether it is a useful term. Despite a growing focus on and celebration of mixedness globally, particularly in the media, societies around the world are grappling with how and why crossing socially constructed boundaries of race, ethnicity and other markers of difference matter when considering those who date, marry, raise families, or navigate their identities across these boundaries. What we find collectively through the ten studies in this book is that in every context there is a hierarchy of mixedness, both in terms of intimacy and identity. This hierarchy of intimacy renders certain groups as more or less marriable, socially constructed around race, ethnicity, caste, religion, skin color and/or region. Relatedly, there is also a hierarchy of identities where certain races, languages, ethnicities and religions are privileged and valued differently. These differences emerge out of particular local histories and contemporary contexts yet there are also global realities that transcend place and space.

The Boundaries of Mixedness is a significant new contribution to mixed race studies for academics, researchers, and advanced students of Ethnic and Racial Studies, Sociology, History and Public Policy.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Critical Mixed Race in Global Perspective: An Introduction / Erica Chito Childs
  • Hierarchies of Mixing: Navigations and Negotiations
    • 2. An Unwanted Weed: Children of Cross-region Unions Confront Intergenerational Stigma of Caste, Ethnicity and Religion / Reena Kukreja
    • 3. Mixed Race Families in South Africa: Naming and Claiming a Location / Heather Dalmage
    • 4. Negotiating the (Non)Negotiable: Connecting ‘Mixed-Race’ Identities to ‘Mixed-Race’ Families / Mengxi Pang
  • Hierarchies of Mixedness: Choices and Challenges
    • 5. Linguistic Cultural Capital Among Descendants of Mixed Couples in Catalonia, Spain: Realities and Inequalities / Dan Rodriguez-Garcia
    • 6. ‘There is Nothing Wrong with Being a Mulatto’: Structural Discrimination and Racialized Belonging in Denmark / Mira Skadegaard
    • 7. Exceptionalism with Non-Validation: The Social Inconsistencies of Being Mixed Race in Australia / Stephanie Guy
  • Mixed Matters Through a Wider Lens
    • 8. Recognising Selves in Others: Situating Dougla Manoeuverability as Shared Mixed-Race Ontology / Susan Barratt and Aleah Ranjitsingh
    • 9. What’s Love Got To Do With It? Emotional Authority and State Regulation of Interracial/National Couples in Ireland / Rebecca King-O’Riain
    • 10. Re-viewing Race and Mixedness: Mixed Race in Asia and the Pacific / Zarine Rocha
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Suffering Our Forefathers’ Sins: A Latino’s Reflection on White Supremacy

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Mexico, Philosophy, Social Justice, Texas, United States on 2019-09-04 21:08Z by Steven

Suffering Our Forefathers’ Sins: A Latino’s Reflection on White Supremacy

Mere Orthodoxy
2019-08-12

Nathan Luis Cartagena, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois

Two Saturdays ago mi esposa and I mourned for those devastated by the El Paso shooting. For us, this hit home. We had lived in the Lone Star State for seven years, our daughter was born there, and we have strong relationships with Chicanos/as from la frontera—the Texas-Mexico borderlands.

As we mourned, I thought about white supremacy’s role in this shooting. I thought about the painful irony that white supremacy originates in Portugal and Spain, the lands from which the ancestors of most Latinos/as and its subsets—including Chicanas/os and Tejanos/as—hail. This includes my ancestors. I am, after all, a Cartagena.

Yet despite our origins, Latinos/as are not deemed true whites. We are a racialized other; even the lightest of us who pass or receive the status of honorary white know this comes at a price and is liable to be lost the moment someone suspects we’ve broken the norms of white solidarity. How did this happen? How did the Iberian Peninsula’s Latina/o children lose the status of white? Let me sketch an answer for you…

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Taxing Blackness: Free Afromexican Tribute in Bourbon New Spain

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs on 2019-03-25 13:59Z by Steven

Taxing Blackness: Free Afromexican Tribute in Bourbon New Spain

University of Alabama Press
February 2019
312 pages
9 B&W figures / 3 maps / 23 tables
Trade Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8173-2007-2
eBook ISBN: 978-0-8173-9220-8

Norah L. A. Gharala, Colonial Latin Americanist and Assistant Professor of World History
Georgian Court University, Lakewood, New Jersey

A definitive analysis of the most successful tribute system in the Americas as applied to Afromexicans

During the eighteenth century, hundreds of thousands of free descendants of Africans in Mexico faced a highly specific obligation to the Spanish crown, a tax based on their genealogy and status. This royal tribute symbolized imperial loyalties and social hierarchies. As the number of free people of color soared, this tax became a reliable source of revenue for the crown as well as a signal that colonial officials and ordinary people referenced to define and debate the nature of blackness.

Taxing Blackness:Free Afromexican Tribute in Bourbon New Spain examines the experiences of Afromexicans and this tribute to explore the meanings of race, political loyalty, and legal privileges within the Spanish colonial regime. Norah L. A. Gharala focuses on both the mechanisms officials used to define the status of free people of African descent and the responses of free Afromexicans to these categories and strategies. This study spans the eighteenth century and focuses on a single institution to offer readers a closer look at the place of Afromexican individuals in Bourbon New Spain, which was the most profitable and populous colony of the Spanish Atlantic.

As taxable subjects, many Afromexicans were deeply connected to the colonial regime and ongoing debates about how taxpayers should be defined, whether in terms of reputation or physical appearance. Gharala shows the profound ambivalence, and often hostility, that free people of African descent faced as they navigated a regime that simultaneously labeled them sources of tax revenue and dangerous vagabonds. Some free Afromexicans paid tribute to affirm their belonging and community ties. Others contested what they saw as a shameful imposition that could harm their families for generations. The microhistory includes numerous anecdotes from specific cases and people, bringing their history alive, resulting in a wealth of rural and urban, gender, and family insight.

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The anxiety of sameness in early modern Spain

Posted in Books, Europe, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, Religion on 2019-01-29 16:26Z by Steven

The anxiety of sameness in early modern Spain

Manchester University Press
November 2015
264 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-7849-9120-3
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-5261-3434-9
eBook ISBN: 978-1-7849-9635-2

Christina H. Lee, Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

The anxiety of sameness in early modern Spain

  • Provides a counter-point to studies on marginality by focusing on how dominant groups reacted and responded to the social and racial ‘passing’ of lowborns and New Christians
  • Provides a new intervention in our current understanding of how Spanish identity was constructed in the early modern period
  • Uses a vast array of literary and non-literary sources to discuss the social tensions that existed between the established elite and the socially mobile
  • Written in a clear style, accessible to both historians and literary critics

This book explores the Spanish elite’s fixation on social and racial ‘passing’ and ‘passers’, as represented in a wide range of texts. It examines literary and non-literary works produced in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that express the dominant Spaniards’ anxiety that socially mobile lowborns, Conversos (converted Jews), and Moriscos (converted Muslims) could impersonate and pass for ‘pure’ Christians like themselves. Ultimately, this book argues that while conspicuous sociocultural and ethnic difference was certainly perturbing and unsettling, in some ways it was not as threatening to the dominant Spanish identity as the potential discovery of the arbitrariness that separated them from the undesirables of society – and therefore the recognition of fundamental sameness. This fascinating and accessible work will appeal to students of Hispanic studies, European history, cultural studies, Spanish literature and Spanish history.

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Part 1: The usurpation of nobility and lowborn passers
    • 1. Theorising and practicing nobility
    • 2. The forgery of nobility in literary texts
  • Part II: Conversos and the threat of sameness
    • 3. Spotting Converso blood in official and unofficial discourses
    • 4. The unmasking of Conversos in popular and literary texts
  • Part III: Moriscos and the reassurance of difference
    • 5. Imagining the Morisco problem
    • 6. Desirable Moors and Moriscos in literary texts
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Critical Mixed Race in Global Perspective

Posted in Africa, Articles, Europe, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Oceania, Religion, Social Science, South Africa on 2018-08-03 01:27Z by Steven

Critical Mixed Race in Global Perspective

Journal of Intercultural Studies
Volume 38 (2018)
2018-08-01

Publication Cover

  • Introduction
    • Critical Mixed Race in Global Perspective: An Introduction / Erica Chito Childs
  • Hierarchies of Mixing: Navigations and Negotiations
    • An Unwanted Weed: Children of Cross-region Unions Confront Intergenerational Stigma of Caste, Ethnicity and Religion / Reena Kukreja
    • Mixed Race Families in South Africa: Naming and Claiming a Location / Heather M. Dalmage
    • Negotiating the (Non)Negotiable: Connecting ‘Mixed-Race’ Identities to ‘Mixed-Race’ Families / Mengxi Pang
    • Linguistic Cultural Capital among Descendants of Mixed Couples in Catalonia, Spain: Realities and Inequalities / Dan Rodríguez-García, Miguel Solana-Solana, Anna Ortiz-Guitart & Joanna L. Freedman
    • ‘There is Nothing Wrong with Being a Mulatto’: Structural Discrimination and Racialised Belonging in Denmark / Mira C. Skadegård & Iben Jensen
    • Exceptionalism with Non-Validation: The Social Inconsistencies of Being Mixed Race in Australia / Stephanie B. Guy
  • Mixed Matters Through a Wider Lens
    • Recognising Selves in Others: Situating Dougla Manoeuvrability as Shared Mixed-Race Ontology / Sue Ann Barratt & Aleah Ranjitsingh
    • What’s Love Got To Do With It? Emotional Authority and State Regulation of Interracial/national Couples in Ireland / Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain
    • Re-viewing Race and Mixedness: Mixed Race in Asia and the Pacific / Zarine L. Rocha

Read or purchase this special issue here.

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Lesec, from Brave Mulato into Blackness?: Defection to France and Spanish Racial Regression

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Slavery on 2018-04-04 02:33Z by Steven

Lesec, from Brave Mulato into Blackness?: Defection to France and Spanish Racial Regression

Age of Revolutions
2018-04-02

Charlton W. Yingling, Assistant Professor of History
University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky


“El ciudadano Hedouville habla al mentor de los negros…,” Jean-Louis Dubroca, Vida de J. J. Dessalines, gefe de los Negros de Santo Domingo (Mexico, 1806), University of Virginia Slavery Images Database, JCB_67-270-3. This well-known image is cropped to draw attention away from the figures’ faces and to their façades.

In May 1794, Governor Joaquín García of Spanish Santo Domingo (present-day Dominican Republic) praised the “brave spirit” of “Carlos Gabriel Lesec, mulato,” a term denoting European and African heritage. As an officer in Spain’s Black Auxiliaries, Lesec had just repulsed troops of the French Republic in a resounding victory at Santa Susana on the border with Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti). As the third anniversary of the Haitian Revolution approached, thousands of ex-slaves had expanded their liberatory war under Spanish flags and occupied nearly half of Saint-Domingue.[1] These “Black Auxiliaries” of Spain enjoyed limited manumissions and material support in their war against the French, their former exploiters. Their leaders, Jean-François and Georges Biassou, represented some of the earliest participants in the initial slave revolts of 1791. Those who ascended later, such as Toussaint Louverture and his officer Charles Lesec, seized a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at upward mobility by punishing their former French oppressors. Despite these victories, García was dismayed by the “disunion that reigns between the black chiefs Biassou and Toussaint,” who along with Jean-François were Lesec’s superiors.[2] Six months earlier French commissioner Léger-Félicité Sonthonax had begun tactical, practical emancipations, in part to attract black supporters due to desperation over his opponents’ successes…

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Searching For A Motherland As A Black Latina

Posted in Africa, Articles, Autobiography, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-02 02:36Z by Steven

Searching For A Motherland As A Black Latina

The Huffington Post
2018-03-30

Maria V. Luna, Associate Lecturer
Goldsmiths University of London


Author Maria V. Luna in the Dominican Republic on her way to celebrate carnival in 2011.
Maria V. Luna

For Black Latinx in the U.S., bicultural, bilingual ― if they are lucky ― and born to immigrant parents, there is no motherland.

Though 25 percent of U.S. Latinos self-identify as Afro-Latino, we are not always made to feel at home in our own country. To be Latinx in the U.S. is to encounter xenophobic rhetoric from the top of our nation’s political leadership down to its base. To be black Latinx is to discover that xenophobia layered with anti-black rhetoric brews even among our own ethnic group.

Scholars Miriam Jiménez Román and the late Juan Flores consider W.E.B. Du Bois when describing the experience of the Afro-Latino in the U.S. as a triple consciousness — an awareness of being black, Latino and American. It is an elastic awareness, a way of moving in the world that has been woefully underexplored in America and in Spanish-language media and entertainment.

As an Afro-Latina, I often wondered: Where are my people? Where are those who crave mangú for breakfast, a Cuban sandwich for lunch and tres leches dessert? Where are those who love the “One Day at a Time” reboot with a Latin cast but winced when Lydia, played by Rita Moreno, repeats with conviction, “Cubans are white!” Didn’t abuela dance to Celia Cruz every morning as she made breakfast?

As soon as I could, I journeyed far from New Jersey to find my people. I looked for my kindred in the Dominican Republic, in Brazil, in Spain and in the maternal monolith I once imagined Africa to be.

I was looking for that mythical interstitial place where my blackness and Latinidad could peacefully coexist. This is what I found…

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