Synopses & Reviews
Scholars have long recognized the importance of gender and hierarchy in the slave societies of the New World, yet gendered analysis of Cuba has lagged behind study of other regions. Cuban elites recognized that the creation and perpetuation of the Cuban slave society required a rigid social hierarchy based on race, gender, and legal status. Given the dramatic changes that came to Cuba in the wake of the Haitian Revolution and the growth of the enslaved population, the maintenance of order required a patriarchy that placed both women and slaves among the lower ranks. Based on a variety of archival and printed primary sources, this book examines how patriarchy functioned outside the confines of the family unit by scrutinizing the foundation on which nineteenth-century Cuban patriarchy rested. This book investigates how patriarchy operated in the lives of the women of Cuba, from elite women to slaves. Through chapters focusing on examination of motherhood, marriage, education, public charity, and the sale of slaves, insight into the role of patriarchy both as a guiding ideology and lived history in the Caribbean's longest lasting slave society is gained. Sarah L. Franklin is assistant professor of history at the University of North Alabama.