Danielle Terrazas Williams (Leeds): Who Dared to Question the Word of a Priest?: Free Black Women and Social Capital in Seventeenth-Century Mexico
|Dates:||4 May 2022|
|Times:||17:00 - 17:00|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Arts, Languages and Cultures|
|Speaker:||Danielle Terrazas Williams|
Part of the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies research seminar series 2021/22.
This event will take place in Sam Alex_SG.16 but can be followed via Zoom. Here is the link: https://zoom.us/j/94462492930
This talk is based on Terrazas Williams' book The Capital of Free Women: Race, Legitimacy, and Liberty in Colonial Mexico. The monograph illuminates the as yet known history of free African-descended women with wealth in the seventeenth century. With the unification of the Spanish and Portuguese Crowns in 1580, Spain eagerly exploited Portugal’s well-established networks in West and West Central Africa to enslave and forcibly transport hundreds of thousands of people to its Caribbean and American colonies. By the mid-seventeenth century, Mexico was home to more than 150,000 people of African descent, representing the second largest population of African-descended people in the western hemisphere (second only to Brazil). Often only one generation removed from slavery, free African-descended women owned businesses and land, served as influential matriarchs, managed intergenerational wealth, and even owned slaves of African descent. I posit that the same regional “openness” that fostered their ascent throughout the seventeenth century eventually led to their financial (and therefore archival) marginalization by the second half of the eighteenth century. Grounded by sources from the archives of Mexico, Spain, the United States, and Italy, this book takes interest in how Iberian institutions imagined marginalized people and how race and gender influenced the ways in which people navigated the circumscribing forces of imperial demands and religious expectations.
Danielle Terrazas Williams
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