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Bate Papo Series: Enslavement and Freedom in Nineteenth-Century Brazil and Uruguay--A Discussion with Keila Grinberg, Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro

Monday, November 22, 2010
5:00 AM
Room 1644 School of Social Work Building, 1080 South University Avenue

This paper aims to discuss the process of delegitimization of Brazilian slavery in the second half of the nineteenth-century. Several reasons contributed to delegitimize the slave regime in Brazil, such as the end of the Atlantic slave trade, the rise of the average price of a slave and the growing number of manumissions. A large number of these manumissions were obtained through freedom suits, in which slaves brought lawsuits against their masters arguing in the courts that they had the right to be freed. The paper focuses specifically on the freedom suits initiated in the late 1860s on the border of Brazil with Uruguay. In these lawsuits, slaves argued that they had been living in freedom in Uruguay and were re-enslaved by Brazilians.

Keila Grinberg is an Associate Professor at Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO). She holds a PhD from Universidade Federal Fluminense and her work deals with slavery and legal history in the Atlantic world, especially in nineteenth-century Brazil.  Grinberg is the author of several books and articles, among them Slavery, Freedom and the Law in the Atlantic World (with Sue Peabody, Bedford Books, 2007). She has been a fellow at the University of Maryland at College Park, the University of Michigan, and Northwestern University.