Becoming Free, Becoming Black: Race, Freedom, and the Law in Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana

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Many people tend to think that slavery was a monolithic institution, that it never changed and that once you were in it you could never become free. The authors of this new book help to challenge that thought by showing how slaves in three different locations: Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana; used the law to sue for their slavery and often won. Ranging from the well established Iberian law towards slavery people in Cuba were generally successful at building a community of free blacks, Virginia struggled with developing a slave code for a long time so slaves used that ambiguity to become free until it was stopped, and Louisiana was a mixture of all three at different points in time. The authors do an excellent job looking at each colony and how they dealt with the different issues that faced them, as Cuba wanted to have certain rules but the King in Spain disagreed. And how the revolution in Haiti made the things more difficult if slaves wanted to become free, as white owners started to fear that free blacks and slaves would intermingle and work together to revolt against the white settlers.


Reviewed By:

Author Alejandro de la Fuente
Star Count 4/5
Format Board book
Page Count 320 pages
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Publish Date 2019-11-11
ISBN 9781108480642
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue November 2019
Category History
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