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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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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

African Diasporic Ethnicity in Mexico City to 1650

African Diasporic Ethnicity in Mexico City to 1650

(p.50) 2 African Diasporic Ethnicity in Mexico City to 1650
Africans to Spanish America

Frank “Trey” Proctor

University of Illinois Press

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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