African/African American Studies

Lecture: Dr. Erika Edwards

Date: March 19, 2013
Time: 4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Location: LMH 114

DR. ERIKA EDWARDS
Assistant Professor of Colonial Latin America
At the University of North Carolina at Charlotte

At the barrio level, a basic unit of spatial organization in the colonial period, various
enclaves of social interaction took place throughout the city. Barrio politics
determined the rules of conduct and when someone violated them, there were often
swift punishments leading, if need be, to the ultimate punishment, complete rejection from
the neighborhood. By making its own rules that fixed the socio-economic realities, the
neighborhood became of particular importance in knowing and seeing all and thus
formatting its own rules and regulations. Within the confines of barrio politics, illicit
sexual behaviors were tolerated providedthey did not threaten the larger community. In
amorous relationships involving white males and black females, black women formed
alternative lifestyles that exposed them to greater flexibility and challenged gender
roles. Cohabitation allowed for black women to experience various levels of independence.
Forced to live outside of the protection of marriage, black women became
responsible for keeping house and caring for the children. These practices gave black
women a new identity that challenged traditional gender roles and empowered them to fight for their freedom.

Sponsored By: African & African American Studies, Latin American Studies, Area Studies and the History Department