<p>Abstract:</p><p>This essay examines AndrÃ©s de Claramonte's comedia <i>El valiente negro en Flandes</i> in light of Luis Pacheco de NarvÃ¡ez's fencing treatise <i>Grandezas de la espada</i> (1600). NarvÃ¡ez's influential manual contains an unprecedented scientific typology of black people that questions the supposed uniformity of perceptions of black and Afrodescendant Spaniards in the early seventeenth century. Interestingly, the protagonist of Claramonte's comediaâan Afro-Spaniard heretofore considered exceptional and uniqueâmeets each and every trait of the <i>negro colÃ©rico</i>, a positive black (stereo)type formulated by NarvÃ¡ez. An analysis of the conspicuous black African presence in the early modern world of Hispanic martial arts challenges the idea that the only possible representations of Afro-Hispanics were dehumanizing portrayals as natural slaves, evil beings, suffering saints, or buffoons. Thus, <i>Grandezas de la espada</i> gives us the key to reinterpret <i>El valiente negro en Flandes</i> and other texts featuring those who found some degree of liberation in their swordsmanship.</p>
Bulletin of the Comediantes – Bulletin of the Comediantes
Published: Jun 27, 2019
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