Slave Women and Their Descendants among the Upper Classes in Tetouan, Morocco (1859–1956): Between Recognition and Conflict

Previously posted at: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0363199020967391?ai=2b4&mi=ehikzz&af=R

Journal of Family History, Ahead of Print.
In the Arab world, the recognized children of elite men and slave women could adopt the status of their father, ignoring the slave origin of the mother, owing to a system of patrilineal transmission. This regime co-existed with negative stereotypes toward slaves and blackness, despite the very fact that—as this study of notable families in Tetouan between 1859 and 1956 demonstrates—skin color was not the determinant factor to form part of this group. Rather, it was based on the social definition of filiation, leading to legal disputes between family members to delineate the boundaries of kinship.