Culture & History Digital Journal (Nov 2022)

Slave and convict: José Rufino Parra’s double sentence in the Antilles and mainland Spain

  • Loles González-Ripoll

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11, no. 2


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This paper addresses the adversities of a slave in 19th century Cuba who was considered dangerous because of his education; the suspicious claim of the owner; the slave’s arrest between Cuba, Spain, and Puerto Rico, and the defence of the rights to which he was entitled. The scant but interesting documentation on the misfortune of José Rufino Parra raises many issues regarding the daily relationships between masters and slaves; the unheard-of relationship between a black man and a white woman; the conservation of family honour, and the importance of education and family for slaves within an unjust colonial system, which, despite injustices, did offer opportunities to defend themselves.