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La Rosa challenges the claims of previous scholars and demonstrates how romanticized the communities have become in historical memory. In part by using detailed maps drawn on site, La Rosa shows that palenques were smaller and fewer in number than previously thought and they contained mostly local, rather than long-distance, fugitives. In addition, the residents were less aggressive and violent than myth holds, often preferring to flee rather than fight a system of oppression that was even more effective and organized than generally supposed. La Rosa's study illuminates many social and economic issues related to the African diaspora in the Caribbean, with particular focus on slavery, resistance, and independence. This translation makes the book available in English for the first time.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Holguâin (Cuba : Province) History, Slavery Cuba Holguâin (Province) History, Fugitive slaves Cuba Holguâin (Province) History, Government, Resistance to Cuba Holguâin (Province) History