With images of people of various skin tones, urban Afro-Colombians as well as farmers and people in traditional clothes, and music in the background that was not easily identifiable with any specific region in the country, the commercial’s message was clear: they were all AfroColombian.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-01-10 19:31Z by Steven

The Beautiful Faces commercial was about thirty seconds long: ‘I am negro, morena, mulata, zamba. I am Afro-descendant. I count. Palenquero, raizal, mulato, negra, I count. Afro-descendant, morena, negra. I’m zambo, raizal. I count. Palenquero, negro.’ It ended with the confident words of Maria Eugenia Arboleda, a famous AfroColombian actress: ‘My people, in this census, count yourself!’ This was followed by the some fifteen Afro-Colombians featured in the commercial exclaiming in unison: ‘Proud to be Afro-Colombian!’ With images of people of various skin tones, urban Afro-Colombians as well as farmers and people in traditional clothes, and music in the background that was not easily identifiable with any specific region in the country, the commercial’s message was clear: they were all AfroColombian.

Tianna S. Paschel, “‘The Beautiful Faces of my Black People’: race, ethnicity and the politics of Colombia’s 2005 census,” Ethnic and Racial Studies, Volume 36, Issue 10 (2013). 11-12. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2013.791398.

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‘The Beautiful Faces of my Black People’: race, ethnicity and the politics of Colombia’s 2005 census

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2017-01-06 02:22Z by Steven

‘The Beautiful Faces of my Black People’: race, ethnicity and the politics of Colombia’s 2005 census

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 36, 2013 – Issue 10: Rethinking Race, Racism, Identity, and Ideology in Latin America
Pages 1544-1563
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2013.791398

Tianna S. Paschel, Assistant Professor of African American Studies
University of California, Berkeley

The recent multicultural turn in Latin America has made the census a key site of struggle for both recognition and resources. Drawing on document analysis and ethnographic methods, this paper examines the politics around Colombia’s 2005 census. I argue that Afro-Colombian organizations were successful in pressuring the state to move beyond the purely cultural notions of blackness institutionalized in the 1991 constitution and toward a broader ethno-racial Afro-Colombian category in the 2005 census. However, their success required them not only to situate their claims in international mandates and domestic law, but also to grapple with competing definitions of blackness within the movement itself. In this way, the Afro-Colombian movement has been an important actor in shaping how ‘official’ ethno-racial categories are made and remade in Colombia. This case not only sheds light on the politics of multiculturalism in Latin America more generally, but raises questions about how we understand ‘race’ versus ‘ethnicity’.

Read the entire article here.

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Degrees of Mixture, Degrees of Freedom: Genomics, Multiculturalism, and Race in Latin America

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Mexico, Monographs, Social Science on 2016-12-27 18:49Z by Steven

Degrees of Mixture, Degrees of Freedom: Genomics, Multiculturalism, and Race in Latin America

Duke University Press
2017
328 pages
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6358-3
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-6373-6
12 illustrations

Peter Wade, Professor of Social Anthropology
University of Manchester

Race mixture, or mestizaje, has played a critical role in the history, culture, and politics of Latin America. In Degrees of Mixture, Degrees of Freedom, Peter Wade draws on a multidisciplinary research study in Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia. He shows how Latin American elites and outside observers have emphasized mixture’s democratizing potential, depicting it as a useful resource for addressing problems of racism (claiming that race mixture undoes racial difference and hierarchy), while Latin American scientists participate in this narrative with claims that genetic studies of mestizos can help isolate genetic contributors to diabetes and obesity and improve health for all. Wade argues that, in the process, genomics produces biologized versions of racialized difference within the nation and the region, but a comparative approach nuances the simple idea that highly racialized societies give rise to highly racialized genomics. Wade examines the tensions between mixture and purity, and between equality and hierarchy in liberal political orders, exploring how ideas and scientific data about genetic mixture are produced and circulate through complex networks.

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‘We Are All the Same, We All Are Mestizos’: Imagined Populations and Nations in Genetics Research in Colombia

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2016-07-29 20:16Z by Steven

‘We Are All the Same, We All Are Mestizos’: Imagined Populations and Nations in Genetics Research in Colombia

Science as Culture
Volume 23, Issue 2, 2014
pages 226-252
DOI: 10.1080/09505431.2013.838214

María Fernanda Olarte Sierra, Assistant Professor
Department of Design
University of the Andes, Bogotá, Colombia

Adriana Díaz Del Castillo Hernández, Independent Researcher
Consultoría en Estudios Sociales Sobre Educación, Salud, Ciencia y Tecnología, Bogotá, Colombia

In Colombia, as in other Latin American countries, current population genetics research is based on the understanding that Colombians constitute a mestizo nation, given the admixture process that took place between Africans, Amerindians, and Europeans during colonial times. The mestizo is a pervasive category used by geneticists to conduct, organise, and publish research studies that deal with the continent’s peopling process and the genetic makeup of its contemporary population(s). It is also the dominant imaginary for the Colombian population and a key nation-building ideology. By tracing how this category moves and is used across four Colombian genetics laboratories, it is possible to discern that despite its apparently clear-cut boundaries, the mestizo is contingent, contested, and flexible, allowing for multiple understandings and usages. This flexibility and multiplicity are visible in the quantification of genetic ancestry, the divisions of geographical location, and the understanding of gender. Such understandings allow one to think about a homogeneous nation (inclusive) that is simultaneously heterogeneous (exclusive); they provide multiple but not necessarily contradictory possibilities of being mestizo, allowing the coexistence of images of the nation that could otherwise seem contradictory; and they permit navigation around contested terms such as race, while simultaneously thinking of mixed races or racialised individuals. Finally, these flexible and multiple constructions of the mestizo (re)produce various subjects as ‘other’, whether they are women, the Indigenous, the black/dark, or the poor.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Nation and the Absent Presence of Race in Latin American Genomics

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Mexico on 2016-07-29 19:30Z by Steven

Nation and the Absent Presence of Race in Latin American Genomics

Current Anthropology
Volume 55, Number 5 (October 2014)
pages 497-522
DOI: 10.1086/677945

Peter Wade, Professor of Social Anthropology
University of Manchester

Vivette García Deister, Associate Professor
Social Studies of Science Laboratory
National Autonomous University of Mexico

Michael Kent, Honorary Research Fellow in Social Anthropology
School of Social Sciences
University of Manchester

María Fernanda Olarte Sierra, Assistant Professor
Department of Design
University of the Andes, Bogotá, Colombia

Adriana Díaz del Castillo Hernández, Independent Researcher
Consultoría en Estudios Sociales Sobre Educación, Salud, Ciencia y Tecnología, Bogotá, Colombia

Recent work on genomics and race makes the argument that concepts and categories of race are subtly reproduced in the practice of genomic science, despite the explicit rejection of race as meaningful biological reality by many geneticists. Our argument in this paper is that racialized meanings in genomics, rather than standing alone, are very often wrapped up in ideas about nation. This seems to us a rather neglected aspect in the literature about genomics and race. More specifically, we characterize race as an absent presence in Latin America and argue that genomics in the region finds a particular expression of race through concepts of nation, because this vehicle suits the deep-rooted ambiguity of race in the region. To make this argument we use data from an ethnographic project with genetics labs in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico.

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La Esclava Blanca: The New Telenovela Rewriting Colombia’s History of Slavery

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, History, Media Archive, Slavery, Social Justice, Women on 2016-07-07 01:15Z by Steven

La Esclava Blanca: The New Telenovela Rewriting Colombia’s History of Slavery

AAIHS: African American Intellectual History Society
2016-07-06

Yesenia Barragan
Columbia University, New York, New York

This is a guest post by Yesenia Barragan, a historian of race, slavery, and emancipation in Colombia, Afro-Latin America, and the Atlantic/Pacific worlds. She recently received her Ph.D. in Latin American and Caribbean History at Columbia University and will be a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Dartmouth College in the Fall 2016. She is currently revising her book manuscript, tentatively titled The Darkest Place: Slavery and Emancipation on the Colombian Pacific, which is the first detailed study of the gradual abolition of slavery (1821-1852) and the immediate aftermath of emancipation in the Pacific lowlands of Colombia. Yesenia is also a longtime activist and has published several pieces for the Latin American news agency Telesur on the historical memory of slavery in the Americas, Black Lives Matter, and Colombian politics.

Between Underground and Roots, the past year has witnessed a boom in the cinematic portrayal of the ugly business of and resistance to slavery in the U.S. South. Little known to American audiences, however, is the recent debut of a television series from the Latin American country of Colombia titled La Esclava Blanca (The White Slave), which depicts the slaveholding world of post-colonial Colombia, currently the country with the third largest Afro-descendent population in the Western Hemisphere (after the United States and Brazil). Produced by Caracol TV (Colombia’s largest television network) and first aired in late January 2016 in Colombia, La Esclava Blanca was transmitted to a larger Spanish-language audience in the United States via Telemundo in April. In contrast to Brazil’s longer history of telenovelas (soap operas) set during the time of slavery (see, for example, Greg Childs’s AAIHS piece on A Escrava Isaura), La Esclava Blanca is actually the first telenovela about slavery in the history of Colombia. Yet, as reflected in the title of the telenovela (The White Slave), the show engages in a violent historical revisionism by centering the fantastical travails of a white woman who ostensibly holds the key of freedom for the region’s enslaved…

Read the entire article here.

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Becoming Black Political Subjects: Movements and Ethno-Racial Rights in Colombia and Brazil

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2016-06-19 02:02Z by Steven

Becoming Black Political Subjects: Movements and Ethno-Racial Rights in Colombia and Brazil

Princeton University Press
2016
328 pages
6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 9780691169385
eBook ISBN: 978140088107

Tianna S. Paschel, Assistant Professor of African American Studies
University of California, Berkeley

After decades of denying racism and underplaying cultural diversity, Latin American states began adopting transformative ethno-racial legislation in the late 1980s. In addition to symbolic recognition of indigenous peoples and black populations, governments in the region created a more pluralistic model of citizenship and made significant reforms in the areas of land, health, education, and development policy. Becoming Black Political Subjects explores this shift from color blindness to ethno-racial legislation in two of the most important cases in the region: Colombia and Brazil.

Drawing on archival and ethnographic research, Tianna Paschel shows how, over a short period, black movements and their claims went from being marginalized to become institutionalized into the law, state bureaucracies, and mainstream politics. The strategic actions of a small group of black activists—working in the context of domestic unrest and the international community’s growing interest in ethno-racial issues—successfully brought about change. Paschel also examines the consequences of these reforms, including the institutionalization of certain ideas of blackness, the reconfiguration of black movement organizations, and the unmaking of black rights in the face of reactionary movements.

Becoming Black Political Subjects offers important insights into the changing landscape of race and Latin American politics and provokes readers to adopt a more transnational and flexible understanding of social movements.

Table of Contents

  • List of Organizations
  • 1. Political Field Alignments
  • 2. Making Mestizajes
  • 3. Black Movements in Colorblind Fields
  • 4. The Multicultural Alignment
  • 5. The Racial Equality Alignment
  • 6. Navigating the Ethno-Racial State
  • 7. Unmaking Black Political Subjects
  • 8. Rethinking Race, Rethinking Movements
  • Methodological Appendix
  • Notes
  • References
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index
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Race and Nation in Modern Latin America

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico on 2016-06-18 23:11Z by Steven

Race and Nation in Modern Latin America

University of North Carolina Press
March 2003
352 pages
5 illus., notes, bibl., index
6.125 x 9.25
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8078-5441-9

Edited By:

Nancy P. Appelbaum, Associate professor of History
State University of New York, Binghamton

Anne S. Macpherson, Associate Professor of History
State University of New York, Brockport

Karin Alejandra Rosemblatt, Associate Professor of History
Unversity of Maryland

With a foreword by Thomas C. Holt and an afterword by Peter Wade

This collection brings together innovative historical work on race and national identity in Latin America and the Caribbean and places this scholarship in the context of interdisciplinary and transnational discussions regarding race and nation in the Americas. Moving beyond debates about whether ideologies of racial democracy have actually served to obscure discrimination, the book shows how notions of race and nationhood have varied over time across Latin America’s political landscapes.

Framing the themes and questions explored in the volume, the editors’ introduction also provides an overview of the current state of the interdisciplinary literature on race and nation-state formation. Essays on the post-independence period in Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, and Peru consider how popular and elite racial constructs have developed in relation to one another and to processes of nation building. Contributors also examine how ideas regarding racial and national identities have been gendered and ask how racialized constructions of nationhood have shaped and limited the citizenship rights of subordinated groups.

The contributors are Sueann Caulfield, Sarah C. Chambers, Lillian Guerra, Anne S. Macpherson, Aims McGuinness, Gerardo Rénique, James Sanders, Alexandra Minna Stern, and Barbara Weinstein.

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Myths of Harmony: Race and Republicanism during the Age of Revolution, Colombia, 1795-1831

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2016-06-18 22:02Z by Steven

Myths of Harmony: Race and Republicanism during the Age of Revolution, Colombia, 1795-1831

University of Pittsburgh Press
August 2007
216 pages
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper ISBN: 9780822959656

Marixa Lasso, Associate Professor of Latin American History
Universidad Nacional de Colombia

This book centers on a foundational moment for Latin American racial constructs. While most contemporary scholarship has focused the explanation for racial tolerance-or its lack-in the colonial period, Marixa Lasso argues that the key to understanding the origins of modern race relations are to be found later, in the Age of Revolution. Lasso rejects the common assumption that subalterns were passive and alienated from Creole-led patriot movements, and instead demonstrates that during Colombia’s revolution, free blacks and mulattos (pardos) actively joined and occasionally even led the cause to overthrow the Spanish colonial government. As part of their platform, patriots declared legal racial equality for all citizens, and promulgated an ideology of harmony and fraternity for Colombians of all colors. The fact that blacks were mentioned as equals in the discourse of the revolution and later served in republican government posts was a radical political departure. These factors were instrumental in constructing a powerful myth of racial equality-a myth that would fuel revolutionary activity throughout Latin America. Thus emerged a historical paradox central to Latin American nation-building: the coexistence of the principle of racial equality with actual racism at the very inception of the republic. Ironically, the discourse of equality meant that grievances of racial discrimination were construed as unpatriotic and divisive acts-in its most extreme form, blacks were accused of preparing a race war. Lasso’s work brings much-needed attention to the important role of the anticolonial struggles in shaping the nature of contemporary race relations and racial identities in Latin America.

Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Introduction: The Wars of Independence
  • 2. Racial Tensions in Late Colonial Society
  • 3. A Republican Myth of Racial Harmony
  • 4. The First Republic and the Pardos
  • 5. Life Stories of Afro-Colombian Patriots
  • 6. Race War
  • 7. Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Read the entire book here.

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Race: An Introduction

Posted in Africa, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States on 2015-09-21 20:56Z by Steven

Race: An Introduction

Cambridge University Press
August 2015
272 pages
13 b/w illus. 4 tables
245 x 190 x 12 mm
Hardback ISBN: 9781107034112
Paperback ISBN: 9781107652286

Peter Wade, Professor of Social Anthropology
University of Manchester

Taking a comparative approach, this textbook is a concise introduction to race. Illustrated with detailed examples from around the world, it is organised into two parts. Part One explores the historical changes in ideas about race from the ancient world to the present day, in different corners of the globe. Part Two outlines ways in which racial difference and inequality are perceived and enacted in selected regions of the world. Examining how humans have used ideas of physical appearance, heredity and behaviour as criteria for categorising others, the text guides students through provocative questions such as: what is race? Does studying race reinforce racism? Does a colour-blind approach dismantle, or merely mask, racism? How does biology feed into concepts of race? Numerous case studies, photos, figures and tables help students to appreciate the different meanings of race in varied contexts, and end-of-chapter research tasks provide further support for student learning.

  • Combines a broad historical overview (from the ancient world to the present day) with wide geographical and comparative coverage to show that race means different things in different contexts
  • Detailed historical and ethnographic material in textboxes, figures, photos and tables demonstrates the operation of race in everyday life
  • Offers an up-to-date, critical overview of a fast-changing field

Contents

  • List of figures
  • List of tables
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • 1 Knowing ‘race’
    • 1.1 Chronology of race
    • 1.2 Is race defined by appearance, biology and nature?
    • 1.3 Culture, appearance and biology revisited
    • 1.4 Race, comparatively and historically
    • 1.5 Comparisons
    • 1.6 Race in the history of Western modernity
    • Conclusion: so what is race?
    • Further research
  • Part I race in time
    • 2 Early approaches to understanding human variation
      • 2.1 Nature and culture
      • 2.2 Ancient Greece and Rome
      • 2.3 Medieval and early modern Europe
      • 2.4 New World colonisation
      • Conclusion
      • Further research
    • 3 From Enlightenment to eugenics
      • 3.1 Transitions
      • 3.2 Changing racial theories
      • 3.3 The spread of racial theory: nation, class, gender and religion
      • 3.4 Nature, culture and race
      • 3.5 Black reaction
      • Conclusion
      • Further research
    • 4 Biology, culture and genomics
      • 4.1 Darwin (again), genetics and the concept of population
      • 4.2 Boas and the separation of biology and culture
      • 4.3 Nazism, World War II and decolonisation
      • 4.4 UNESCO and after
      • 4.5 The persistence of race in science
      • 4.6 Race and IQ
      • 4.7 Race and sport
      • 4.8 Race, genomics and medicine: does race have a genetic basis?
      • 4.9 Race, genomics and medicine: racialising populations
      • Conclusion
      • Further activities
    • 5 Race in the era of cultural racism: politics and the everyday
      • 5.1 Introduction
      • 5.2 The institutional presence of race
      • 5.3 Race, nature and biology in the everyday world of culture
      • Conclusion
      • Further research
  • Part II Race in practice
    • 6 Latin America: mixture and racism
      • 6.1 Introduction
      • 6.2 Latin America and mestizaje
      • 6.3 Colombia: racial discrimination and social movements
      • 6.4 Structural disadvantage, region and mestizaje: lessons from Colombia
      • 6.5 Brazil: variations on a theme
      • 6.6 Guatemala: racial ambivalence
      • 6.7 Performing and embodying race in the Andes
      • Conclusion
      • Further research
    • 7 The United States and South Africa: segregation and desegregation
      • 7.1 Changing US demographics
      • 7.2 Caste and class in segregated Southern towns
      • 7.3 Black reaction and ‘desegregation’
      • 7.4 Segregation in practice: ‘the ghetto’
      • 7.5 Latinos and brownness
      • 7.6 South Africa
      • Conclusion
      • Further activities
    • 8 Race in Europe: immigration and nation
      • 8.1 European histories of race
      • 8.2 Issues in post-colonial migration in Europe
      • 8.3 White Britons in Leicestershire
      • 8.4 Asian Leicester
      • 8.5 The Asian gang in London
      • 8.6 Geographies of race in black Liverpool
      • 8.7 Algerians in France
      • Conclusion
      • Further activities
    • 9 Conclusion
      • 9.1 Theorising race
      • 9.2 Globalising race
      • 9.3 The future of race
    • References
    • Index
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