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Africans to Spanish AmericaExpanding the Diaspora$
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Sherwin K. Bryant and Rachel Sarah O'Toole

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036637

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036637.001.0001

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African Diasporic Ethnicity in Mexico City to 1650

African Diasporic Ethnicity in Mexico City to 1650

Chapter:
(p.50) 2 African Diasporic Ethnicity in Mexico City to 1650
Source:
Africans to Spanish America
Author(s):

Frank “Trey” Proctor

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252036637.003.0002

This chapter examines the intersections of race, ethnicity, and slavery in Spanish America and the African Diaspora by focusing on the development of African Diasporic ethnicity in Mexico City to 1650. Drawing on marriage records from early seventeenth-century Mexico City, it considers how Africans constructed multiple new ethnic and community identities in Spanish America. Through an analysis of selection patterns of testigos (wedding witnesses) alongside marriage choice, the chapter highlights the networks of social relations formed by slaves. It shows that ethnic Africans tended to marry and form communities of association with Africans from the same general catchment areas. It argues that the foundations of the ethnic communities under formation were not intact African ethnicities, pan-African identities, or race-based identities. Rather, slave marriages in Mexico City point to the creation of African diasporic ethnicities that were spontaneously articulated in the Diaspora. Africans formed new ethnic identities based upon Old World backgrounds and commonalities while in Diaspora.

Keywords:   slavery, African Diaspora, Mexico City, marriage, Africans, community identities, testigos, slaves, ethnic communities, African diasporic ethnicity

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