"Capitalizing Subjects: Free African-Descended Women of Means in Xalapa, Veracruz during the Long Seventeenth Century
"Capitalizing Subjects: Free African-Descended Women of Means in Xalapa, Veracruz during the Long Seventeenth Century" explores the socioeconomic worlds of free women of means. I find that they owned slaves, engaged in cross-caste relations, managed their estates, maintained profitable social networks with other regional elites, and attempted to secure the economic futures of their children. Through an examination of notarial, ecclesiastical, and viceregal sources, I highlight the significant role this group played in the local economy and social landscape. My work demonstrates that free women of African descent engaged in specific types of economic endeavors that spoke to their investments in particular kinds of capital (economic, social, and cultural) that allowed them greater visibility and social legitimacy than previously documented. This dissertation, further, challenges a historiography that has over-emphasized the roles of race and gender in determining the lives of all people of African descent in colonial Latin America.
Latin American history
African American studies
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