Ann Twinam defines what whiteness was in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Spanish officials and Spanish American elites constructed whiteness, a category rooted in bureaucratic privilege, a reputation of legitimacy, and a public perception of color (p. 407). By tracing the adjudicating, implementing, and petitioning for casta mobility and the privilege of gracias al sacar, defined as purchasing whitening, Twinam reveals the multidimensionality of colonial whiteness. By carefully reconstructing the debates among local officials and metropolitan authorities as well as how families revised their applications, Twinam highlights the goal of generational transformation. Through an examination of the application process, Twinam defines how men of color understood whiteness as “occupational and civic parity” as well as “equality in intimacy” that could be inherited and officially recorded (pp. 180–81, 185). By examining how men of African descent were successful in claiming...
Purchasing Whiteness: Pardos, Mulattos, and the Quest for Social Mobility in the Spanish Indies
Rachel Sarah O'Toole; Purchasing Whiteness: Pardos, Mulattos, and the Quest for Social Mobility in the Spanish Indies. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 February 2018; 98 (1): 151–152. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-4294732
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