Alex Borucki, From Shipmates to Soldiers: Emerging Black Identities in the Río de La Plata. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2015.
via University of New Mexico Press:
via University of New Mexico Press:
via University of Illinois Press:
In “Between Latin America and the African Diaspora?” Greg Childs discusses researching Latin America’s black history and the conflicts that can arise:
Perhaps because I was indeed sitting right beside him the man did not see me. Or maybe he saw me but genuinely had no clue what kind of work I did or what to make of it or how to understand the way he had heard my work described. After all, I had in fact been introduced to the committee at the previous meeting as the new guy and as a specialist in African Diaspora and Brazilian history. Whatever the reason was that he did not see me, so to speak, it was merely a re-incarnation of a scene that had become quite familiar, that had happened many times before in prior years and that was essentially informed by a singular confusion: was I a scholar of black studies or a scholar of Latin America? Or perhaps even more generally, was I a historian of a subset of people who could be located anywhere or a historian of a “legitimate” region (and indeed a few days later the same individual approached me and apologized by saying “I’m sorry. I just thought you studied black people out there, you know, in lots of places”)?
For all the academic and mainstream recognition of black folk in Latin America over the past few years, such encounters are disheartening reminders that inclusion does not signal transformation. But lamenting how blackness is included but not viewed as central or characteristic of Latin American history is less interesting than asking why this continues to occur, and for me the answer seems to cohere around two issues: the power that “institutional history” has had in shaping questions about subjugated peoples in Latin America, and relatedly the enduring influence that theories concerned with structures and institutions of history have had in Latin American scholarship….
Read the rest Between Latin America and the African Diaspora? at AAIHS
Sexual exploitation was and is a critical feature of enslavement. Across many different societies, slaves were considered to own neither their bodies nor their children, even if many struggled to resist. At the same time, paradoxes abound: for example, in some societies to bear the children of a master was a potential route to manumission for some women. Sex, Power, and Slavery is the first history of slavery and bondage to take sexuality seriously.
Twenty-six authors from diverse scholarly backgrounds look at the vexed, traumatic intersections of the histories of slavery and of sexuality. They argue that such intersections mattered profoundly and, indeed, that slavery cannot be understood without adequate attention to sexuality. Sex, Power, and Slavery brings into conversation historians of the slave trade, art historians, and scholars of childhood and contemporary sex trafficking. The book merges work on the Atlantic world and the Indian Ocean world and enables rich comparisons and parallels between these diverse areas.
David Eltis, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of History at Emory University, on the making of the Transatlantic Slave Trade database, a landmark collaborative digital project he has co-edited for two decades. Eltis discusses the research process, online dissemination, and new directions for the initiative. This is the second part of a two-part series recorded at the Atlantic Slave Biographies Database Conference at Michigan State University in November 2013.
via the website:
“Race and Nation in the Age of Emancipations: A Symposium on the Atlantic World” seeks to explore the complicated relationship of race, citizenship, and national identity during the tumultuous long nineteenth century. By examining this connection in particular contexts within a broad Atlantic perspective, this symposium will contribute to a better understand of if, how, and why enslaved and free blacks throughout the Americas came to understand themselves as citizens of a particular nation (or possibly multiple nations) during the era of emancipation. Along with several panels focusing on varying aspects of this topic, the symposium will also feature a roundtable on the Atlantic World as a field, analytical concept, and pedagogical tool. Race and Nation is set to take place in Houston, Texas, on Rice University’s campus from February 21-22, 2014. The symposium is made possible thanks to generous funding from Rice University’s School of Humanities, the Department of History, the Humanities Research Center, the Program for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Culture, and the Graduate Student Association.
The conference hashtag is #raceandnation.
For more and full conference schedule: Race and Nation in the Age of Emancipations | A Symposium on the Atlantic World #RaceAndNation
Articles of interest in the May 2013 Hispanic American Historical Review.
Alex Borucki, “Shipmate Networks and Black Identities in the Marriage Files of Montevideo, 1768–1803.” Hispanic American Historical Review 93, no. 2 (May 1, 2013): 205–238.
The experience of enslaved Africans in the Atlantic crossing redefined the meanings of the nomenclature emerging from the slave trade. Under violent conditions, captives developed networks with shipmates on board slave vessels. These ties survived for decades if shipmates stayed together in the same region, as they did in Montevideo. Shipmate ties represented a living connection for Africans not only with their experience in the Atlantic crossing but also with their homelands. Shipmates provided support to their fellows when they needed trusted associates, as the marriage files of Montevideo clearly demonstrate. Enslaved Africans commonly asked fellow shipmates to testify about their past when marrying into the Catholic Church. Marriage files contain data on the routes Africans took across the Atlantic and the Americas. They indicate the origins of the groom, bride, and witnesses, their shared itineraries, and how these itineraries changed over time. Thus they reveal patterns of geographical mobility and networks created by common experiences. Marriage files can be easily quantified, which allows us to track historical trends. At the same time, each file offers a unique story. A close reading of these stories contextualizes the experiences of slaves in the Catholic Americas and underscores common patterns in ways that lie beyond quantification.
Paul Lokken, “From the ‘Kingdoms of Angola’ to Santiago de Guatemala: The Portuguese Asientos and Spanish Central America, 1595–1640.” Hispanic American Historical Review 93, no. 2 (May 1, 2013): 171–203.
The evidence presented in this article establishes the era of the major Portuguese asientos (1595–1640) as a key moment in the history of African migration to Spanish Central America. Between 1607 and 1628 alone, Portuguese slave traders made at least 15 voyages from Angola to the Caribbean coast of Central America, landing in most cases “by accident” at the Honduran port of Trujillo while allegedly en route to Veracruz. Many of the West Central Africans carried on these voyages were subsequently marched inland by the same Portuguese merchants to be sold in Santiago de Guatemala, capital of the Audiencia of Guatemala. Their final destinations were often rural properties located in or near the Pacific lowlands of modern-day Guatemala and El Salvador, where the largest sugar and indigo plantations counted dozens of Angolans among their enslaved workers. A decided majority of these involuntary migrants were young men, most no doubt having departed from Luanda following misfortune in the wars that, with a good deal of Portuguese encouragement, wracked their homelands after 1575. Their migration experiences testify to a significant shift in the point of origin of Africans brought to Central America away from Senegambia and neighboring regions of West Africa, birthplace of the majority of Africans transported to Central America prior to 1595. The later-arriving and larger West Central African workforce played a more important role than heretofore understood in satisfying the demands for labor that arose in the early seventeenth century as commercial agriculture briefly boomed amid persistent indigenous population decline.