Morelos y Pavón, José Maria
- Lolita Gutiérrez Brockington
and key influence in Mexico’s struggle for independence from Spain. He was born into an impoverished family in Valladolid (today, Morelia in the state of Michoacan, Mexico) to José Manuel Morelos and Juana María Guadalupe Pavón. He was baptized 4 October 1765 as the legitimate son of Spaniards, a fact that has been a source of controversy for over two centuries, with scholars debating his genealogical heritage as Spaniard, Creole, mestizo (part Indian), or casta (racially mixed).
This latter Spanish colonial term fostered multiple connotations and uses from loose innuendo to fairly rigid categorizations to define and officially regulate people of varying degrees of mixed African Indian and European lineages depending on time place socioeconomic political and racial contexts As well the term Spaniard itself was nuanced Many clerics used it to protect their more humble parishioners in good standing from the known harsher legal and ecclesiastic restrictions reserved for ...
A version of this article originally appeared in The Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography.