Not of Pure Blood: The Free People of Color and Racial Prejudice in Nineteenth-Century Puerto Rico


SKU: ZG210612/0011921 Category:



Coun­ter­ing the pop­u­lar mis­con­cep­tion that racial dis­crim­i­na­tion has large­ly not exist­ed in Puer­to Rico, Jay Kinsbruner’s Not of Pure Blood shows that racial prej­u­dice has long had an insid­i­ous effect on Puer­to Rican soci­ety. Kinsbruner’s study focus­es on the free peo­ple of color—those of African descent who were con­sid­ered non­white but were legal­ly free dur­ing slavery—in order to explore the nature of racial prej­u­dice in nine­teenth-cen­tu­ry Puer­to Rico. In con­sid­er­ing the con­se­quences of these nine­teenth-cen­tu­ry atti­tudes on twen­ti­eth-cen­tu­ry Puer­to Rico, Kins­bruner sug­gests that racial dis­crim­i­na­tion con­tin­ues to lim­it oppor­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple of col­or.
Fol­low­ing a dis­cus­sion of Puer­to Rican racial prej­u­dice in his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive, Kins­bruner describes res­i­den­tial pat­terns, mar­riages, births, deaths, occu­pa­tions, and fam­i­ly and house­hold mat­ters to demon­strate that free peo­ple of col­or were a dis­ad­van­taged com­mu­ni­ty whose polit­i­cal, social, and eco­nom­ic sta­tus was dimin­ished by racism. He ana­lyzes the com­plex­i­ties and con­tra­dic­tions of Puer­to Rican racial prej­u­dice and dis­crim­i­na­tion, explains the sub­tleties of “shade dis­crim­i­na­tion,” and exam­ines the pro­found­ly neg­a­tive impact on race rela­tions of the U.S. occu­pa­tion of the island fol­low­ing the Span­ish Amer­i­can War.
Look­ing behind the myth of Puer­to Rican racial equi­ty, Not of Pure Blood will be of inter­est to spe­cial­ists in Caribbean stud­ies, Puer­to Rican his­to­ry, and Latin Amer­i­ca stud­ies, and to schol­ars in a vari­ety of fields inves­ti­gat­ing ques­tions of racism and discrimination.
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