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Colin A Palmer Slaves of the White God Blacks in Mexico 1570-1650 Cambridge Harvard University Press 1976 In the introduction to Slaves of the White God Colin A Palmer noted that his research on blacks in colonial Mexico was inspired by the protests of the Black Consciousness movement of the late 1960s which demanded the inclusion of the black experience in academic work and in this case in Latin American history Palmers work was the first book to be published in English on blacks in colonial Mexico however he was not the first scholar to engage this topic that distinction belonging to Gonzalo Aguirre Beltran who published among other works La poblicion negra de Mexico 1519-1810 1946 While in the popular sense the discussion of slavery has been heavily influenced by the history of the nineteenth century United States South there are marked differences in systems of enslavement in particular contexts The story of Africans in colonial Mexico does serve as a prime example of the idiosyncratic nature of African enslavement in various locales throughout the globe but also demonstrates the consistence of brutality and injustice which was characteristic of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and European presence in the New World During the 16th century the Spaniards became the first of the colonial masters to introduce African slaves into the New World From its origin in Hispaniola African slavery spread throughout the rest of Latin America including Cuba Peru Puerto Rico and Mexico By the 16th and 17th centuries Mexico and Peru had become the largest importers of slaves in Latin America However that dubious distinction is not indicative of a massive volume of slaves since large-scale plantation labor was still in development In actuality the estimated population of slaves in Mexico during the colonial period was approximately 100000 The significance of course was not in the quantity but in the eventual evolution of slavery in the New
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