Since the 1950s, the historiography on black Cubans during the nineteenth century has focused on culture and strategies of resistance to slavery and Spanish colonialism. David Sartorius moves the discussion in the opposite direction by highlighting that although African slaves and freed blacks had frequently conspired to end slavery and liberate Cuba from Spain, enough people of African descent swore allegiance to the king and the metropolis. Employing colonial documents located in Spain, the United States, and Cuba, Sartorius argues that during the nineteenth century, the colony remained faithful not only because of many whites' pro-colonial sentiments but also because of how race and loyalty developed in Cuba. These conceptions allowed Cubans of African ancestry, slave and freed, to be included in colonial politics as faithful, if unequal, subjects. Sartorius reveals the tensions that race created when whites and blacks tried to...

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