Comparative Racial Politics in Latin America (First Edition)

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, Women on 2018-10-17 18:00Z by Steven

Comparative Racial Politics in Latin America (First Edition)

Routledge
2018-09-04
358 pages
31 B/W Illus.
Paperback: 9781138485303
Hardback: 9781138727021
eBook (VitalSource): 9781315191065

Edited by:

Kwame Dixon, Associate Professor of Political Science
Howard University, Washington, D.C.

Ollie A. Johnson III, Associate Professor of African American Studies
Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Comparative Racial Politics in Latin America: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Latin America has a rich and complex social history marked by slavery, colonialism, dictatorships, rebellions, social movements and revolutions. Comparative Racial Politics in Latin America explores the dynamic interplay between racial politics and hegemonic power in the region. It investigates the fluid intersection of social power and racial politics and their impact on the region’s histories, politics, identities and cultures.

Organized thematically with in-depth country case studies and a historical overview of Afro-Latin politics, the volume provides a range of perspectives on Black politics and cutting-edge analyses of Afro-descendant peoples in the region. Regional coverage includes Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti and more. Topics discussed include Afro-Civil Society; antidiscrimination criminal law; legal sanctions; racial identity; racial inequality and labor markets; recent Black electoral participation; Black feminism thought and praxis; comparative Afro-women social movements; the intersection of gender, race and class, immigration and migration; and citizenship and the struggle for human rights. Recognized experts in different disciplinary fields address the depth and complexity of these issues.

Comparative Racial Politics in Latin America contributes to and builds on the study of Black politics in Latin America.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Comparative Racial Politics in Latin America – Black Politics Matter [Kwame Dixon and Ollie A. Johnson III]
  • Part 1: History
    • 1. Beyond Representation: Rethinking Rights, Alliances and Migrations: Three Historical Themes in Afro-Latin American Political Engagement [Darién J. Davis]
    • 2. Recognition, Reparations, and Political Autonomy of Black and Native Communities in the Americas [Bernd Reiter]
    • 3. Pan-Africanism and Latin America [Elisa Larkin Nascimento]
  • Part 2: The Caribbean
    • 4. Black Activism and the State in Cuba [Danielle Pilar Clealand]
    • 5. Correcting Intellectual Malpractice: Haiti and Latin America [Jean-Germain Gros]
    • 6. Black Feminist Formations in the Dominican Republic since La Sentencia [April J. Mayes]
  • Part 3: South America
    • 7. Afro-Ecuadorian Politics [Carlos de la Torre and Jhon Antón Sánchez]
    • 8. In The Branch of Paradise: Geographies of Privilege and Black Social Suffering in Cali, Colombia [Jaime Amparo Alves and Aurora Vergara-Figueroa]
    • 9. The Impossible Black Argentine Political Subject [Judith M. Anderson]
    • 10. Current Representations of “Black” Citizens: Contentious Visibility within the Multicultural Nation [Laura de la Rosa Solano]
  • Part 4: Comparative Perspectives
    • 11. The Contours and Contexts of Afro-Latin American Women’s Activism [Kia Lilly Caldwell]
    • 12. Race and the Law in Latin America [Tanya Katerí Hernández]
    • 13. The Labyrinth of Ethnic-Racial Inequality: a Picture of Latin America according to the recent Census Rounds [Marcelo Paixão and Irene Rossetto]
    • 14. The Millennium/Sustainable Development Goals and Afro-descendants in the Americas: An (Un)intended Trap [Paula Lezama]
  • Conclusion [Kwame Dixon and Ollie A. Johnson III]
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Searching For A Motherland As A Black Latina

Posted in Africa, Articles, Autobiography, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-02 02:36Z by Steven

Searching For A Motherland As A Black Latina

The Huffington Post
2018-03-30

Maria V. Luna, Associate Lecturer
Goldsmiths University of London


Author Maria V. Luna in the Dominican Republic on her way to celebrate carnival in 2011.
Maria V. Luna

For Black Latinx in the U.S., bicultural, bilingual ― if they are lucky ― and born to immigrant parents, there is no motherland.

Though 25 percent of U.S. Latinos self-identify as Afro-Latino, we are not always made to feel at home in our own country. To be Latinx in the U.S. is to encounter xenophobic rhetoric from the top of our nation’s political leadership down to its base. To be black Latinx is to discover that xenophobia layered with anti-black rhetoric brews even among our own ethnic group.

Scholars Miriam Jiménez Román and the late Juan Flores consider W.E.B. Du Bois when describing the experience of the Afro-Latino in the U.S. as a triple consciousness — an awareness of being black, Latino and American. It is an elastic awareness, a way of moving in the world that has been woefully underexplored in America and in Spanish-language media and entertainment.

As an Afro-Latina, I often wondered: Where are my people? Where are those who crave mangú for breakfast, a Cuban sandwich for lunch and tres leches dessert? Where are those who love the “One Day at a Time” reboot with a Latin cast but winced when Lydia, played by Rita Moreno, repeats with conviction, “Cubans are white!” Didn’t abuela dance to Celia Cruz every morning as she made breakfast?

As soon as I could, I journeyed far from New Jersey to find my people. I looked for my kindred in the Dominican Republic, in Brazil, in Spain and in the maternal monolith I once imagined Africa to be.

I was looking for that mythical interstitial place where my blackness and Latinidad could peacefully coexist. This is what I found…

Read the entire article here.

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My Skin Is Black, My Name Is Latino (AfroLatinidad As a Layered Blackness)

Posted in Arts, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2017-07-10 02:57Z by Steven

My Skin Is Black, My Name Is Latino (AfroLatinidad As a Layered Blackness)

Medium
2017-07-06

Jose Vilson
New York, New York


A younger me during one of my last visits to the Basílica Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia, Dominican Republic

I love jumping into cabs in Washington Heights for two reasons: the driver is almost always Dominican (as in Dominican Republic) and the driver is almost always surprised I can speak Spanish. He can have similar facial features, see the waves in my curly hair, and listen to the same music I have on my smartphone. It never matters. The second question is, “Wait, you’re Dominican? What barrio is your mom from?” I tell them the barrio and the cross-streets, and they get vexed. We exchange pleasantries, barbs about the way our music used to be, and elongated vowels before they finally drop me off at my destination.

Something about my blackness wouldn’t allow them to embrace theirs…

Read the entire article here.

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The Dominican Racial Imaginary: Surveying the Landscape of Race and Nation in Hispaniola

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2016-11-02 19:27Z by Steven

The Dominican Racial Imaginary: Surveying the Landscape of Race and Nation in Hispaniola

Rutgers University Press
November 2016
200 pages
9 photographs, 2 figures, 2 maps, 8 tables
6 x 9
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8135-8448-5
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8135-8447-8
Web PDF ISBN: 978-0-8135-8450-8
epub ISBN: 978-0-8135-8449-2

Milagros Ricourt, Associate Professor of Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies
Lehman College, The City University of New York

This book begins with a simple question: why do so many Dominicans deny the African components of their DNA, culture, and history?

Seeking answers, Milagros Ricourt uncovers a complex and often contradictory Dominican racial imaginary. Observing how Dominicans have traditionally identified in opposition to their neighbors on the island of Hispaniola—Haitians of African descent—she finds that the Dominican Republic’s social elite has long propagated a national creation myth that conceives of the Dominican as a perfect hybrid of native islanders and Spanish settlers. Yet as she pores through rare historical documents, interviews contemporary Dominicans, and recalls her own childhood memories of life on the island, Ricourt encounters persistent challenges to this myth. Through fieldwork at the Dominican-Haitian border, she gives a firsthand look at how Dominicans are resisting the official account of their national identity and instead embracing the African influence that has always been part of their cultural heritage.

Building on the work of theorists ranging from Edward Said to Édouard Glissant, this book expands our understanding of how national and racial imaginaries develop, why they persist, and how they might be subverted. As it confronts Hispaniola’s dark legacies of slavery and colonial oppression, The Dominican Racial Imaginary also delivers an inspiring message on how multicultural communities might cooperate to disrupt the enduring power of white supremacy.

Table Of Contents

  • Preface
  • Chapter 1 Introduction
  • Chapter 2 Border at the Crossroad
  • Chapter 3 The Creolization of Race
  • Chapter 4 Cimarrones: The Seed of Subversion
  • Chapter 5 Criollismo Religioso
  • Chapter 6 Race, Identity, and Nation
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Dominican Anti-Blackness

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Social Science on 2016-06-01 01:19Z by Steven

Dominican Anti-Blackness

bluestockings magazine
2016-05-02

Perla Montas

We were socialized from an early age to name blackness. To taunt it, to call it names. My friends and I compared skin colors as we played the “who’s blacker?” game.

“You’re blacker than me, Perla!”

“Haitiana, you lose!”

My parents groomed an identity that privileged straight hair and lighter skin, while compromising my kinks and self-esteem.

“I need 25 dollars to straighten Perla’s greña. It looks messy. She needs to look good for picture day.”

My inherited black skin and kinky hair were my parents’ greatest shame and the butt of my friends’ jokes.

La Raza Dominicana, a term that refers to Dominican people and culture as a collective, is actually used to highlight the Dominican Republic’s pluralities. The term celebrates all of the racial, ethnic, and cultural origins that have positively influenced expressions of Dominicanidad. Like Cuba and Brazil, the Dominican Republic has an extensive history of racial mixing between Indigenous peoples, enslaved Africans, and European colonizers. Yet under Spanish rule, colonizer violence and disease diminished the Indigenous population from 400,000 to 60,000 people by 1508, leaving a population of mostly miscegenated people (Howard, 31). As such, the DR has a population of primarily black people. According to current statistics, the Dominican Republic has an afro-descendant population of nearly 8 million people, the fifth largest black population outside of Africa.

While the colors and aesthetics of Dominican people are endless, it is important to keep in mind that white supremacy still operates insidiously in miscegenated societies…

Read the entire article here.

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Dominican, Black, and Afro-Latino: A Confession/Dominicano, Negro, y Afro-Latino: Una Confesión

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Autobiography, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-31 22:40Z by Steven

Dominican, Black, and Afro-Latino: A Confession/Dominicano, Negro, y Afro-Latino: Una Confesión

La Galería Magazine: Voices of the Dominican Diaspora
2015-04-10

Jonathan Bolívar Espinosa (Jay Espy)
Bronx, New York

“What? Black people in the Dominican Republic?” Yes amig@*, there are Black Dominican people whose ancestors descend from the African motherland. However, the question is not so much, “Are there Black people in the Dominican Republic?” as it is “Are Dominican people Black?” Ask that to a Dominican person and you might get cursed out. Contrary to popular belief, most Dominican people are in fact Black or African-descended, but Blackness tends to be defined in socially different ways depending on where you are in the world. For example, anyone from the United States who visits the Dominican Republic will find that most people there would qualify as Black if they lived in the states. Yet Dominican people see Blackness in a different way, and some of the most melanated Dominicans do not even claim their Blackness and instead default to “indio.” In reality, many Dominican people are as black as café, while others are as mixed as sancocho, as layered as cebollas, and a few as white as azúcar

…As a brown-skinned Dominican, the idea that I was somehow Black never crossed my mind. But what does it mean to be Black? Who is considered Black, and who is not? Am I Black? If I’m Dominican, can I be Black too? Am I Black enough? These are questions I struggled to answer as I embarked on a journey to come to terms with my European, Indigenous, and African ancestry and define my racial and cultural identity. Eventually, after deep study and reflection, I had discovered a racial and cultural fusion and finally admitted that I am the following: an Afro-Latino, or a Latino of African-descent, who identifies with their African roots; and an Afro-Dominican, which is simply a nationalized Afro-Latin@ identity. An Afro-Latin@ embraces four elements of African identity: their racial African features, like my thick, Black, curly afro; their cultural traits, which descend from African traditions such as music, food, language, and dance; their political identity, which is molded by their shared experience within a racist, anti-Black, system of white supremacy; and their social characteristics and personalities, which are African in nature. A Latin@ is simply someone mixed with African, European, and Indigenous blood…

Read the entire article here.

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Women Warriors of the Afro-Latina Diaspora

Posted in Anthologies, Autobiography, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Poetry, Women on 2016-01-17 01:22Z by Steven

Women Warriors of the Afro-Latina Diaspora

Arte Público Press
2012-04-30
248 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-55885-746-9

Edited by: Marta Moreno Vega, Alba Marinieves and Yvette Modestin

Afro-Latina women relate their personal stories and advocacy for racial equality

“My housewife mother turned into a raging warrior woman when the principal of my elementary school questioned whether her daughter and the children of my public school had the intelligence to pass a citywide test,” Marta Moreno Vega writes in her essay. She knew then she was loved and valued, and she learned that to be an Afro-Puerto Rican woman meant activism was her birth right.

Hers is one of eleven essays and four poems included in this volume in which Latina women of African descent share their stories. The authors included are from all over Latin America—Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela—and they write about the African diaspora and issues such as colonialism, oppression and disenfranchisement. Diva Moreira, a black Brazilian, writes that she experienced racism and humiliation at a very young age. The worst experience, she remembers, was when her mother’s bosses told her she didn’t need to go to school after the fourth grade, “because blacks don’t need to study more than that.”

The contributors span a range of professions, from artists to grass-roots activists, scholars and elected officials. Each is deeply engaged in her community, and they all use their positions to advocate for justice, racial equality and cultural equity. In their introduction, the editors write that these stories provide insight into the conditions that have led Afro-Latinas to challenge systems of inequality, including the machismo that is still prominent in Spanish-speaking cultures.

A fascinating look at the legacy of more than 400 years of African enslavement in the Americas, this collection of personal stories is a must-read for anyone interested in the African diaspora and issues of inequality and racism.

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At a Santo Domingo Hair Salon, Rethinking an Ideal Look

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive on 2016-01-05 19:00Z by Steven

At a Santo Domingo Hair Salon, Rethinking an Ideal Look

The New York Times
2015-12-30

Sandra E. Garcia

On my first trip back to the Dominican Republic in 10 years, as I wandered down the streets of La Zona Colonial, I noticed how their names were weighted with history. Calle de las Damas, a street made specifically for the wives and daughters of noblemen from colonial times to walk down. Calle José Gabriel García, named for a Dominican historian and journalist, among other things, who shares a first and last name with my father and made me think of him while I was there. Calle Isabel La Católica where I felt a connection to my paternal grandmother, Isabel Mireya Garcia. Born in Bani, she lived and died on the right side of Hispaniola and raised my father in Santo Domingo.

During my trip I would text my father pictures of the streets, and he would always text me back a story from his youth that occurred close to or near the street I was on.

“That’s the street where I shook Pope John Paul II’s hand in 1979,” he texted me, referring to Calle Padre Billini.

He likened La Zona Colonial to Times Square, but to me it resembled too much of the Old World.

The cobblestones, the colonial-style houses that were more like haciendas, Christopher and Diego Columbus’s house-turned museum — this all reminded me of the Spanish who once lived here and the continuing reverence for their influence in a country whose residents have African, European and Asian ancestry.

Before I knew it, I was standing in front of the Miss Rizos Salon on Calle Isabel La Católica. This was a departure from that reverence.

Long hair that hangs down your back has so long been the prevalent beauty ideal in the Dominican Republic that many residents who mastered hair-straightening on the island emigrated to the United States and opened successful salons throughout the country…

Read the entire article here.

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Dominicans, just like any other people of the world, have the right to come up with their own identifiers without judgment or interference as long as they aren’t subjugating any group of people.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2015-12-30 23:18Z by Steven

Dominicans, just like any other people of the world, have the right to come up with their own identifiers without judgment or interference as long as they aren’t subjugating any group of people. Wanting equality is a universal human trait, and being that the Dominican Republic has also been colonized by white supremacy, racism and colorism is prevalent, to an extent. Although, it shouldn’t be enough to hold anti-Dominican sentiments like most people have in the States when discussing the dire situation of Haitian immigrants and their Dominican-born descendants. Because that hate ricochets to most innocent Dominicans who have absolutely no power to be racist, and it trickles down to those even more powerless than them; Haitian immigrants and their Dominican-born descendants themselves.

César Vargas, “Black in a Foreign Land: In Defense of Dominican Identity,” The Huffington Post, Latino Voices, December 17, 2015. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/casar-vargas/black-in-a-foreign-land-i_b_8807772.html.

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Black in a Foreign Land: In Defense of Dominican Identity

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-12-28 02:14Z by Steven

Black in a Foreign Land: In Defense of Dominican Identity

The Huffington Post
2015-12-17

César Vargas

I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic until I was two months shy of turning 13. The Dominican Republic has a peculiar color metric system–not necessarily on race. So it should go without saying that I wasn’t exposed to the clear cut Americentric, and very binary, concept of race in America until I set foot in the United States.

Since a very young age, I was aware of how both colorism and classism were prevalent back in the island. I noticed how people were treated and often saw how the socioeconomic standing of an individual trumped their color–up to a point if we’re to test folks by the brown paper bag. I’ve said once or twice that a Black man with money is more white than a white poor man. In a third world country where the majority of people are mulattoes, and most of the darker population would be of Haitian descent, you’d be hard pressed not to find people of most shades within families. Some of those family members were better off than others, and often, I’ve found, they could be of any shade.

Of course, like any nation of the world colonized by Europeans, power and wealth is usually concentrated with their descendants, but it would be dishonest to say that most of the power and wealth in the Dominican Republic is owned and controlled solely by its small white population. There are people of color (and visibly so), in most power and entertainment structures. A lot more, I dare say, than most Latin American countries. If we go by the one drop rule, there have been Black public figures, Black businesspeople, Black athletes, Black entertainers, Black generals, Black presidents, and so on. If you put them next to most African Americans, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference…

Read the entire article here.

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