História (São Paulo)
On-line version ISSN 1980-4369
VELLASCO, Ivan de Andrade. The Colour Solidarity Networks: the case of the 'compadres' Manoel and Laurino. História [online]. 2006, vol.25, n.1, pp. 147-169. ISSN 1980-4369. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-90742006000100007.
This article is based on the analysis of a criminal lawsuit from 1831, in which the accused ones, who were "mulattos", were charged with a white man murder. In the testimonies of the lawsuit, it is possible to identify a supportive alliance among the "mulattos", in relation to the categories that define the positions and judgements concerning to the crime. Witnesses, both "mulattos" and "negros", free and manumitted slaves, have produced a consensus, hence building a version against the victim, the white man. A view on right and wrong promotes solidarity in everybody and, within this view, a specific perception about what unites "mulattos", "negros", manumitted slaves and "cabras". We propose that the solidarity based on the identity among the "mulattos" can be understood in relation to the motivations associated to their emersion in the political debates of the time, concerning to their conceptualization and inclusion in the nation project. This article represents an attempt to understand, in the available indexes, the constitution of identity processes based on color and condition, fundamental categories in the slave society.
Keywords : "mulattos"; solidarity network; identity.