No More, No More: Slavery and Cultural Resistance in Havana and New Orleans

No More, No More: Slavery and Cultural Resistance in Havana and New Orleans

No More, No More: Slavery and Cultural Resistance in Havana and New Orleans

No More, No More: Slavery and Cultural Resistance in Havana and New Orleans

Synopsis

This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the Third International Conference on Evolvable Systems: From Biology to Hardware, ICES 2000, held in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, in April 2000.The 27 revised full papers presented were carefully reviewed and selected for inclusion in the proceedings. Among the topics covered are evaluation of digital systems, evolution of analog systems, embryonic electronics, bio-inspired systems, artificial neural networks, adaptive robotics, adaptive hardware platforms, molecular computing, reconfigurable systems, immune systems, and self-repair.

Excerpt

Targeting slave society in nineteenth-century Havana, Cuba, and New Orleans, Louisiana, this study examines mechanisms of social control directed at people of African descent and cultural resistance efforts embodied in public performances. Focusing on these slave societies’ diverse efforts to control their Africandescended populace’s definitions of space, family, social image, and community, it seeks to analyze representations found in the annual Día de Reyes (Day of the Kings) festival in Havana and the weekly activities that took place on Sundays at Congo Square in New Orleans as challenges to the dehumanizing dictates suggested by those in power. In terms of focus and chronology, the book is about the lives of people of African descent (black and mulatto, slave and free) living in these cities in the period from the initial years of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the Civil War in the United States (1861) and the Ten Years War in Cuba (1868).

At the core of this examination lie two fundamental premises. The first is that although urban slave societies were qualitatively different from their rural counterparts, they still relied on a concerted assault on the psychological, social, and cultural identity of their Africandescended inhabitants to maintain power. With direct reference to Havana and New Orleans, this assault included defining physical space in a way that would cause people of color to associate specific sites with particularly violent or oppressive experiences, deterring the formation of fully formed (i.e., husband, wife, and children) familial units among African-descended peoples; socially degrading the image of the African and the racial concept of blackness; and quelling the . . .

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