The Politics of Race in Panama: Afro-Hispanic and West Indian Literary Discourses of Contention

Posted in Anthropology, Books, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs on 2014-05-29 02:52Z by Steven

The Politics of Race in Panama: Afro-Hispanic and West Indian Literary Discourses of Contention

University Press of Florida
200 pages
6 x 9
Cloth ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-4986-1

Sonja Stephenson Watson, Associate Professor of Spanish
University of Texas, Arlington

This volume tells the story of two cultural groups: Afro-Hispanics, whose ancestors came to Panama as African slaves, and West Indians from the English-speaking countries of Jamaica and Barbados who arrived during the mid-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries to build the railroad and the Panama Canal.

While Afro-Hispanics assimilated after centuries of mestizaje (race mixing) and now identify with their Spanish heritage, West Indians hold to their British Caribbean roots and identify more closely with Africa and the Caribbean.

By examining the writing of black Panamanian authors, Sonja Watson highlights how race is defined, contested, and inscribed in Panama. She discusses the cultural, racial, and national tensions that prevent these two groups from forging a shared Afro-Panamanian identity, ultimately revealing why ethnically diverse Afro-descendant populations continue to struggle to create racial unity in nations across Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Yo Soy Negro: Blackness in Peru

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2013-07-19 04:21Z by Steven

Yo Soy Negro: Blackness in Peru

University Press of Florida
246 pages
Cloth ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-3574-1
Paper ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-4449-1

Tanya Maria Golash-Boza, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of California, Merced

Yo Soy Negro is the first book in English—in fact, the first book in any language in more than two decades—to address what it means to be black in Peru. Based on extensive ethnographic work in the country and informed by more than eighty interviews with Peruvians of African descent, this groundbreaking study explains how ideas of race, color, and mestizaje in Peru differ greatly from those held in other Latin American nations.

The conclusion that Tanya Maria Golash-Boza draws from her rigorous inquiry is that Peruvians of African descent give meaning to blackness without always referencing Africa, slavery, or black cultural forms. This represents a significant counterpoint to diaspora scholarship that points to the importance of slavery in defining blackness in Latin America as well as studies that place cultural and class differences at the center of racial discourses in the region.

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The Life and Times of Mary Musgrove

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Religion, United States, Women on 2013-07-17 03:31Z by Steven

The Life and Times of Mary Musgrove

University Press of Florida
296 pages
6 x 9
Cloth ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-4221-3

Steven C. Hahn, Associate Professor of History
St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota

One of the most recognizable names of the colonial Deep South

The story of Mary Musgrove (1700-1764), a Creek Indian-English woman struggling for success in colonial society, is an improbable one.

As a literate Christian, entrepreneur, and wife of an Anglican clergyman, Mary was one of a small number of “mixed blood” Indians to achieve a position of prominence among English colonists. Born to a Creek mother and an English father, Mary’s bicultural heritage prepared her for an eventful adulthood spent in the rough and tumble world of Colonial Georgia Indian affairs.

Active in diplomacy, trade, and politics—affairs typically dominated by men—Mary worked as an interpreter between the Creek Indians and the colonists–although some argue that she did so for her own gains, altering translations to sway transactions in her favor. Widowed twice in the prime of her life, Mary and her successive husbands claimed vast tracts of land in Georgia (illegally, as British officials would have it) by virtue of her Indian heritage, thereby souring her relationship with the colony’s governing officials and severely straining the colony’s relationship with the Creek Indians.

Using Mary’s life as a narrative thread, Steven Hahn explores the connected histories of the Creek Indians and the colonies of South Carolina and Georgia. He demonstrates how the fluidity of race and gender relations on the southern frontier eventually succumbed to more rigid hierarchies that supported the region’s emerging plantation system.

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Picturing Black New Orleans: A Creole Photographer’s View of the Early Twentieth Century

Posted in Arts, Biography, Books, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, United States, Women on 2013-03-21 21:30Z by Steven

Picturing Black New Orleans: A Creole Photographer’s View of the Early Twentieth Century

University Press of Florida
152 pages
Cloth ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-4187-2

Arthé A. Anthony, Professor of American Studies, Emeritus
Occidental College, Los Angeles, California

Florestine Perrault Collins (1895-1988) lived a fascinating and singular life. She came from a Creole family that had known privileges before the Civil War, privileges that largely disappeared in the Jim Crow South. She learned photographic techniques while passing for white. She opened her first studio in her home, and later moved her business to New Orleans’s black business district. Fiercely independent, she ignored convention by moving out of her parents’ house before marriage and, later, by divorcing her first husband.

Between 1920 and 1949, Collins documented African American life, capturing images of graduations, communions, and recitals, and allowing her subjects to help craft their images. She supported herself and her family throughout the Great Depression and in the process created an enduring pictorial record of her particular time and place. Collins left behind a visual legacy that taps into the social and cultural history of New Orleans and the South.

It is this legacy that Arthé Anthony, Collins’s great-niece, explores in Picturing Black New Orleans. Anthony blends Collins’s story with those of the individuals she photographed, documenting the profound changes in the lives of Louisiana Creoles and African Americans. Balancing art, social theory, and history and drawing from family records, oral histories, and photographs rescued from New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Anthony gives us a rich look at the cultural landscape of New Orleans nearly a century ago.

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The Black Seminoles: History of a Freedom-Seeking People

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2012-05-22 02:11Z by Steven

The Black Seminoles: History of a Freedom-Seeking People

University Press of Florida
352 pages
6 x 9
Cloth ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-1451-7

Kenneth W. Porter, Professor of History Emeritus
University of Oregon

Edited by:

Alcione M. Amos, Librarian

Thomas P. Senter, M.D.

This story of a remarkable people, the Black Seminoles, and their charismatic leader, Chief John Horse, chronicles their heroic struggle for freedom.

Beginning with the early 1800s, small groups of fugitive slaves living in Florida joined the Seminole Indians (an association that thrived for decades on reciprocal respect and affection). Kenneth Porter traces their fortunes and exploits as they moved across the country and attempted to live first beyond the law, then as loyal servants of it.

He examines the Black Seminole role in the bloody Second Seminole War, when John Horse and his men distinguished themselves as fierce warriors, and their forced removal to the Oklahoma Indian Territory in the 1840s, where John’s leadership ability emerged.

The account includes the Black Seminole exodus in the 1850s to Mexico, their service as border troops for the Mexican government, and their return to Texas in the 1870s, where many of the men scouted for the U.S. Army. Members of their combat-tested unit, never numbering more than 50 men at a time, were awarded four of the sixteen Medals of Honor received by the several thousand Indian scouts in the West.

Porter’s interviews with John Horse’s descendants and acquaintances in the 1940s and 1950s provide eyewitness accounts. When Alcione Amos and Thomas Senter took up the project in the 1980s, they incorporated new information that had since come to light about John Horse and his people.

A powerful and stirring story, The Black Seminoles will appeal especially to readers interested in black history, Indian history, Florida history, and U.S. military history.

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Creole Identity in the French Caribbean Novel

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs on 2011-09-23 21:26Z by Steven

Creole Identity in the French Caribbean Novel

University Press of Florida
320 pages
6 x 9
ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-1835-5; ISBN 10: 0-8130-1835-8

H. Adlai Murdoch, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Literature
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Adlai Murdoch offers a detailed rereading of five major contemporary French Caribbean writers–Glissant, Condé, Maximin, Dracius-Pinalie, and Chamoiseau. Emphasizing the role of narrative in fashioning the cultural and political doubleness of Caribbean Creole identity, Murdoch shows how these authors actively rewrite their own colonially driven history.

Murdoch maintains that the culture of the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique is less homogeneous and more creatively fragmented than is commonly supposed. Promoting a new vision of this multifaceted region, he challenges preconceived notions of what it means to be both French and West Indian. The author’s own West Indian origin provides him with intimate, firsthand knowledge of the nuances of day-to-day Caribbean life.

While invaluable to students of Caribbean literature, this work will also appeal to those interested in the African diaspora, French and postcolonial studies, and literary theory.

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Balancing Evils Judiciously: The Proslavery Writings of Zephaniah Kingsley

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, United States on 2011-09-02 20:38Z by Steven

Balancing Evils Judiciously: The Proslavery Writings of Zephaniah Kingsley

University Press of Florida
160 pages
6 x 9
Cloth: ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-1733-4 ISBN 10: 0-8130-1733-5
Paper: ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-2117-1 ISBN 10: 0-8130-2117-0

Edited and Annotated by

Daniel W. Stowell, Director & Editor
The Papers of Abraham Lincoln

Foreword by Eugene Genovese

For the first time, all the proslavery—but also pro-black—writings of Zephaniah Kingsley (1765-1843) appear together in one volume. Kingsley was a slave trader and the owner of a large plantation near Jacksonville in what was then Spanish East Florida. He married one of his slaves and had children with several others.

While Kingsley eventually emancipated all of his children and their mothers, he became alarmed at the deteriorating status of free blacks after Florida became a territory in 1821. His unusual protest of their treatment, “A Treatise on the Patriarchal System of Society [,as it exists in some governments and colonies in America, and in the United States, under the name of slavery: with its necessity and advantages (1833)],” called for a three-caste society that separated race and class. He envisioned a buffer caste of free people of color between whites and enslaved blacks, but united with whites by economic interests. The treatise simultaneously upheld the legitimacy and necessity of slavery yet assaulted the white southern premise of abject black inferiority.

Daniel Stowell carefully assembles all of Kingsley’s writings on race and slavery to illuminate the evolution of his thought. The intriguing hybrid text of the four editions of the treatise clearly identifies both subtle and substantial differences among the editions. Other extensively annotated documents show how Kingsley’s interracial family and his experiences in various slaveholding societies in the Caribbean and South America influenced his thinking on race, class, and slavery.

In despair of ever changing the slaveholding patterns of Florida, Kingsley finally settled his mixed-race children and several of his slaves in Haiti; however, he left behind more than 80 of his slaves to work his plantations in Florida. When he died, these African Americans remained in bondage, unfortunate victims of hardening American racial attitudes and of Kingsley’s effort to “balance evils judiciously.”

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Reconstructing Racial Identity and the African Past in the Dominican Republic

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2011-03-25 22:03Z by Steven

Reconstructing Racial Identity and the African Past in the Dominican Republic

University Press of Florida
176 pages
6 x 9
Cloth: ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-3374-7, ISBN 10: 0-8130-3374-8
Paper: ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-3675-5, ISBN 10: 0-8130-3675-5

Kimberly Eison Simmons, Associate Professor Anthropology & African American Studies
University of South Carolina

In Latin America and the Caribbean, racial issues are extremely complex and fluid, particularly the nature of “blackness.” What it means to be called “black” is still very different for an African American living in the United States than it is for an individual in the Dominican Republic with an African ancestry.

Racial categories were far from concrete as the Dominican populace grew, altered, and solidified around the present notions of identity. Kimberly Simmons explores the fascinating socio-cultural shifts in Dominicans’ racial categories, concluding that Dominicans are slowly embracing blackness and ideas of African ancestry.

Simmons also examines the movement of individuals between the Dominican Republic and the United States, where traditional notions of indio are challenged, debated, and called into question. How and why Dominicans define their racial identities reveal shifting coalitions between Caribbean peoples and African Americans, and proves intrinsic to understanding identities in the African diaspora.

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Family Values in the Old South

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Economics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Slavery, Social Science, United States on 2009-11-19 04:33Z by Steven

Family Values in the Old South

University Press of Florida
264 pages
6 x 9
ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-3418-8
ISBN 10: 0-8130-3418-3

Edited by

Craig Thompson Friend, Associate Professor of History
North Carolina State University

Anya Jabour, Professor of History
University of Montana

This collection of essays on family life in the nineteenth-century American South reevaluates the concept of family by looking at mourning practices, farming practices, tavern life, houses divided by politics, and interracial marriages. Individual essays examine cross-plantation marriages among slaves, white orphanages, childhood mortality, miscegenation and inheritance, domestic activities such as sewing, and same-sex relationships.

Editors Craig Thompson Friend and Anya Jabour have collected work from a range of diverse and innovative historians. The volume uncovers more about Southern family life and values than we have previously known and raises new questions about how Southerners conceptualized family–from demographic structures, power relations, and gender roles to the relationship of family to society. In three sections, these ten essays explore the definition of family in the nineteenth-century South, examine the economics of family life, both rural and urban, and ultimately answer the question “what did family mean in the Old South?”


“A View of a Will: Miscegenation, Inheritance, and Family in Civil War-Era Charleston” by Kevin Noble Maillard.

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