Free People of Color in the Spanish Atlantic: Race and Citizenship, 1780–1850

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Law, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs on 2021-08-30 22:27Z by Steven

Free People of Color in the Spanish Atlantic: Race and Citizenship, 1780–1850

Routledge
2020-08-07
252 pages
5 b/w Illustrations
Hardback ISBN: 9780367494926
eBook ISBN: 9781003046813

Federica Morelli, Associate Professor of History of the Americas
University of Turin, Turin, Italy

This book grapples with the important contemporary question of the boundaries of citizenship and access to naturalization by analyzing a body of relevant juridical sources, dating from the end of the eighteenth century to the first half of the nineteenth century, concerning the free people of color in late colonial and early independent Spanish America. Their precarious status makes this group a privileged subject to examine the negotiation and formation of racial identity as well as the definition of citizenship requirements in colonial and post-colonial contexts. Based on archival material collected in Spain (Seville and Madrid) and Latin America (Mexico City, Bogotá, Quito, Lima and Buenos Aires), the book demonstrates that the access of free people of color to citizenship both in the late colonial and early independent period was not established by state authorities, but resulted from complex dynamics between the state and the local society.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. Seeking Spaces for Mobility
  • 2. The Revolutions of the Hispanic World: New Citizenship Rights?
  • 3. Between Grace and Rights
  • 4. Race and Equality
  • Conclusion
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Pardo is the New Black: The Urban Origins of Argentina’s Myth of Black Disappearance

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2021-08-02 14:33Z by Steven

Pardo is the New Black: The Urban Origins of Argentina’s Myth of Black Disappearance

Global Urban History
2016-12-19

Erika Edwards, Associate Professor of History
University of North Carolina, Charlotte


Bernardino Rivadavia, Argentina’s first president (1826-27) was nicknamed “Doctor Chocolate.” Painting by Mirta Toledo, 2013

It was a typical day, nothing out of the ordinary. I, a young, small-town girl had landed in a foreign country to begin my study abroad. I knew nothing about Argentina and was excited to discover the country. It did not take long for me to realize that my experience would be life changing. Black in a very white country, I stood out like a sore thumb. I was the “other.” At first I was uncomfortable, but then, I realized that my blackness was not the same in Argentina as in the United States. My blackness meant something else. I was exotic, if not exceptional, and surprisingly I was not black! Instead I was morocha (a non-offensive term referring to darker skin). How could that be? I had transformed into a lighter version of myself. As I grew accustomed to being called morocha, I could not help wondering who constituted a morocha. Over time the answer became apparent: anyone who was not white. Other countries had mestizos (Indian and white mixture/descendant), or mulattos (black and white), but Argentina had grouped African and Indian descendants and people with tanned skin tones, often descendants of immigrants from Mediterranean countries, into a single category. Argentines proclaimed there “were no blacks in their country,” but the country certainly had a lot of morochos! Despite the lack of African descendants’ visibility today, in 1778 they had a significant share of the national population. Concentrated in cities, African descendants amounted to 44 percent of the inhabitants of the provincial city of Córdoba, for instance.[1] The decline of this population a national question for Argentina, whose black population dwindled from roughly 30 percent of the total population to 0.37 percent according to the 2010 census…

Read the entire article here.

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Growing up Ethiopian and German

Posted in Africa, Articles, Autobiography, Europe, Media Archive, United States on 2021-05-24 21:00Z by Steven

Growing up Ethiopian and German

Ethiopian Observer
2021-05-20

Tigist Selam

Born to an Ethiopian mother and a German father, Tigist Selam enjoyed the diverse experience of growing up in Nigeria, Argentina, and foremost Germany. In an article featured in the book “One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race“, Tigist explores the complexities of racial classifications, and the different ways that people live and experience Blackness.

I personally identify as Black racially, Ethiopian, and German/ American culturally. I never say that I’m Black except in a political context because I don’t even know what that means. Like being Black. What is Black culture? Is it African culture? Is it the Caribbean? To me, culture is very specific and I’m multicultural. So, when I identify as Black, I’m making a political statement; I am not trying to simplify my own cultural complexity.

My father was born in 1945. That’s the end of World War II. He still had the swastika in his passport and on his birth certificate. And my mom, she survived Haile Selassie and Mussolini. Both of my parents are very proud to be German, very proud to be Ethiopian, respectively. Very, very strong people identity-wise. But they’re not very sensitive when it comes to race. To them, everybody else is an idiot. And that was really helpful growing up because my mom never backed down. When she didn’t get seated, she would say something or not pay for the meal. My dad took me voting when i was 11. I was forced to watch international news every day. So me and my brother got politicised at a very early age. But it was also the experience of living everywhere-Nigeria for two years, Argentina for three years, Germany ten years, and now America off and on for 10 years…

Read the entire article here.

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The Hidden History of Black Argentina

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive on 2021-02-10 02:05Z by Steven

The Hidden History of Black Argentina

The New York Review
2021-02-08

Uki Goñi


Allsport via Getty Images
Diego Maradona (front, center) with family and friends in Villa Fiorito, Argentina, 1980

A century of European immigration brought with it a comprehensive effort to erase the country’s multiracial past. Only recently has that been reversed.

Erika Denise Edwards, Hiding in Plain Sight: Black Women, the Law, and the Making of a White Argentine Republic (Tuscaloosa: University Alabama Press, 2020).

“This country has no tradition of its own,” Argentina’s master writer, Jorge Luis Borges, told me in an interview in 1975. “There’s no native tradition of any kind since the Indians here were mere barbarians. We have to fall back on the European tradition, why not? It’s a very fine tradition.” The words grate to modern ears, but they seemed true to Borges’s world. His own grandmother, Frances Anne Haslam, had come from Staffordshire, England. And by 1920, when Borges turned twenty-one, over half the population of his native Buenos Aires had been born in Europe, the result of a vast wave of late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century immigration.

According to this idea of Argentina’s roots, our capital city of Buenos Aires is “the Paris of South America,” and “we are all descendants from Europe,” as then President Mauricio Macri said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in 2018. A corollary of this claim is one made by an earlier president, Carlos Menem, to a Dutch audience at Maastricht University in 1993 that, because Argentina had abolished slavery as early as 1813, “we don’t have blacks.” At a later lecture—bizarrely enough, at Howard University in Washington, D.C.—Menem added, “that is a Brazilian problem.”

For me, the myth of a European-only Argentina reached its breaking point last November, with the death of the soccer star Diego Maradona, arguably the greatest player who ever lived. He transcended the world of sports to become a figure of hope and defiance for millions of Argentines…

Read the entire review here.

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Afro-Argentines: How Black People Were Systematically Whitewashed From Argentine History

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive on 2021-01-05 01:28Z by Steven

Afro-Argentines: How Black People Were Systematically Whitewashed From Argentine History

The Bubble
2018-07-03

Allie Pitchon


Afroargentines playing candombe porteño near of a bonfire of Saint John (San Juan) in 1938. via africanarguments.org

Argentina is perceived by many to be a primarily white, European country, with Buenos Aires often referred to as the “Paris of Latin America” in popular culture. This perception is rooted in a post-colonial process where Argentine leaders and intellectuals in the 19th century, especially during the Generation of 1837 and the Generation of 1880, actively made an effort to systematically erase Black Argentines from the country’s history, popular culture, and society in an effort to position the nation as a global power modeled after the US and Europe.

By the second half of the 1700’s, roughly a third of the population of Buenos Aires was comprised of Afro-Argentines. While some were free, most were enslaved, brought in slave ships during the late 16th century in the hundreds of thousands to work as domestic servants and on plantations in the Rio de la Plata region. During the 18th and 19th centuries, people of African descent spread across Argentina. In some provinces, including Salta, Córdoba, Santiago del Estero, and Catamarca, Black Argentines accounted for roughly half the population. Meanwhile, General San Martín’s army was heavily comprised of Afro-Argentines. In the battle of Chacabuco, for instance, which was key in helping liberate Chile from Spanish rule, half of the soldiers were Afro-Argentines promised freedom from slavery in exchange for military service…

Read the entire article here.

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The Role of Black Women in the Making of a White Argentine Republic

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Slavery, Women on 2020-07-06 00:48Z by Steven

The Role of Black Women in the Making of a White Argentine Republic

Black Perspectives
2020-07-02

Christina Proenza Coles, Lecturer of American Studies
University of Virginia

Erika Denise Edwards, Hiding in Plain Sight: Black Women, the Law, and the Making of a White Argentine Republic (Tuscaloosa: University Alabama Press, 2020)

The discovery of personal whiteness among the world’s peoples is a very modern thing,” observed W.E.B. Du Bois, “a nineteenth and twentieth century matter, indeed.”1 The exposition of whiteness as a novel social construct and political tool masquerading as a natural category has been ably elaborated by several scholars in the last forty years. Erika Denise Edward’s new book, Hiding in Plain Sight: Black Women, the Law, and the Making of a White Argentine Republic, is both innovative as well as firmly grounded in the rich tradition of scholarship that illuminates the manifold processes, policies, sites, and situations in which notions of whiteness were negotiated, reified, and contested across the New World.

Hiding in Plain Sight counters conventional narratives about the demographic decline of Afro-Argentines as it centers the initiatives of African-descended women in capitalizing on the privileges of whiteness. Edwards, an Associate Professor of colonial Latin American History at UNC Charlotte, addresses broad questions regarding the complex relationships between race and class in Latin America, including “how the caste societies of the colonial and early national periods were gradually transformed into the class societies of the twentieth century.”2

Read the entire review here.

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The Palgrave International Handbook of Mixed Racial and Ethnic Classification

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Books, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Europe, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Oceania, Social Science, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States on 2020-01-31 02:28Z by Steven

The Palgrave International Handbook of Mixed Racial and Ethnic Classification

Palgrave Macmillan
2020-01-21
817 pages
16 b/w illustrations, 17 illustrations in colour
Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-22873-6
eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-22874-3
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-22874-3

Edited by:

Zarine L. Rocha, Managing Editor
Current Sociology and Asian Journal of Social Science

Peter J. Aspinall, Emeritus Reader in Population Health
University of Kent, United Kingdom

Highlights

  • Shows how classification and collection processes around mixedness differ between countries and how measurement has been changing over time
  • Provides a window into the radical global changes in the trend towards multiple racial/ethnic self-identification that has been a feature of the recent past
  • The first and only handbook to directly address the classification of mixed race/ethnicity on a global scale
  • Pays specific attention to both the standard classifications and the range of uses these are put to – including social surveys and administrative data – rather than just census forms and data

This handbook provides a global study of the classification of mixed race and ethnicity at the state level, bringing together a diverse range of country case studies from around the world.

The classification of race and ethnicity by the state is a common way to organize and make sense of populations in many countries, from the national census and birth and death records, to identity cards and household surveys. As populations have grown, diversified, and become increasingly transnational and mobile, single and mutually exclusive categories struggle to adequately capture the complexity of identities and heritages in multicultural societies. State motivations for classification vary widely, and have shifted over time, ranging from subjugation and exclusion to remediation and addressing inequalities. The chapters in this handbook illustrate how differing histories and contemporary realities have led states to count and classify mixedness in different ways, for different reasons.

This collection will serve as a key reference point on the international classification of mixed race and ethnicity for students and scholars across sociology, ethnic and racial studies, and public policy, as well as policy makers and practitioners.

Table of Contents

  • Front Matter
  • Introduction: Measuring Mixedness Around the World / Zarine L. Rocha, Peter J. Aspinall
  • Race and Ethnicity Classification in British Colonial and Early Commonwealth Censuses / Anthony J. Christopher
  • The Americas
    • Front Matter
    • Introduction: North and South America / Peter J. Aspinall, Zarine L. Rocha
    • The Canadian Census and Mixed Race: Tracking Mixed Race Through Ancestry, Visible Minority Status, and Métis Population Groups in Canada / Danielle Kwan-Lafond, Shannon Winterstein
    • Methods of Measuring Multiracial Americans / Melissa R. Herman
    • Mixed Race in Brazil: Classification, Quantification, and Identification / G. Reginald Daniel, Rafael J. Hernández
    • Mexico: Creating Mixed Ethnicity Citizens for the Mestizo Nation / Pablo Mateos
    • Boundless Heterogeneity: ‘Callaloo’ Complexity and the Measurement of Mixedness in Trinidad and Tobago / Sue Ann Barratt
    • Mixed race in Argentina: Concealing Mixture in the ‘White’ Nation / Lea Natalia Geler, Mariela Eva Rodríguez
    • Colombia: The Meaning and Measuring of Mixedness / Peter Wade
  • Europe and the UK
    • Front Matter
    • Introduction: Europe and the United Kingdom / Peter J. Aspinall, Zarine L. Rocha
    • The Path to Official Recognition of ‘Mixedness’ in the United Kingdom / Peter J. Aspinall
    • Measuring Mixedness in Ireland: Constructing Sameness and Difference / Elaine Moriarty
    • The Identification of Mixed People in France: National Myth and Recognition of Family Migration Paths / Anne Unterreiner
    • Controversial Approaches to Measuring Mixed-Race in Belgium: The (In)Visibility of the Mixed-Race Population / Laura Odasso
    • The Weight of German History: Racial Blindness and Identification of People with a Migration Background / Anne Unterreiner
    • Mixed, Merged, and Split Ethnic Identities in the Russian Federation / Sergei V. Sokolovskiy
    • Mixedness as a Non-Existent Category in Slovenia / Mateja Sedmak
    • Mixed Identities in Italy: A Country in Denial / Angelica Pesarini, Guido Tintori
    • (Not) Measuring Mixedness in the Netherlands / Guno Jones, Betty de Hart
    • Mixed Race and Ethnicity in Sweden: A Sociological Analysis / Ioanna Blasko, Nikolay Zakharov
  • Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia and the Caucasus
    • Front Matter
    • Introduction: Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia and the Caucasus / Zarine L. Rocha, Peter J. Aspinall
    • The Classification of South Africa’s Mixed-Heritage Peoples 1910–2011: A Century of Conflation, Contradiction, Containment, and Contention / George T. H. Ellison, Thea de Wet
    • The Immeasurability of Racial and Mixed Identity in Mauritius / Rosabelle Boswell
    • Neither/Nor: The Complex Attachments of Zimbabwe’s Coloureds / Kelly M. Nims
    • Measuring Mixedness in Zambia: Creating and Erasing Coloureds in Zambia’s Colonial and Post-colonial Census, 1921 to 2010 / Juliette Milner-Thornton
    • Racial and Ethnic Mobilization and Classification in Kenya / Babere Kerata Chacha, Wanjiku Chiuri, Kenneth O. Nyangena
    • Making the Invisible Visible: Experiences of Mixedness for Binational People in Morocco / Gwendolyn Gilliéron
    • Measuring Mixedness: A Case Study of the Kyrgyz Republic / Asel Myrzabekova
  • Asia and the Pacific
    • Front Matter
    • Introduction: The Asia Pacific Region / Zarine L. Rocha, Peter J. Aspinall
    • Where You Feel You Belong: Classifying Ethnicity and Mixedness in New Zealand / Robert Didham, Zarine L. Rocha
    • Measuring Mixedness in Australia / Farida Fozdar, Catriona Stevens
    • Measuring Race, Mixed Race, and Multiracialism in Singapore / Zarine L. Rocha, Brenda S. A. Yeoh
    • Multiracial in Malaysia: Categories, Classification, and Campur in Contemporary Everyday Life / Geetha Reddy, Hema Preya Selvanathan
    • Anglo-Indians in Colonial India: Historical Demography, Categorization, and Identity / Uther Charlton-Stevens
    • Mixed Racial and Ethnic Classification in the Philippines / Megumi HaraJocelyn O. Celero
    • Vaevaeina o le toloa (Counting the Toloa): Counting Mixed Ethnicity in the Pacific, 1975–2014 / Patrick Broman, Polly Atatoa Carr, Byron Malaela Sotiata Seiuli
    • Measuring Mixed Race: ‘We the Half-Castes of Papua and New Guinea’ / Kirsten McGavin
    • Measuring Mixedness in China: A Study in Four Parts / Cathryn H. Clayton
    • Belonging Across Religion, Race, and Nation in Burma-Myanmar / Chie Ikeya
    • Recognition of Multiracial and Multiethnic Japanese: Historical Trends, Classification, and Ways Forward / Sayaka Osanami Törngren, Hyoue Okamura
  • Back Matter
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Hiding in Plain Sight: Black Women, the Law, and the Making of a White Argentine Republic

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, Women on 2020-01-28 19:20Z by Steven

Hiding in Plain Sight: Black Women, the Law, and the Making of a White Argentine Republic

University Alabama Press
2020-01-28
184 pages
5 B&W figures / 7 tables
6 x 60 x 9 inches
Trade Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8173-2036-2
EBook ISBN: 978-0-8173-9265-9

Erika Denise Edwards, Associate Professor of History
University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Details how African-descended women’s societal, marital, and sexual decisions forever reshaped the racial makeup of Argentina

Argentina values the perception that it is only a country of European immigrants, making it an exception to other Latin American countries, which can embrace a more mixed—African, Indian, European—heritage. Hiding in Plain Sight: Black Women, the Law, and the Making of a White Argentine Republic traces the origins of what some white Argentines mischaracterize as a “black disappearance” by delving into the intimate lives of black women and explaining how they contributed to the making of a “white” Argentina. Erika Denise Edwards has produced the first comprehensive study in English of the history of African descendants outside of Buenos Aires in the late colonial and early republican periods, with a focus on how these women sought whiteness to better their lives and those of their children.

Edwards argues that attempts by black women to escape the stigma of blackness by recategorizing themselves and their descendants as white began as early as the late eighteenth century, challenging scholars who assert that the black population drastically declined at the end of the nineteenth century because of the whitening or modernization process. She further contends that in Córdoba, Argentina, women of African descent (such as wives, mothers, daughters, and concubines) were instrumental in shaping their own racial reclassifications and destinies.

This volume makes use of a wealth of sources to relate these women’s choices. The sources consulted include city censuses and notarial and probate records that deal with free and enslaved African descendants; criminal, ecclesiastical, and civil court cases; marriages and baptisms records and newsletters. These varied sources provide information about the day-to-day activities of cordobés society and how women of African descent lived, formed relationships, thrived, and partook in the transformation of racial identities in Argentina.

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Instead of enforcing segregation policies to sanction white superiority, Argentine authorities sought to eliminate blackness through European immigration and miscegenation.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-02-02 04:09Z by Steven

Instead of enforcing segregation policies to sanction white superiority, Argentine authorities sought to eliminate blackness through European immigration and miscegenation. The constant arrival of European males through immigration made this goal attainable. For example, [Domingo] Sarmiento often touted mulatos as proof of progress because they “had the brute force of the African and the intellect of the European.”5 By the turn of the twentieth century, it seemed that the whitening project had achieved success. In 1905 Juan José Soiza Reilly wrote in the magazine Caras y Caretas, “The [black] race is losing in the mixture its primitive color. It becomes gray. It dissolves. It lightens. An African tree is producing white flowers.”6

Erika Denise Edwards, “A Tale of Two Cities: Buenos Aires, Córdoba and the Disappearance of the Black Population in Argentina,” The Metropole: The Official Blog of the Urban History Association, May 31, 2018. https://themetropole.blog/2018/05/31/a-tale-of-two-cities-buenos-aires-cordoba-and-the-disappearance-of-the-black-population-in-argentina/.

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A Tale of Two Cities: Buenos Aires, Córdoba and the Disappearance of the Black Population in Argentina

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive on 2019-02-01 16:05Z by Steven

A Tale of Two Cities: Buenos Aires, Córdoba and the Disappearance of the Black Population in Argentina

The Metropole: The Official Blog of the Urban History Association
2018-05-31

Erika Denise Edwards, Associate Professor of History
University of North Carolina, Charlotte


Façade of Iglesia de Santo Domingo, Córdoba, Argentina, no date, Archive of Hispanic Culture, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

The recent explosion of black studies in Argentina has been a welcoming effort of various scholars and activists that have refused to accept the old and tired categorization that Argentina is a country of European descendants.1 For instance, most recently activists challenged Argentine president Mauricio Macri’s association between Mercosur and the European Union at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2018. There the president stated, “I think the association between Mercosur and the European Union is natural because in South America we are all descendants of Europeans.”2 I can’t say I wasn’t proud to see and hear the strong backlash that challenged this outdated and very tiresome notion that Argentina has always been a white nation. But is that all that is left for us? What I mean more specifically is we can and will continue to dispel that Argentina is a white country of only “European descendants,” but as the field of black studies in Argentina develops it is also time that we take a hard look at the scholarship and ask ourselves what comes next.

My response is that it is time to expand westward. Why? Because scholars of Argentina’s black history have tended to focus on Buenos Aires.3 So much so that the black experience in Buenos Aires has become the national narrative. In other words, Argentina’s black history and more specifically the process of black disappearance references the black experience of Buenos Aires during the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth century. By the mid-nineteenth century intellectuals such as Juan Batista Alberdi and Domingo Sarmiento (president of Argentina 1868-1874) justified policies that encouraged European immigration using pseudoscientific theories that purported to prove the biological superiority of “whites” over “nonwhites.” In effect, Sarmiento, and similar intellectuals joined the larger Latin American process of blanqueamiento, or whitening. Blanqueamiento serves as an operative word to describe the late-nineteenth-century state-led modernization process. Like Argentina, many other Latin American countries looked to European immigrants as the way to bring civilization. Historians have argued that this ideological erasure is one of the main reasons for the disappearance of people who identified as black in Argentina.4

Read the entire article here.

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