Monday, March 13, 2017

Gross and de la Fuente in LAPA Workshop

Today in Princeton’s Law and Public Affairs Workshop: Comparing Law, Race, Slavery and Freedom in the Americas: Freedom Suits in Cuba, Louisiana, and Virginia, 1763-1803, by Ariela Gross and Alejandro de la Fuente:
Enslaved people across the Americas made claims on legal institutions in order to gain their freedom or improve their lives. Many shared legal knowledge across broad networks that crossed boundaries of nation and empire. Yet those borders made a difference; the varying trajectories of legal regimes helped set the terms within which free and enslaved people of color operated. Our book is a transnational and comparative study of the ways in which people of color challenged the boundaries of slavery and freedom, black and white, using Cuba, Louisiana and Virginia as case studies over several centuries. Unlike older comparative studies, our work uses the techniques of cultural-legal history, studying the interactions of ordinary people with law in their everyday lives. The chapter we will present focuses on freedom suits by enslaved people during the Age of Revolution, 1763 to 1803.