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Stones and slaves: labour, race and spatial exclusion in colonial Santo Domingo

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posted on 2023-04-05, 01:37 authored by Jose Nunez Collado, Joanna Merwood-SalisburyJoanna Merwood-Salisbury
Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in what was later called the ‘New World’, was a centre of the Atlantic slave trade. While it has been called the ‘cradle of blackness in the Americas’, discussion of racial exclusion and marginalization is mostly absent in the city's architecture and urban history. This article investigates how architecture and urban design helped reinforce the colonizers’ control over enslaved peoples. Specifically, we explore the Santa Bárbara neighbourhood, its church and the slave warehouse known as La Negreta. Drawing on historical maps and archival documents, we draw attention to how the spatial and material construction of Santa Bárbara constituted and maintained social and racial structures of oppression.


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Nunez Collado, J. & Merwood-Salisbury, J. (2021). Stones and slaves: labour, race and spatial exclusion in colonial Santo Domingo. Urban History.

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Urban History

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Cambridge University Press

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