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Cuban Literature in the Age of Black InsurrectionManzano, Plácido, and Afro-Latino Religion$
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Matthew Pettway

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496824967

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496824967.001.0001

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Católico a mi manera

Católico a mi manera

Christianizing Juan Francisco Manzano

(p.45) Chapter Two Católico a mi manera
Cuban Literature in the Age of Black Insurrection

Matthew Pettway

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter discusses Manzano’s early identity formation from a religious and racial standpoint prior to his 1836 manumission.Instead of reading Manzano’s Catholicism as imperfect mimicry–as Homi Bhabha might suggest–this chapter explores the mulatto-Catholic identity as a persona that garnered social capital and as a political statement that rendered Manzano inoffensive when questioned by the Military Commission under suspicion of conspiracy.The racial self-image that Manzano created in his slave narrative, poetry, and letters to his patron Domingo Del Monte manifest double-consciousness because the poet reads himself through the prism of the white gaze.But unlike in previous studies, Pettway demonstrates that Manzano’s Autobiografíaand poetry demonstrate that the Catholic redemption narrative was insufficient to emancipate the enslaved person.

Keywords:   Slave emancipation, Juan Francisco, Manzano, Mulatto, Mimicry

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