Community and Family Life among Freed People
This chapter amplifies the book’s reflections on the trajectories of individuals, families, and communities formed by the men, women, and children emerging from slavery. The goal is to see the effect of the end of slavery on these communities and how it influenced the way in which freed people inserted themselves into the rural world. The chapter shows that living in these communities was important to the survival of freed people after abolition. The family ties that were formed with difficulty through long lives in slavery formed the base upon which the ex-slaves were able to remake their lives after abolition. To develop this argument, the author relied on civil and ecclesiastical registers, as well as oral testimony by the elderly residents of rural communities in the Recôncavo.