Canada’s mixing pot: Multiracial relationships growing at rapid pace

Posted in Canada, Census/Demographics, New Media, Social Science on 2010-04-24 02:37Z by Steven

Canada’s mixing pot: Multiracial relationships growing at rapid pace

National Post

Mary Vallis

The number of Canadians in mixed-race relationships and marriages is rising, still primarily a big city phenomenon, but a trend fuelled in part by romances in small cities, according to a new report released by Statistics Canada on Tuesday.

Between 2001 and 2006, mixed unions grew at a rapid pace (33%), more than five times the growth for all couples (6.0%), the agency says in a new report titled “A Portrait of Couples in Mixed Unions.”

According to the 2006 Census, 3.9% of the 7.4 million couples in Canada were “mixed unions,” meaning either one member of the relationship belonged to a visible minority or that both were members of different visible minorities. Fifteen years earlier, mixed unions accounted for 2.6% of all couples.

Residents of small cities with predominantly white populations like Saguenay, Que., Moncton, N.B., and Thunder Bay, Ont., boasted some of the highest percentages of visible minorities in mixed unions. Nearly 63% of all of the visible minorities in Saguenay had spouses or partners from other backgrounds. Saint John, N.B., Kelowna, B.C., Sudbury and Barrie also ranked high…

To read the entire story, click here.

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A cross-cultural marriage is an adventure I’d recommend

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, New Media, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2010-04-21 20:54Z by Steven

A cross-cultural marriage is an adventure I’d recommend

The Observer

Anushka Asthana, Education Correspondent

Mixed-race unions in this country are on the increase, a magical journey that benefits all the families involved

One visit to India and a childhood playing cricket was never going to be quite enough to prepare Toby, a white Englishman who grew up in Oxfordshire, for his marriage. After all, you don’t just marry an Indian woman—you marry her large (and often eccentric) family and all that brings with it.

The realisation began to sink in for Toby at the Hindu part of our wedding, three months ago. He got out of arriving on the back of a white horse, but we persuaded him to go along with the rest of it. That included being dressed up from head to toe, with a red turban with white tassels hanging over his face, embroidered scarf, full-length white coat with gold trimmings and his very own pair of what he called “Aladdin” shoes. He took part in the “baraat“, an Indian tradition in which the groom arrives with family and friends dancing around him.

So there they were: swinging their arms to the bhangra beat of a dhol drum with shell-shocked smiles as they were met by the cheering crowd of “aunties” and “uncles” (not real ones—that is how we address any Indian person above the age of 40) and bending down to have garlands draped around their necks and red marks smeared on their foreheads.

The image of a white British groom at the centre of a mass of ecstatic Indian aunties would once have been a rarity. But research released earlier this year found that one in 10 people in Britain with Indian heritage who is in a relationship has a partner of a different race. The study, by the Institute for Social and Economic Research, found the same was true of half of all Caribbean men, one in five black African men and two out of five Chinese women. The result so far: one in 10 children in Britain is living in a mixed-race family…

Read the entire article here.

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Passing Fancy

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, Passing, Social Science, United States on 2010-04-13 02:38Z by Steven

Passing Fancy

Legal Affairs – The Magazine at the Intersection of Law and Life
September/October 2003

Daniel J. Sharfstein, Professor of Law
Vanderbilt University

In the Jim Crow South, courts understood that rigidly enforcing the rules against mixed marriage would have been a disaster—for whites.

In 1903, a Young North Carolina farmer named Frank Ferrell went a-courting. Nineteen years old and working on his father’s farm in the town of Zebulon, Frank settled his attentions on Susie Patterson, a quiet woman in her early 20s whose family had lived in nearby Riley since the 1880s. Riley was a town on two borders, smack on the line separating Franklin and Wake counties, in the rolling hills where the Atlantic Coastal Plain meets the Piedmont Plateau.

Evidently, a third boundary ran through Riley as well. While Frank wooed her, rumors circulated that she had some Indian or Portuguese ancestry—and some suggested that her blood ran a few shades darker. Perhaps because she feared the rumors would one day bring trouble, Susie refused Frank’s marriage proposal. But her suitor persisted and won her over. The couple married in January 1904 at the home of a justice of the peace on the Wake County side.

By April of the following year, the couple had a daughter, and Frank had become a drunk. He beat his wife, stopped providing for her and their baby, and in early 1907 abandoned them entirely. Soon after, he hired a lawyer and filed a complaint alleging that he had unwittingly married a black woman…

…During the South Carolina Constitutional Convention in 1895, Congressman George Dionysus Tillman, older brother of the notorious segregationist politician “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman, argued strenuously against a proposal to prohibit marriage between whites and people who had “any” African ancestry. Tillman said that the provision would affect “at least 100” families in his district that had sent their boys to fight for the Confederacy—and that no delegate on the floor could claim to be a “full-blooded Caucasian.” The convention adopted a one-eighth rule. Such actions prompted Charles Chesnutt to muse, “I could almost write a book about these laws, their variations, their applications and curious stories that one hears continually concerning them.” The color line is palpably present in many of the short stories that he published in The Atlantic Monthly at the turn of the century. And a character in one of Chesnutt’s novels became white simply by moving to a state with a more forgiving definition…

Read the entire article here.

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Crossing the Color Line: Racial Migration and the One-Drop Rule, 1600–1860

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing, Politics/Public Policy, Slavery, Social Science, United States on 2010-04-13 02:15Z by Steven

Crossing the Color Line: Racial Migration and the One-Drop Rule, 1600–1860

Minnesota Law Review
Volume 91, Number 3 (February 2007)
pages 592-656

Daniel J. Sharfstein, Professor of Law
Vanderbilt University

“It ain’t no lie, it’s a natural fact, / You could have been colored without being so black…”
—Sung by deck hands, Auburn, Alabama, 1915–161

“They are our enemies; we marry them.”
—African Proverb

In 1819 a Scotsman named James Flint crossed the Atlantic Ocean, made his way from New York to Pittsburgh, sailed down the Ohio, and settled for eighteen months in Jeffersonville, Indiana, just opposite Louisville, Kentucky. His letters home described everything from native trees and shrubs to the “taciturnity” of American speech, “adapted to business more than to intellectual enjoyment.” Soon after arriving in Jeffersonville, Flint recounted the time when a “negro man and a white woman came before the squire of a neighbouring township, for the purpose of being married.” The official refused, citing a prohibition on “all sexual intercourse between white and coloured people, under a penalty for each offence.” Then he thought the better of it. He “suggested, that if the woman could be qualified to swear that there was black blood in her, the law would not apply. The hint was taken,” Flint wrote, “and the lancet was immediately applied to the Negro’s arm. The loving bride drank the blood, made the necessary oath, and his honour joined their hands, to the great satisfaction of all parties.”…

Ideologies of racial purity and pollution are as old as America, and so is interracial mixing. Yet the one-drop rule did not, as many have suggested, make all mixed-race people black. From the beginning, African Americans assimilated into white communities across the South. Often, becoming white did not require the deception normally associated with racial “passing”; whites knew that certain people were different and let them cross the color line anyway. These communities were not islands of racial tolerance. They could be as committed to slavery, segregation, and white supremacy as anywhere else, and so could their newest members—it was one of the things that made them white. The history of the color line is one in which people have lived quite comfortably with contradiction.

This continual process of “racial migration” upends some of the most basic assumptions about race in the United States. When Southern colonies, and later states, restricted the civil rights and livelihoods of African Americans, such measures did not simply widen the gap between white and black. Rather, these obstacles to life and liberty pushed people across the color line into whiteness. At the same time, courts and communities made it increasingly difficult to reclassify people as black after they had been living as white. With an exponentially increasing number of people who were vulnerable to reclassification, the stability of Southern communities depended on what was in essence a massive grandfathering of white people with African ancestry. This racial amnesty was accomplished through court decisions that discouraged overzealous policing of the color line; through scientific theories and popular beliefs that African ancestry would always be visible on people’s bodies; and most importantly, through small-town Southern traditions of acceptance, secrecy, and denial.

This Article reconstructs the meaning and purpose of the one-drop rule, setting it within a larger history of racial migration. Most legal scholars casually describe the rule as the American regime of race without considering its history. Other scholars have attempted to trace the rule’s origin to the emergence of the cotton economy in the 1830s, the sectional crisis of the 1850s, or Reconstruction. Still others emphasize that most Southern state legislatures did not formally adopt one-drop racial definitions until the 1910s and 1920s.  Like an aging movie star, the rule depends on soft focus to maintain its allure. Amid the vagaries of origin, few suggest anything but that people followed the one-drop rule, as they would any other bright-line rule. But the reality of racial migration reveals that the one-drop rule did not keep whites racially pure; rather, it enabled them to believe that they were.

The Article proceeds in two parts. Part I examines the one drop rule in colonial North America and the early American republic.  Theories of innate racial difference transmitted through “blood” existed well before Jamestown, leading influential scholars to interpret almost reflexively early laws defining race and slave status to be synonymous with the one-drop rule. But the rhetoric of purity was always undermined by the realities of European, African, and Native American mixture and of a permeable color line. To the extent that legislators and judges showed confidence in the salience of race, the assumption of an impassable racial divide actually made it easier for some people of African descent to become white.

Southern courts and communities did not strictly define the color line because there was little reason to go beyond slavery’s proxy of racial boundaries, and an inflexible racial regime only threatened to interfere with the smooth functioning of a slave society. The one-drop rule’s transformation from ideological current to legal bright line and presumed social reality is in essence a story of freedom. Part II examines the thirty years preceding the Civil War. The prospect of freedom for people of African descent hastened the one-drop rule’s rise as whites attempted to preserve social hierarchies and property relations in the absence of slavery. While legal scholars identify this period as a time when tightening definitions fixed the status of mixedrace people as black, I contend that rather than establish or enforce a one-drop rule, efforts to tighten the color line pushed many mixed-race people into whiteness, sometimes with the full knowledge of their communities and often in spite of court rulings or publicity. Even as this racial migration continued, however, the rule’s growing ideological prevalence in the free North would presage its eventual codification in the South after slavery’s demise. During this period of ascendancy, the rule’s ostensible opponents played an important part in propagating it. Abolitionists seldom questioned white racial purity, instead relying on the one-drop rule as a symbol of Southern cruelty and of the threats that slavery posed to Northern whites. One might argue that today’s legal scholars depend on the rule in much the same way….

The practical consequences of this history lie in the fact that every area of the law that engages with race has a foundation in the one-drop rule. The rule acts as a metric for defining group membership, allocating race-based entitlements, awarding child custody, determining the existence of discrimination and monitoring the progress of remedial measures, and theorizing racial and other group identities. If the one-drop rule functioned differently from what its unambiguous terms suggest—if, as I argue, it expressed only a superficial commitment to racial purity, all the while fostering racial migration—then we have to rethink what race means. The magnitude of racial migration is beginning to emerge through the field of population genetics, with scientists estimating that millions of Americans who identify as white have African ancestors within recent historic memory. As people identifying as white begin to claim minority status in college admissions and employment settings, African “blood” is losing its ability to define race, determine civil rights violations, and fashion remedies. The already formidable tasks of measuring disparate racial impact or minority vote dilution risk becoming impossible when group boundaries blur.

Although the history of racial migration and the one-drop rule appears to threaten civil rights policies, ultimately it may strengthen them by forcing definitions of minority status to shift from blood to a shared history of discrimination. “African blood” is not unique to blacks. Centuries of racial migration reveal that more than anything, what fixed African Americans as a discrete group was the fact that they were discriminated against. In 1940 W. E.  B. Du Bois wrote, “I recognize [black] quite easily and with full legal sanction; the black man is a person who must ride ‘Jim Crow’ in Georgia.” Many people of African descent could and did avoid racial oppression by becoming white. When we regard the legal category of “African American” through the lens of a shared history of discrimination, the tidy parallel that “color-blind constitutionalism” draws between race-based discrimination and remediation falters. While discrimination against African Americans was premised on innate blood-borne inferiority and the preservation of racial purity, measures designed to benefit them are much more inherently remedial than many, including the Supreme Court, have been willing to suppose. Remedial measures acknowledge a specific history, not blood.

Today we inhabit a legal regime that is the accretion of centuries of myth and amnesia. Unexamined and unchallenged, the one-drop rule remains a fixture of the civil rights landscape. The rule’s stark language carries the appearance of unassailable authority. Its sheer inhumanity has made it an easy foil for people committed to uprooting racism, so there has been little reason to examine its history. But assuming the rule’s efficacy has only continued to spread the idea of white racial purity without undermining it. Just beyond the one-drop rule’s rhetoric is a reality of mixture and migration. It is hidden in plain sight…

Read the entire article here.

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“They Call It Marriage”: the Louisiana Interracial Family and the Making of American Legitimacy

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Law, Louisiana, Monographs, Religion, Slavery, Social Science, United States on 2010-03-25 03:22Z by Steven

“They Call It Marriage”: the Louisiana Interracial Family and the Making of American Legitimacy

Book Manuscript In Progress

Diana Irene Williams, Assistant Professor of History, Law and Gender Studies
University of Southern California

Winner of the 2008 William Nelson Cromwell Dissertation Prize in Legal History.

“They Call it Marriage” examines interracial marriage between black women and white men in nineteenth-century Louisiana. It explores how broad political and social struggles affected the ways white men and black women related to each other. And it considers why mid-nineteenth-century Louisiana was such an important setting for national struggles over race, gender, legitimacy, and power.

After the Civil War, Louisiana authorities repealed the interracial marriage prohibition and permitted retroactive legitimation of “private religious” marriages. In doing so, they exposed an obscure past in which many had refused to submit to the law as authoritatively given. Some people laid claim to the language of legitimate matrimony in defiance of state law, demanding justice on their own terms and with a keen awareness of competing regional, religious, and civil jurisdictions. In highlighting the perspective of those outside the legal profession, I focus on law as a terrain of struggle rather than a fixed set of rules.

The use of interracial marriage laws to regulate the inheritance of both property and social status dated back to Louisiana’s earliest French colonial government. Mandating that mixed-race children inherit the status of their (black) mother only, these regulations established the parameters of enslaved and racialized populations. Because legal kinship affected titles to household property in Louisiana, these laws encouraged distant kin and creditors to monitor interracial families’ internal affairs…

…The disputed illegitimate past of Louisiana interracial families had significance beyond the state’s borders. This manuscript traces the rhetoric of interracial genealogy and racial indeterminacy in antecedents of Plessy v. Ferguson. Louisiana authorities’ persistence in invoking racial fluidity well into the 1890s complicates historians’ efforts to locate a transition point at which the region exchanged a fluid Latin racial system for a strictly binary American one. In this regard, “They Call it Marriage” explores the gendered history of private life in order to offer a means of reconsidering the nature of Jim Crow segregation.


1. Licensing Marriage in Early Louisiana
2. “Religion Law” vs. Civil Law
3. Quadroon Balls, Plaçage, and Consensus Narratives
4. Concubinage and Legal Narratives
5. Forced Heirs and Family Drama
6. Interracial Marriage and the Law in Post-emancipation Louisiana
7. “Bastards Begat by their Masters”

Read the entire description here.

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Entangling Alliances: Foreign War Brides and American Soldiers in the Twentieth Century

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2010-03-15 17:09Z by Steven

Entangling Alliances: Foreign War Brides and American Soldiers in the Twentieth Century

New York University Press
320 pages, 8 illustrations
ISBN: 9780814797174

Susan Zeiger

Throughout the twentieth century, American male soldiers returned home from wars with foreign-born wives in tow, often from allied but at times from enemy nations, resulting in a new, official category of immigrant: the “allied” war bride. These brides began to appear en masse after World War I, peaked after World War II, and persisted through the Korean and Vietnam Wars. GIs also met and married former “enemy” women under conditions of postwar occupation, although at times the US government banned such unions.

In this comprehensive, complex history of war brides in 20th-century American history, Susan Zeiger uses relationships between American male soldiers and foreign women as a lens to view larger issues of sexuality, race, and gender in United States foreign relations. Entangling Alliances draws on a rich array of sources to trace how war and postwar anxieties about power and national identity have long been projected onto war brides, and how these anxieties translate into public policies, particularly immigration.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. “Cupid in the AEF”: U.S. Soldiers and Women abroad in World War I
  • 2. “The Worst Kind of Women”: Foreign War Brides in 1920s America
  • 3. GIs and Girls around the Globe: The Geopolitics of Sex and Marriage in World War II
  • 4. “Good Mothers”: GI Brides after World War II
  • 5. Interracialism, Pluralism, and Civil Rights: War Bride Marriage in the 1940s and 1950s
  • 6. The Demise of the War Bride: Korea, Vietnam, and Beyond
  • Notes
  • Index
  • About the Author

…One of the most important factors in the structuring of soldier marriage has been race. The state’s repression and condemnation of interracial relationships was a feature of war bride marriage for much of the century. In World War I, for instance, U.S. military and civilian authorities took a paternalistic stance toward white soldiers, determined to “protect” them from sexually promiscuous foreign women. But this attitude was reversed in the case of “colored troops,” as military officials warned allies of the sexual danger that African American servicemen allegedly posed to the white women of other nations. By World War II, racial ideology in the United States had begun to face resistance by activists of color and their white allies, who challenged racial segregation in the military and at home, as well as “oriental exclusion” in immigration policy. Yet despite the state of flux in race relations in the 1940s and 1950s, the U.S. government, with the urging of the armed services, maintained its segregationist policies in soldier marriage.  These included initially excluding Asian women from the GI Brides Act and denying the marriage requests of black and white interracial couples on the grounds that “miscegenous unions” were illegal in many U.S. states. Deeply held views about racial inferiors and superiors continued to underlie American military engagement in the Cold War. The legacy of biracial relationships in the Vietnam War, as it involved Vietnamese women, American men, and their “Amerasian” children, is one further indication of the centrality of race in analyzing gender relationships in wartime and postwar periods…

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Legislating Women’s Sexuality: Cherokee Marriage Laws in the Nineteenth Century

Posted in Articles, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Social Science, United States, Women on 2010-02-09 17:42Z by Steven

Legislating Women’s Sexuality: Cherokee Marriage Laws in the Nineteenth Century

Journal of Social History
Volume 38, Number 2, Winter 2004
E-ISSN: 1527-1897 Print ISSN: 0022-4529
DOI: 10.1353/jsh.2004.0144

Fay A. Yarbrough, Associate Professor of History
University of Oklahoma

During the first half of the nineteenth century, the Cherokee Nation passed many laws to regulate marriage and sex. This essay first contemplates the gendered aspects of such laws by exploring the importance of Cherokee women’s marital choices and official response to those choices. In particular, Cherokee women’s choice of non-Cherokee marital partners, most frequently whites, and the concomitant introduction of outsiders into the Nation forced the Cherokee legislative branch to reformulate Cherokee women’s relationship to the production of new citizens in the Nation. Then the essay turns more explicitly to the laws’ racial implications and examines who could marry in the Cherokee Nation and why by first examining Cherokee laws regulating marriage with people of African descent. Cherokees increasingly excluded people of African descent from membership in the Nation through legislation prohibiting legal marriage between Cherokees and people of African descent. Lastly, this essay considers Cherokee legislative provisions to include whites as marriage partners and citizens in the Cherokee Nation. Ultimately, this essay finds that Cherokee officials were redefining Cherokee Indians racially and used marriage laws to write and reinforce this new definition.

Read or purchase the article here.

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What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America (Review)

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Law, New Media, United States on 2010-02-06 02:01Z by Steven

What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America (Review)

Law and Politics Book Review
American Political Science Association
pp. 218-220

Mark Kessler, Chair of the Department of History & Government and Professor of Government
Texas Woman’s Univeristy

What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America. By Peggy Pascoe. (New York and London: Oxford University Press, 2009. 404 pages. Cloth ISBN13: 9780195094633, ISBN10: 0195094638)

In this highly original and important book, Peggy Pascoe describes and analyzes three centuries of laws in the United States prohibiting interracial marriages and sexual relations. In perhaps the most comprehensive and systematic study of legal marriage and sex prohibitions to date, Pascoe argues that these laws were central ideological tools used in constituting and reproducing white supremacy in the United States. Placing her study in its broadest context, she argues that examining the rise and decline of these laws “provides a locus for studying the history of race in America” (p.2). Pascoe’s study demonstrates how historical research, combined with critical cultural theory and analysis, may shed new light on significant questions regarding the power of law and legal interpretation in constructing and reconstructing social reality.

Throughout this work, the writing is admirably accessible, while the analyses and arguments are deeply nuanced. Pascoe begins many of the eleven chapters with stories describing the people and circumstances involved in miscegenation cases throughout history. These stories are carefully selected to show the great variation in characteristics of participants, laws, and regions of the country in which the cases arose, and to help address the broader questions of nation-building and nation-formation that emerge from this study. Pascoe uses these very human stories, along with landmark appellate court decisions and local legal practices, to explore the many and varied ways in which social and political relations based on race, gender, and sexuality illuminate the rise and fall of miscegenation law in the United States.

Pascoe’s narrative begins in the Reconstruction era, when the term “miscegenation” was first invented and applied to interracial marriage and sex. Her discussion focuses on the ways in which judges, legislators, and lawyers employed notions of what is “natural” and “unnatural” in conventional cultural discourses about sex, gender, and sexuality to create and apply laws prohibiting interracial marriage and sex. Such laws emerged first in the South and North and typically applied exclusively to relations between those categorized racially as “white” and as “black.”…

Read the entire review here.

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Tiger Woods Is Not the End of History: or, Why Sex across the Color Line Won’t Save Us All

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2010-02-02 19:08Z by Steven

Tiger Woods Is Not the End of History: or, Why Sex across the Color Line Won’t Save Us All

The American Historical Review
Volume 108, Number 5
December 2003

Henry Yu, Professor of History
University of California, Los Angeles

In December 1996, several months after Tiger Woods left Stanford University to become a professional golfer, a Sports Illustrated story entitled “The Chosen One” quoted Tiger’s father, Earl, claiming that his son was “qualified through his ethnicity” to “do more than any other man in history to change the course of humanity.” Tiger’s mother, Kultida, agreed, asserting that, because Tiger had “Thai, African, Chinese, American Indian and European blood,” he could “hold everyone together. He is the Universal Child.” The story’s author concluded that, “when we swallow Tiger Woods, the yellow-black-red-white man, we swallow … hope in the American experiment, in the pell-mell jumbling of genes. We swallow the belief that the face of the future is not necessarily a bitter or bewildered face; that it might even, one day, be something like Tiger Woods’ face.” Building on the interest in Tiger Woods, stories about mixed-race children and intermarriage proliferated. In January 2000, both Newsweek and Time opened the millennium with cover art speculating on the multi-racial faces of America’s future. 

The celebration of Tiger Woods’ mixed descent and his widespread popularity would seem to support David Hollinger‘s argument that the history of the United States has been a successful (albeit episodic) history of “amalgamation” overcoming group differences. With Woods as a prominent example, we might even be “crazy enough to believe” the idea that eventually “racism can be ended by wholesale intermarriage,” as Hollinger hints in his concluding paragraph.  However, I would argue that focusing on “intermarriage” and “race-mixing” should bring us to a different conclusion about U.S. history, and Woods might serve as a useful prism for separating out some other important aspects of the encounter of the United States with Asia and the Pacific…

Read the entire article here.

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Africans in Colonial Mexico: Absolutism, Christianity, and Afro-Creole Consciousness, 1570-1640

Posted in Africa, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Law, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs, Religion on 2010-02-01 01:14Z by Steven

Africans in Colonial Mexico: Absolutism, Christianity, and Afro-Creole Consciousness, 1570-1640

Indiana University Press
288 pages
1 bibliog., 1 index, 6.125 x 9.25
Paper ISBN-13: 978-0-253-21775-2; ISBN: 0-253-21775-X

Herman L. Bennett, Professor of Latin American History
City Univerisity of New York

The African community in colonial Mexico under Spanish and Catholic rule.

In this study of the largest population of free and slave Africans in the New World, Herman L. Bennett has uncovered much new information about the lives of slave and free blacks, the ways that their lives were regulated by the government and the Church, the impact upon them of the Inquisition, their legal status in marriage, and their rights and obligations as Christian subjects.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Africans, Absolutism, and Archives
1. Soiled Gods and the Formation of a Slave Society
2. “The Grand Remedy”: Africans and Christian Conjugality
3. Policing Christians: Persons of African Descent before the Inquisition and Ecclesiastical Courts
4. Christian matrimony and the Boundaries of African Self-Fashioning
5. Between Property and Person: Jurisdictional Conflicts over Marriage
6. Creoles and Christian Narratives
Selected Bibliography

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