This Day in Black History: March 22, 1873

Slavery was abolished in Puerto Rico.

Posted: 03/22/2013 07:00 AM EDT
Slavery abolished in Puerto Rico

On March 22, 1873, the Spanish legislature passed a law abolishing slavery in the colony of Puerto Rico.

The decree mandated that although slaves were legally “free,” they were forced to compensate their former owners for the loss of their “property” by paying for their freedom with three years of labor. Freed slaves could work for their former masters, for other people or for the state, who forwarded the “wages” to the former master at the end of the term. The decree also prohibited Black Puerto Ricans from having voting privileges for five years following abolition.

Some 29,335 Africans were enslaved at the time of abolition, comprising 5 percent of the overall population of the island.

BET Global News - Your source for Black news from around the world, including international politics, health and human rights, the latest celebrity news and more. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter. 

Get ready for the BET Experience, featuring Beyoncé, Snoop DoggR. Kelly, Erykah BaduKendrick Lamar and many more. Go here for more details and info on how to buy tickets.

(Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Videos You May Like

From Our Partners