Free people of color

From Academic Kids

In the history of the slavery in the Americas, a free person of color was a person of full or partial African descent who was not enslaved. In the United States, such persons were referred to as "free blacks," though many were, in fact, mulattos. Technically a maroon was also a free person of color, but because maroons lived outside slave society, scholars regard them as a very different group.

The racial terminology used in Caribbean and Latin America slave societies since soon after slavery began, labeled such mixed-race groups more specifically.

Free people of color were an important part of the history of the Caribbean during the slave period. They were especially numerous in the French colony of Saint-Domingue, which became independent as Haiti in 1804. In Saint-Domingue, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and other French Caribbean colonies before slavery was abolished, they were known as gens de couleur, and affranchis. They were also an important part of the population of British Jamaica, Spanish Cuba, and Puerto Rico.

Brazil was also home to large numbers of free people of color.

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