Suffering Our Forefathers’ Sins: A Latino’s Reflection on White Supremacy

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Mexico, Philosophy, Social Justice, Texas, United States on 2019-09-04 21:08Z by Steven

Suffering Our Forefathers’ Sins: A Latino’s Reflection on White Supremacy

Mere Orthodoxy
2019-08-12

Nathan Luis Cartagena, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois

Two Saturdays ago mi esposa and I mourned for those devastated by the El Paso shooting. For us, this hit home. We had lived in the Lone Star State for seven years, our daughter was born there, and we have strong relationships with Chicanos/as from la frontera‚ÄĒthe Texas-Mexico borderlands.

As we mourned, I thought about white supremacy‚Äôs role in this shooting. I thought about the painful irony that white supremacy originates in Portugal and Spain, the lands from which the ancestors of most Latinos/as and its subsets‚ÄĒincluding Chicanas/os and Tejanos/as‚ÄĒhail. This includes my ancestors. I am, after all, a Cartagena.

Yet despite our origins, Latinos/as are not deemed true whites. We are a racialized other; even the lightest of us who pass or receive the status of honorary white know this comes at a price and is liable to be lost the moment someone suspects we‚Äôve broken the norms of white solidarity. How did this happen? How did the Iberian Peninsula‚Äôs Latina/o children lose the status of white? Let me sketch an answer for you…

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Producer Phillip Rodriguez Acquires Rights To ‚ÄėThe Strange Career of William Ellis‚Äô

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Passing, Slavery, United States on 2019-08-21 23:02Z by Steven

Producer Phillip Rodriguez Acquires Rights To ‚ÄėThe Strange Career of William Ellis‚Äô

Deadline: Breaking Hollywood News Since 2006
2019-08-21

Dino-Ray Ramos, Associate Editor/Reporter

EXCLUSIVE: Producer and indie filmmaker Phillip Rodriguez has optioned the film and TV rights to Karl Jacoby’s book The Strange Career of William Ellis: The Texas Slave Who Became a Mexican Millionaire. Rodriguez is set to develop and produce the narrative-based project

Jacoby’s prize-winning book tells the true story of William Ellis, a larger-than-life figure who was born on the U.S.-Mexico border in the twilight of slavery and inhabited a world divided along ambiguous racial lines. Adopting the name Guillermo Eliseo, he passed as Mexican, transcending racial lines to become fabulously wealthy as a Wall Street banker, diplomat, and owner of scores of mines and haciendas south of the border. In The Strange Career of William Ellis, Columbia University historian Jacoby weaves an astonishing tale of cunning, scandal, self-invention and the abiding riddle of race in America

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La nueva tocaya

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Mexico, Passing, Texas, United States on 2019-08-11 02:42Z by Steven

La nueva tocaya

Chiric√ļ Journal: Latina/o Literatures, Arts, and Cultures
Volume 3, Number 2, Spring 2019 (Intersecting Latinx Lives: The Politics of Race)
pages 147-150
DOI: 10.2979/chiricu.3.2.14

Jessie D. Turner, Social Justice Educator, Academic and Creative Writer, Program Manager
Goleta, California

We were parked in their northwestern Vermont gravel driveway, on our way somewhere, but not yet gone. The autumn leaves glowed the color of cardinals and marigolds and honeycomb and mud, colors common to many seasons; it’s the mosaic, rather than any uniqueness in the colors themselves, that invites worship, each dying leaf fitted one against the next. My stepmother looked at my father as he turned from the front seat, looked at me, and admitted, “Becky thinks it’s important that you know . . .” My stepmother knew my love of and skill at Spanish, which I was taking in high school. She knew how much I missed the southern Arizona desert, where I lived twice as a child with my mother. Adding this knowledge together, she knew that I might value knowing that my paternal grandfather was Mexican. I had never heard of this grandfather before, never even wondered if I had one; why would I, when having moved back to Vermont just three years earlier, I was still grappling to intersect with my father?

After that month’s weekend visit with him and my stepmother, I took the return bus two hours southeast to where I lived with my mother in the Upper Valley. On Monday, I showed a slightly yellowed newspaper clipping to my art teachers, Pete and Elizabeth. We stood between their desks, gray metal veiled by gray camera equipment cabinets, and the printing press that hulked beneath the half-windowed whitewashed wall. My aunt‚ÄĒmy dad’s half-sister and unrelated to my grandfather‚ÄĒhad inherited that yellowed clipping and another half photograph from my grandmother. My aunt had excavated them from her farmhouse bedroom closet after they’d been in my family forty-five years. She had passed them on to me. “Look! This article mentions my dad’s father, who was a Golden Gloves boxer in the 50s!” I enthused. As I shared the photo, I stared into this heavily secreted face, this face now reborn. This face, this face, it belonged to a father who mine had never seen. As such, this new paper ancestor’s boxing face may have settled into my consciousness, but his race dissolved completely beyond it. That he was Mexican remained absolutely external to me. I was sixteen.

The balcony of my first apartment at age twenty-four reached deep enough for exactly one folding chair, which I angled toward the southeast for a clear view of the US-Mexico border. Each weekend morning I sat out there sipping chamomile tea, learning palm-frond melodies, and looking for hints of movement. I looked past the opera house and wide basin of parallel train tracks. Past the stores lining South El Paso Ave., the ones offering cheap shoes, bra and panty sets, and household items to those privileged enough to cross north for the day. Past layers and layers and layers of chain-link fencing and razor wire and video cameras. Past the Rio Bravo tamed into an empty cement wash. At 9 AM the line of cars waiting to cross into the US still stood relatively short; by noon it would triple. From my perch four blocks north of this international border crossing, the cars looked like Hot Wheels sliding effortlessly along a predetermined track: Ju√°rez‚ÄďEl Paso, Ju√°rez‚ÄďEl Paso.

On a Saturday afternoon in late January, I flowed through the city’s arteries and veins. I wound past the art museum where I had seen Cheech Marin’s Chicano Visions exhibit, past the ongoing restoration of the Plaza Theater. I wound past San Jacinto Plaza, lined with people waiting for city buses that themselves stood waiting for their timetables. Past El Segundo Barrio murals honoring La Virgen and Iztacc√≠huatl and Popocat√©petl, past corner stores selling international phone cards and Bimbo brand bread, past brown children squealing joy at a tiny puppy. At the Armijo Branch Library, southeast of my apartment and barely a breath’s sweep from la linea I found my weekly writing group waiting. That day I would share a recent reflection, short in length but nothing short of a revelation:..

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Indian allies and white antagonists: toward an alternative mestizaje on Mexico’s Costa Chica Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico, Native Americans/First Nation on 2019-07-18 20:36Z by Steven

Indian allies and white antagonists: toward an alternative mestizaje on Mexico’s Costa Chica

Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies
Volume 11, 2016 – Issue 3: Mestizo Acts: The Politics and Performance of Mestizaje in Guatemala, Mexico, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia
pages 222-241
DOI: 10.1080/17442222.2015.1094873

Laura A. Lewis, Professor of Anthropology in Modern Languages and Linguistics
University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom

San Nicol√°s Tolentino, Guerrero, Mexico, is a ‚Äėmixed‚Äô black-Indian agricultural community on the coastal belt of Mexico‚Äôs southern Pacific coast, the Costa Chica. This article examines local expressions of race in San Nicol√°s in relation to Mexico‚Äôs national ideology of mestizaje (race mixing), which excludes blackness but is foundational to Mexican racial identities. San Nicol√°s‚Äôs black-Indians are strongly nationalistic while expressing a collective or regional identity different from those of peoples they identify as Indians and as whites. Such collective expression produces an alternative model of mestizaje, here explored through local agrarian history and several village festivals. It is argued that this alternative model favors Indians and distances whites, thereby challenging dominant forms of Mexican mestizaje.

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New documentary ‚ÄėBeing Both‚Äô explores mixed-race identity

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Mexico, United Kingdom on 2019-04-29 16:24Z by Steven

New documentary ‚ÄėBeing Both‚Äô explores mixed-race identity

METRO.co.uk
2019-04-29

Natalie Morris, Senior lifestyle Writer

The UK‚Äôs fastest-growing ethnic group is comprised of anyone with parents who have two of more different ethnicities ‚Äď and the varieties within that group are almost endless.

The realities of being mixed-race are unique and often overlooked in mainstream narratives, but documentary maker Ryan Cooper-Brown wants to change that. His new short documentary film Being Both tackles issues that directly relate to the mixed-race experience, from displacement and family conflict to racism and fetishisation.

But the film is also brimming with hope and shines a light on the many positives that come with having mixed heritage.

The eight-minute film condenses a series of compelling stories from the mixed-race community. It is an intimate and uplifting short that captures the shared challenges, emotions and histories of mixed-race people from the UK, Denmark, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Germany and Japan

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Taxing Blackness: Free Afromexican Tribute in Bourbon New Spain

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs on 2019-03-25 13:59Z by Steven

Taxing Blackness: Free Afromexican Tribute in Bourbon New Spain

University of Alabama Press
February 2019
312 pages
9 B&W figures / 3 maps / 23 tables
Trade Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8173-2007-2
eBook ISBN: 978-0-8173-9220-8

Norah L. A. Gharala, Colonial Latin Americanist and Assistant Professor of World History
Georgian Court University, Lakewood, New Jersey

A definitive analysis of the most successful tribute system in the Americas as applied to Afromexicans

During the eighteenth century, hundreds of thousands of free descendants of Africans in Mexico faced a highly specific obligation to the Spanish crown, a tax based on their genealogy and status. This royal tribute symbolized imperial loyalties and social hierarchies. As the number of free people of color soared, this tax became a reliable source of revenue for the crown as well as a signal that colonial officials and ordinary people referenced to define and debate the nature of blackness.

Taxing Blackness:Free Afromexican Tribute in Bourbon New Spain examines the experiences of Afromexicans and this tribute to explore the meanings of race, political loyalty, and legal privileges within the Spanish colonial regime. Norah L. A. Gharala focuses on both the mechanisms officials used to define the status of free people of African descent and the responses of free Afromexicans to these categories and strategies. This study spans the eighteenth century and focuses on a single institution to offer readers a closer look at the place of Afromexican individuals in Bourbon New Spain, which was the most profitable and populous colony of the Spanish Atlantic.

As taxable subjects, many Afromexicans were deeply connected to the colonial regime and ongoing debates about how taxpayers should be defined, whether in terms of reputation or physical appearance. Gharala shows the profound ambivalence, and often hostility, that free people of African descent faced as they navigated a regime that simultaneously labeled them sources of tax revenue and dangerous vagabonds. Some free Afromexicans paid tribute to affirm their belonging and community ties. Others contested what they saw as a shameful imposition that could harm their families for generations. The microhistory includes numerous anecdotes from specific cases and people, bringing their history alive, resulting in a wealth of rural and urban, gender, and family insight.

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Comparing Ideologies of Racial Mixing in Latin America: Brazil and Mexico

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Mexico, Social Science on 2019-01-12 01:55Z by Steven

Comparing Ideologies of Racial Mixing in Latin America: Brazil and Mexico

Sociologia & Antropologia
Volume 8, Number 2: (May/August 2018)
pages 427-456
DOI: 10.1590/2238-38752017v824

Graziella Moraes Silva, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID)
Geneva, Switzerland; Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Emiko Saldivar, Continuing Lecturer
Department of Anthropology
University of California, Santa Barbara

By the end of the twentieth century, with the rise of multicultural discourses and identity politics, Latin American ideologies of racial mixture had become increasingly denounced as myths that conceal (and thus support) the reproduction of racial inequalities. These studies have largely been guided by comparisons between countries with widespread racial mixing (usually Brazil, Mexico or Colombia) and countries in which it was less encouraged and visible (most commonly, the USA). In this paper we move the focus to the diverse ways in which racial mixture currently impacts racial formations in the Latin America, looking initially at Brazil and Mexico, two of the largest countries in the region, and also those with the largest Afro-descendent and indigenous populations in the continent. For comparison, we analyze survey data from the PERLA project.

INTRODUCTION

Academic interpretations of racial mixing in Latin America, particularly in the North American literature, underwent a radical change during the second half of the twentieth century.1 After World War II, ‚ÄėLatin American miscegenation‚Äô was seen as an alternative to ethnic and racial exclusions that had triggered the Jewish holocaust and had been a source of violent conflicts in the United States during the Jim Crow era and in South African apartheid during the 1950s and 1960s. But by the end of the twentieth century, with the rise of multicultural discourses and identity politics, Latin American ideologies of racial mixture became increasingly denounced as myths that conceal (and thus support) the reproduction of racial inequalities (e.g. De la Cadena, 2000; Hanchard, 1994).

These studies have largely been guided by comparisons between countries with widespread racial mixing (usually Brazil, Mexico or Colombia) and countries in which it was less encouraged and visible (most commonly, the USA). Such comparisons have largely contributed to a better understanding of miscegenation as an ideology that allowed racial inequalities to remain more invisible in the Latin American context throughout most of the twentieth century (e.g. Telles, 2003 and Knight, 1990). More recently, a number of authors have also stressed the influence of Latin American ideas of miscegenation in the transformation of racial inequalities in the United States, a phenomenon that has been labeled the Latin Americanization of American race relations (e.g. Bonilla-Silva, 2004). Exploring this comparison, these studies have usually treated racial mixture as a coherent ideology shared across the region.

In this paper we propose to shift the focus onto the diverse ways in which racial mixture currently impacts racial formations in the region. Empirically, we turn our gaze to Brazil and Mexico, two of the largest countries in Latin America, and also those with the largest Afro-descendant and indigenous populations in the continent. As in most countries in the region, ideologies of racial mixture were instrumental to the construction of their national identity: first as a strategy for whitening (Stepan, 1991) and later as tools for assimilation (e.g. Freyre, 1946, and Gamio, 2010). Today, ideas of racial mixing remain central in both Brazil and Mexico, but racial politics are significantly different. Brazil has increasingly seen black (pretos) and brown (pardos) people join forces to address racial inequalities, arguing that mixed pardos are in similar conditions to blacks. Mexico, by contrast, still advocates the benefits of racial mixture, avoiding the discussion of race and racial inequalities on the grounds that most of the population is mixed.

Our paper unfolds as follows: first we explore the role of racial mixing in the nation building processes in Brazil and Mexico. We emphasize the similarities in the ways in which this idea has been articulated in the two countries historically, but also the important differences, something often overlooked in the literature. Next, turning to PERLA data (presented in our methods section), we discuss how these differences have created distinct perceptions of racial identification in Brazil and Mexico, focusing on three dimensions: (1) the relationship between racial identification and skin color, (2) the relationship between racial mixture and cultural differences, and (3) the impact of racial mixture on ethnoracial inequalities.2 We conclude by stressing the need for more comparative studies between Latin American countries in order to better understand the diversity of mestizaje projects and their differential impacts in the region…

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Mexico’s overlooked black communities are given a voice in this social realist drama

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico, Videos on 2018-08-03 01:45Z by Steven

Mexico’s overlooked black communities are given a voice in this social realist drama

Afropunk
2018-08-01

Eye Candy


LA NEGRADA trailer from TIRISIA CINE on Vimeo.

A project by Mexican filmmaker Jorge P√©rez Solano, ‚ÄúLa Negrada‚ÄĚ is a social realist drama that examines an overlooked sector of Mexico‚Äôs populace, its Black people, which include descendants of enslaved people brought to Mexico, among others. According to Variety, this is the first fictional film about Afro-Mexicans.

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Works Progress Austin: Casta by Adrienne Dawes

Posted in Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, United States on 2018-07-24 22:00Z by Steven

Works Progress Austin: Casta by Adrienne Dawes

Salvage Vanguard Theater
110 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704
2018-07-21

  Photo by Bonica Ayala. Pictured Jesus valles, Tarik Daniels, Linzy Beltran
Photo by Bonica Ayala. Pictured Jesus valles, Tarik Daniels, Linzy Beltran

Salvage Vanguard Theater invites you to attend a staged reading of Casta by Adrienne Dawes, presented as part of Works Progress Austin. Launched in 2006, Works Progress Austin (WPA) provides playwrights with the resources they need to bring their work to life. Works Progress Austin has featured new works by Caridad Svich, Dan Dietz, and Sibyl Kempson.

WPA: Casta by Adrienne Dawes
Aug 24 @ 7:30pm | Aug 25 @ 4 and 7:30pm
ARTIST TALK after the 4pm performance August 25th.

Casta is inspired by a series of casta paintings by Miguel Cabrera, a mixed-race painter from Oaxaca. Casta paintings were a unique form of portraiture that grew in popularity over the 18th century in Nueva Espa√Īa/colonial Mexico. The paintings depicted different racial mixtures arranged according to a hierarchy defined by Spanish elites…

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Mexico’s Color Line and the Cultural Imperialism of Light-Skin Preference

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico on 2018-05-28 23:27Z by Steven

Mexico’s Color Line and the Cultural Imperialism of Light-Skin Preference

Truthout
2018-05-26

Roberto Rodriguez, Associate Professor in Mexican American Studies
University of Arizona

A busy street in Mexico City. (Photo: Getty Images)
A busy street in Mexico City. (Photo: Getty Images)

The color of the people of Mexico is one of the things that had a most profound effect on my psyche when I first visited the place of my birth in 1976 at the age of 22. The people came in all colors, though primarily different shades of red-brown, owing to the nation’s Indigenous roots.

Having grown up in a white-dominant society, it was an affirmation of my own brown skin color, in sharp contrast with the artificial color of official Mexico. I was used to seeing government bureaucrats and those that graced the nation’s television screens with light skin, bleached blond hair and artificial blue or green eyes.

The truth is, more than 40 years later, the nation’s color line has seemingly not changed much at all. When I first noticed this preference for light skin in Mexico, it was present at every turn and every corner. It wasn’t just a case of difference, but also disdain. Apparently, all things that were light were “good” and all things dark were “bad.” This was especially true of television. White or light skin was preferred for virtually every role, except the ones for the subservient, demeaning and outlaw roles…

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