Chessboard City: Black Vitality in Renaissance…

Chessboard City: Black Vitality in Renaissance Seville:

Libro de los Juegos (Book of Games), Alfonso el Sabio, c. 1283

Seville, Spain at the height of the Renaissance bustled like a chocolate city–to borrow from Marcus Anthony Hunter and Zandria F. Robinson‘s masterful work that defines “chocolate cities” as Black enclaves and neighborhoods.
Seville embodied this definition extremely well. The city’s
cosmopolitan atmosphere, global economic glory, and, at other times, its
rampant structural corruption, earned it the ignominious epithet of the
“Great Babylon.” For example, literary works such as Lope de Vega’s
play Servir a señor discreto (1610/1615) and Luis Vélez de Guevara’s prose work El Diablo cojuelo (1641) refer to Seville as the “Gran Babilonia de España.” The short-skit interlude Los mirones (attributed
to Cervantes, 1623), for instance, casts Seville as the ancient
Assyrian “Nínive,” another kind of Babylon, whose infinite Black
population’s African diasporic cultural presence and languages
reverberated in the streets of the Santa María de la Blanca
neighborhood.

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