Of all the states in Brazil, Bahia has maintained the strongest ties with Africa and African culture. During the first two centuries of the colonial era, Bahia absorbed most of the slaves imported to Brazil. At this time, the slaves came to constitute a majority of Bahia's population and exerted a proportional effect on the developing character of the state. Today, Bahia's traditions and customs are living testimony to the enormous influence of Africans and their descendants.
Spanish colonizers first encountered the bay of Cartagena, on the Caribbean coast of present-day Colombia, in 1502, although it was not until 1533 that a permanent settlement was established. Pedro de Heredia, the city's founder, named the site and bay after Cartagena in Spain, adding “de Indias” (of the Indies) for its location in the Americas. Heredia and his men soon found gold and wrote back to King Carlos I of Spain requesting permission to import African slaves to the area to work in mining and processing this precious metal. By 1545 Cartagena de Indias was developing into a prosperous port town, populated mainly by Spaniards who had been attracted by reports of gold. From 1580 to 1630 gold mines were exploited in the inland towns of Zaragoza Cáceres and Remedios which were accessible from Cartagena by river The mines extended the city s area ...
Lisa Clayton Robinson
Dominica is nicknamed the Caribbean's “nature island” because of the lush foliage, green mountains, and abundant farms that cover the country. These natural resources are now touted as a tourist attraction, but in the centuries following European colonization, they also provided a fortunate haven for many indigenous and enslaved Dominicans. The rugged terrain made it difficult for white colonists to establish permanent settlements on the island, and then difficult for them to cultivate large plantations there. The mountains and forests even made Dominica a refuge for slaves from other islands who knew its terrain could provide a safe hiding space. Even today, Dominica is one of the least overdeveloped islands in the Caribbean. Dominica is home to one of the last remaining indigenous communities in the Caribbean, and it is among the few islands on which most of the land is owned and worked by individual farmers.
Dominica s first ...
The Haitian Revolution began as a rebellion against slavery and French plantation owners, but became a political revolution that lasted for thirteen years and resulted in independence from France. By 1804 the revolution had destroyed the dominant white population, the plantation system, and the institution of slavery in the most prosperous colony of the Western Hemisphere. The colony then became the first independent black republic in the world, the republic of Haiti.
The effects of the Haitian revolt spread far beyond the island. It contributed to the end of French colonial ambitions in the Western Hemisphere, which led France to sell its vast territory in North America to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 Refugees from Haiti settled in Louisiana helping to establish that area s distinct French Creole culture The uprising also inspired fear of similar revolts in other slave holding areas of ...
Alonford James Robinson
Located south of Cuba and west of Hispaniola in the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica is the third largest island of the Greater Antilles, the West Indian island chain that includes Cuba, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico. Jamaica is divided into fourteen administrative districts called parishes, with the national capital at Kingston.
Afro-Jamaicans comprise the overwhelming majority in the island's diverse population. Of the estimated population of 2.7 million (2003), blacks made up over 90 percent; 7.3 percent were of mixed race, 1.3 percent East Indian, and less than 1 percent were white. The population also includes small numbers of Syrians, Lebanese, and Jews. Recognition of this diversity led the framers of Jamaica's constitution to choose as the island's motto “Out of Many, One People,” suggesting that despite racial and ethnic differences, all live united as Jamaicans.
However racism and color discrimination the legacy of more than three centuries ...
From the beginning of slavery in the Americas in the sixteenth century through abolition in the nineteenth century, male and female slaves escaped from plantations and established semi-independent, self-governing communities. These communities were often located in inaccessible areas, such as forests, swamps, and mountains. They were known variously as palenques, quilombos, mocambos, cumbes, mambises, ladeiras, and maroons. Over time the term maroon—derived from the Spanish cimarrón, which, in turn, is based on a Taíno word meaning “fugitive”—became the standard word for an individual escaped slave or a community of escaped slaves. The phenomenon of escaped slaves forming communities, known as maroonage, represented a common response to slavery throughout the Americas. Maroon communities ranged in size from small bands that came together for less than a year to powerful groups of thousands that survived for generations or even centuries.
Current scholarship on ...
Most Panamanians are of mixed descent, tracing their background to European (mainly Spanish) colonists and Native Americans. Many are descendants of African slaves or of West Indian workers who immigrated into Panama in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Despite increasing integration, these groups are still separated by significant social and cultural differences.
Mayda Grano de Oro
Puerto Rico exemplifies the complexities of race relations and the use of terminology to describe them. Considered by some as “the whitest of all the Antilles,” Puerto Ricans are usually described as mostly Hispanic, a homogeneous race of mixed people. This concept of the Puerto Rican underestimates the African component, one that has had a significant impact on the culture and ethnic composition of Puerto Rico. The African traditions brought to Puerto Rico were syncretized with the Spanish, the Taíno, and, later, the Anglo-American traditions to produce a rich cultural and ethnic amalgam.
The racial mixture of blacks and whites has shaped the concept of race in Puerto Rico There has been a growing scholarly interest in the Creole blacks and their importance in the formation of the Puerto Rican society in contrast to the traditional history that has focused on the actions of the ruling white Creole elite Traditional ...
The slave revolt that between 1791 and 1803 transformed France's immensely wealthy colony of Saint Domingue was among the largest in world history, and the sole fully successful one. It brought about the first wholesale act of emancipation in a major slave society (August 1793) and the creation in January 1804 of Haiti, the first modern black state. Of all the American struggles for colonial independence it involved the greatest degree of mass mobilization, and it caused the greatest degree of social and economic change. In twelve years of devastating warfare, the world's major producer of sugar and coffee was economically ruined and its ruling class entirely eliminated. For slaves and slave-owners throughout the Americas, the Saint Domingue or Haitian Revolution was an inspiration and a warning.
Historians have disagreed about the extent to which the revolution resulted from internal factors and how far it was a byproduct ...
There is little documentation regarding the life of François Dominique Toussaint Louverture before the first slave uprising in 1791 in Saint-Domingue (as Haiti was known before independence). According to contemporary oral accounts, his parents were from Dahomey (present-day Benin), and his father was a powerful chief in that country before his enslavement. Toussaint was the first of eight children born on the Bréda plantation, near the northern coast of Saint-Domingue. Born in the French colony, and familiar with its culture, Toussaint was considered a Creole rather than an African, which—according to the logic of European colonialism—guaranteed him a more elevated social status. This status, and the plantation owner's affection for him, freed Toussaint from ever having to toil in the sugarcane fields. Instead, he worked as a domestic servant in the plantation house. Toussaint was emancipated in 1776 at the young age of thirty-three. In 1779 he rented ...