May 12th 2022

This program will be held in person at the Newberry.
Please register for free in advance here:

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Slavery was abolished in Brazil on May 13, 1888, marking the official end of legal slavery in the Western hemisphere.

Join scholars Celso Thomas Castilho, Marcela Echeverri Muñoz, and Chernoh Sesay Jr. as they discuss controversies over the role of Indigenous and African enslaved peoples in the formation of new nations and governments throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Our panel will examine choices of the period regarding rights, liberties, and citizenship of formerly enslaved peoples, and how the repercussions of these decisions extend to the present day.

Celso Thomas Castilho is Associate Professor of History at Vanderbilt University.

Marcela Echeverri Muñoz is Associate Professor of History at Yale University.

Chernoh Sesay Jr. is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at DePaul University.

This program will be presented in English.

This program is part of ¡Viva la Libertad! Forming More Perfect Unions Across the Americas. ¡Viva la Libertad! is a series of public programs bringing together scholars, writers, artists, and community members to explore the independence struggles of the Americas and reflect on their legacies today. Looking back on the Age of Revolutions 200 years ago in Latin America and the United States, ¡Viva la Libertad! examines how new countries emerged from colonial rule, who gained freedom and who was left behind, and why so many are still fighting for liberty, racial justice, and democracy.

¡Viva la Libertad! is being coordinated by the Newberry Library in partnership with the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Chicago, the National Museum of Mexican Art, Illinois Humanities, and Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy.

The project has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. All opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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