Manifesting Colonial Collectivities: Black Women and Trauma in Mid-Colonial Mexico

This talk centres gendered strategies of survival through the case of one woman who called upon a regional trauma – the Great Siege of 1683 by Dutch pirate Laurens de Graaf. The presentation will underscore the complexity of colonial life and identities in general, and the vulnerability and resiliency of African-descended families and women, in particular. It further examines the aftermath of this spectacular attack on the port of Veracruz and its subsequent uses by diverse subjects. However, what might have been a gendered strategy of survival, a utilitarian attempt to secure her future, demonstrates the importance of a collective memory for traditionally marginalized people as they pled their cases before Crown authorities, offered up their family legacies, defended their humanity, and called for justice.