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Faculty Book: Herman L. Bennett

Herman L. Bennett

Colonial Blackness: A History of Afro-Mexico
(Indiana University Press, 2009)

This work on Afro-Mexican and Spanish-American history examines neglected Mexican archival church records dealing with marriages and religious transgressions. The author focuses on the years 1622–1788, in the process covering a period when New Spain was home to the largest collection of individuals of African descent in the New World. Instead of a weak, individualistic society dealing with the so-called “social death” caused by slavery, Bennett tells of an urban community where freedmen were in the majority. He describes personal and family dramas, political issues, and disputes between families. By focusing on phenomena related to peoples of African descent in Mexico, rather than providing a conventional history that interweaves the slavery-to-freedom narrative, Colonial Blackness presents the colonial drama in all its untidy detail. Herman Bennett (Prof., GC) serves on the doctoral faculty in history.

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Submitted on: JUN 15, 2009

Category: Faculty Books, History