The Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University

In this incisive and spell‐binding study, de la Fuente and Gross meticulously investigate the archives of the ‘legal regimes of slavery and race’ in the culturally disparate locations of Cuba, Louisiana, and Virginia, thus exposing the differences and similarities between Spanish, French, and English approaches to manumission and interracial relationships. In addition, the authors brilliantly focus on the bottom‐up efforts of the enslaved to gain freedom, thus exposing how these ‘unpredictable twists and turns’ established the meaning of blackness in law ... Becoming Free, Becoming Black tells many fascinating stories of heroic efforts to attain freedom through legal regimes.