By Alex Borucki
Although it by no means had a plantation-based financial system, the Río de l. a. Plata quarter, comprising present-day Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, has a protracted yet ignored historical past of slave buying and selling and slavery. This e-book analyzes the lives of Africans and their descendants in Montevideo and Buenos Aires from the past due colonial period to the 1st a long time of independence. the writer indicates how the enslaved Africans created social identities in keeping with their universal stories, starting from surviving jointly the Atlantic and coastal compelled passages on slave vessels to serving as infantrymen within the independence-era black battalions. as well as the slave alternate and the army, their participation in black lay brotherhoods, African “nations,” and the lettered tradition formed their social identities. Linking particular areas of Africa to the Río de los angeles Plata zone, the writer additionally explores the binds of the loose black and enslaved populations to the bigger society within which they discovered themselves.
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Additional info for From Shipmates to Soldiers: Emerging Black Identities in the Río de la Plata
Apart from traditional duties on wages for artisans, which made their salaries less variable, the increasing use of slaves and unskilled workers in craft industries pushed down, in relative terms, the wages of skilled laborers. Although we lack comparable wage statistics for Montevideo, the economic and social impact of the late colonial slave trade was certainly larger there than in Buenos Aires, a city that was already growing from the beginning of the eighteenth century. Almost overnight, slave trading transformed Montevideo into a genuine Atlantic entrepôt.
47 This book is not about race and ethnicity as conceptualized, described, and debated in modern North America but rather aims to contribute to a broader understanding of how people subjugated by slavery—or by the proximity of it—acted and expressed themselves according to the categories available to them at the time, a time before the emergence of race and ethnicity as distinctly modern concepts. 49 Spanish colonial societies created various nomenclatures to describe phenotypical difference. In Spanish, negro means both the color black and a person of full sub-Saharan African ancestry.
46 Ports and Regions of Embarkation Precise details are few, but it is possible to determine the approximate African origins of most slaves channeled through Brazilian ports into the Río de la Plata. Africans coming from Rio de Janeiro were most likely from Angola originally. We now know that, from 1777 to 1812, 97 percent of slaves 40 Chapter one coming to Rio de Janeiro were embarked in West Central Africa and that 85 percent were shipped only from two locations, Luanda and Benguela, Angola’s two main ports.