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Grant number like: FA-55338-10

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Jane Gilmer Landers
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN 37240-0001)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$37,800 (approved)
$37,800 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2010 – 5/31/2011

African Kingdoms, Black Republics, and Free Black Towns in Colonial Spanish America

This book is the first to trace the evolution of maroon communities in Spanish America from their earliest forms as African kingdoms through their last vestiges as free black towns. It builds on more than twenty years of research in multiple Spanish archives and on archaeological investigations. In the 16th century escaped slaves created virtual monarchies in the wild. In the 17th century, Atlantic Creoles represented themselves as a "Republic" analogous to that of Spaniards and Indios. This previously unrecognized political development came when the impracticability of the so-called "Dual Republic" was already obvious. That descendants of slaves laid successful claim to the civic values associated with a "republica y comun" facilitated their formation into free black towns in the 18th century. This work informs current debates on African ethnicities, cultural transfers and adaptations, and the historical agency of Africans and their descendants in the Americas.