Africans in Colonial Mexico

Africans in Colonial Mexico

Absolutism, Christianity, and Afro-Creole Consciousness, 1570-1640
Bennett, Herman L.
Distribution: World
Publication date: 02/23/2005
Format: Paperback 1 bibliog., 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-21775-2
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This book charts new directions in thinking about the construction of new world identities.... Bennett does a masterful job." —Judith A. Byfield, Dartmouth

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.

Author Bio

Herman L. Bennett is Associate Professor of History at The Graduate Center, CUNY.


..Bennett’s book represents a significant contribution to the scholarship on the African experience in colonial Mexico and to our understanding of the interface between the public domain of church and state and the private one of personal lives.. . . a remarkable feat in reconstituting the lives of New Spain’s early African population . . . and in offering a new vantage point from which to study this important component of the African Diaspora.

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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