Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Africans to Spanish AmericaExpanding the Diaspora$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 13 August 2020

Tensions of Race, Gender, and Midwifery in Colonial Cuba

Tensions of Race, Gender, and Midwifery in Colonial Cuba

Chapter:
(p.186) 8 Tensions of Race, Gender, and Midwifery in Colonial Cuba
Source:
Africans to Spanish America
Author(s):

Michele Reid-Vazquez

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252036637.003.0008

This chapter examines representations of honor, gender, race, and labor in colonial Cuba through the lens of midwifery. More specifically, it considers how free women of African descent used occupational choice as a marker of identity and honor despite the limits of race and gender within Cuba's slave society. Using the tensions surrounding local and international debates over parteras (midwives) in the nineteenth century, the chapter looks at the ways that free women of color resisted the efforts of the colonial state to diminish their participation in midwifery. It also discusses the professionalization in medicine in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and its impact on midwifery in Cuba, along with the colonial state's attempts to regulate midwives. Finally, it considers how free black and mulatto women appropriated elite discourses of honor and created a labor niche that challenged established socioracial codes of conduct. It shows that medical professionalization, feminine ideals, honor, occupational whitening, and racial denigration converged to shape the social and economic parameters for free women of African descent in colonial Cuba.

Keywords:   honor, gender, race, colonial Cuba, midwifery, parteras, free women of color, slave society, whitening, midwives

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.