Afro-Latin American Studies: An Introduction

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Arts, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Social Science on 2018-05-30 01:50Z by Steven

Afro-Latin American Studies: An Introduction

Cambridge University Press
April 2018
400 pages
233 x 165 x 43 mm
Hardback ISBN: 9781107177628
Paperback ISBN: 9781316630662
eBook ISBN: 9781316835890

Editors:

Alejandro de la Fuente, Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics; Professor of African and African American Studies
Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts

George Reid Andrews, Distinguished Professor of History
University of Pittsburgh

Alejandro de la Fuente and George Reid Andrews offer the first systematic, book-length survey of humanities and social science scholarship on the exciting field of Afro-Latin American studies. Organized by topic, these essays synthesize and present the current state of knowledge on a broad variety of topics, including Afro-Latin American music, religions, literature, art history, political thought, social movements, legal history, environmental history, and ideologies of racial inclusion. This volume connects the region’s long history of slavery to the major political, social, cultural, and economic developments of the last two centuries. Written by leading scholars in each of those topics, the volume provides an introduction to the field of Afro-Latin American studies that is not available from any other source and reflects the disciplinary and thematic richness of this emerging field.

  • Presents systematic and synthetic overviews of recent scholarship on topics of major importance in the field of Afro-Latin American studies, for example Afro-Latin American religions, Afro-Latin American political movements, and Afro-Latin American music
  • Covers a broad range of topics, embracing most of the humanities and social sciences
  • Serves as the authoritative introduction for Afro-Latin American history, covering the period from 1500 to the present

Table of Contents

  • 1. Afro-Latin American studies: an introduction Alejandro de la Fuente and George Reid Andrews
  • Part I. Inequalities:
    • 2. The slave trade to Latin America: a historiographical assessment Roquinaldo Ferreira and Tatiana Seijas
    • 3. Inequality: race, class, gender George Reid Andrews
    • 4. Afro-indigenous interactions, relations, and comparisons Peter Wade
    • 5. Law, silence, and racialized inequalities in the history of Afro-Brazil Brodwyn Fischer, Keila Grinberg and Hebe Mattos
  • Part II. Politics:
    • 6. Currents in Afro-Latin American political and social thought Frank Guridy and Juliet Hooker
    • 7. Rethinking black mobilization in Latin America Tianna Paschel
    • 8. ‘Racial democracy’ and racial inclusion: hemispheric histories Paulina Alberto and Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof
  • Part III. Culture:
    • 9. Literary liberties: the authority of Afrodescendant authors Doris Sommer
    • 10. Afro-Latin American art Alejandro de la Fuente
    • 11. A century and a half of scholarship on Afro-Latin American music Robin Moore
    • 12. Afro-Latin American religions Stephan PalmiĂ© and Paul Christopher Johnson
    • 13. Environment, space and place: cultural geographies of colonial Afro-Latin America Karl Offen
  • Part IV. Transnational Spaces:
    • 14. Transnational frames of Afro-Latin experience: evolving spaces and means of connection, 1600–2000 Lara Putnam
    • 15. Afro-Latinos: speaking through silences and rethinking the geographies of blackness Jennifer A. Jones
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Afro-Latin America: Black Lives, 1600–2000

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2016-03-03 21:14Z by Steven

Afro-Latin America: Black Lives, 1600–2000

Harvard University Press
March 2016
136 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
2 maps, 2 graphs, 4 tables
Hardcover ISBN: 9780674737594

George Reid Andrews, Distinguished Professor of History
University of Pittsburgh

Of the almost 11 million Africans who came to the Americas between 1500 and 1870, two-thirds came to Spanish America and Brazil. Over four centuries, Africans and their descendants—both free and enslaved—participated in the political, social, and cultural movements that indelibly shaped their countries’ colonial and post-independence pasts. Yet until very recently Afro-Latin Americans were conspicuously excluded from narratives of their hemisphere’s history.

George Reid Andrews seeks to redress this damaging omission by making visible the past and present lives and labors of black Latin Americans in their New World home. He cogently reconstructs the Afro-Latin heritage from the paper trail of slavery and freedom, from the testimonies of individual black men and women, from the writings of visiting African-Americans, and from the efforts of activists and scholars of the twentieth century to bring the Afro-Latin heritage fully into public view.

While most Latin American countries have acknowledged the legacy of slavery, the story still told throughout the region is one of “racial democracy”—the supposedly successful integration and acceptance of African descendants into society. From the 1970s to today, black civil rights movements have challenged that narrative and demanded that its promises of racial equality be made real. They have also called for fuller acknowledgment of Afro-Latin Americans’ centrality in their countries’ national histories. Afro-Latin America brings that story up to the present, examining debates currently taking place throughout the region on how best to achieve genuine racial equality.

Table of Contents

  • 1. On Seeing and Not Seeing
  • 2. On Counting and Not Counting
  • 3. Afro-Latin American Voices
  • 4. Transnational Voices
  • 5. On Acting and Not Acting
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index
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In Buenos Aires, Researchers Exhume Long-Unclaimed African Roots

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Social Science on 2013-06-17 01:21Z by Steven

In Buenos Aires, Researchers Exhume Long-Unclaimed African Roots

The Washington Post
2005-05-05

Monte Reel

BUENOS AIRES — Their disappearance is one of Argentina’s most enduring mysteries. In 1810, black residents accounted for about 30 percent of the population of Buenos Aires. By 1887, however, their numbers had plummeted to 1.8 percent.

So where did they go? The answer, it turns out, is nowhere.

Popular myth has offered two historical hypotheses: a yellow fever epidemic in 1871 that devastated black urban neighborhoods, and a brutal war with Paraguay in the 1860s that put many black Argentines on the front lines.

But two new studies are challenging those old notions, using distinct methods: a door-to-door census to determine how many Argentines consider themselves black, and an analysis of DNA samples to detect traces of African ancestry in those who consider themselves white.

The results are only partially compiled, but they suggest that many of the black Argentines did not vanish; they just faded into the mixed-race populace and became lost to demography. According to some researchers, as many as 10 percent of Buenos Aires residents are partly descended from black Argentines but have no idea.

“People for years have accepted the idea that there are no black people in Argentina,” said Miriam Gomes, a professor of literature at the University of Buenos Aires who is part black and considers herself Afro-Argentine. “Even the schoolbooks here accepted this as a fact. But where did that leave me?”…

…”Argentina was interested in presenting itself as a white country,” said George Reid Andrews, a history professor at the University of Pittsburgh who has specialized in black history in Latin America. “Its ideologues and writers put a great emphasis on the yellow fever epidemic and the war, and it was feasible to pretend that the black population had simply disappeared as immigration exploded.” …

… But personal definitions do not count when analyzing DNA, which is what a group of scientists from the University of Buenos Aires and Oxford University in England did earlier this year. After collecting blood samples at a local hospital, they searched for genetic markers that indicate African ancestry. The results, to be published this year in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, suggested that 10 percent of those who identified themselves as white were, in part, descendants of black Argentines.

“A lot of people were very surprised by this,” said Francisco R. Carnese, a geneticist at the University of Buenos Aires and co-author of the study. “When you walk around Buenos Aires, you don’t see signs of African ancestry. But you see it in the genes.” ..

Read the entire article here.

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Blacks and Whites in São Paulo, Brazil 1888–1988

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2012-08-19 04:05Z by Steven

Blacks and Whites in São Paulo, Brazil 1888–1988

University of Wisconsin Press
November 1991
376 pages
6 x 9; 1 map
Paper ISBN: 978-0-299-13104-3

George Reid Andrews, Distinguished Professor of History
University of Pittsburgh

Winner of the 1993 Arthur P. Whitaker Prize

For much of the twentieth century Brazil enjoyed an international reputation as a “racial democracy,” but that image has been largely undermined in recent decades by research suggesting the existence of widespread racial inequality. George Reid Andrews provides the first thoroughly documented history of Brazilian racial inequality from the abolition of slavery in 1888 up to the late 1980s, showing how economic, social, and political changes in Brazil during the last one hundred years have shaped race relations.

No laws of segregation or apartheid exist in Brazil, but by looking carefully at government policies, data on employment, mainstream and Afro-Brazilian newspapers, and a variety of other sources, Andrews traces pervasive discrimination against Afro-Brazilians over time. He draws his evidence from the country’s largest and most economically important state, SĂŁo Paulo, showing how race relations were affected by its transformation from a plantation-based economy to South America’s most urban, industrialized society.

The book focuses first on Afro-Brazilians’ entry into the agricultural and urban working class after the abolition of slavery. This transition, Andrews argues, was seriously hampered by state policies giving the many European immigrants of the period preference over black workers. As immigration declined and these policies were overturned in the late 1920s, black laborers began to be employed in agriculture and industry on nearly equal terms with whites. Andrews then surveys efforts of blacks to move into the middle class during the 1900s. He finds that informal racial solidarity among middle-class whites has tended to exclude Afro-Brazilians from the professions and other white-collar jobs.

Andrews traces how discrimination throughout the century led Afro-Brazilians to mobilize, first through the antislavery movement of the 1880s, then through such social and political organizations of the 1920s and 1930s as the Brazilian Black Front, and finally through the anti-racism movements of the 1970s and 1980s. These recent movements have provoked much debate among Brazilians over their national image as a racial democracy. It remains to be seen, Andrews concludes, whether that debate will result in increased opportunities for black Brazilians.

Contents

  • Lists of Tables
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • Part 1. Workers
    • Chapter 2. Slavery and Emancipation, 1800-1890
    • Chapter 3. Immigration, 1890-1930
    • Chapter 4. Working, 1920-1960
  • Part 2. The Middle Class
    • Chapter 5. Living in a Racial Democracy, 1900-1940
    • Chapter 6. Blacks Ascending, 1940-1988
    • Chapter 7. Organizing, 1945-1988
  • Part 3. Past, Present, Future
    • Chapter 8. One Hundred Years of Freedom: May 13, 1988
    • Chapter 9. Looking Back, Looking Forward
  • Appendix A. Population of Sao Paulo State, 1800-1980
  • Appendix B. Brazilian Racial Terminology
  • Appendix C. Personnel Records at the Jafet and SĂŁo Paulo Tramway, Light, and Power Companies
  • Glossary
  • Notes
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Index
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Blackness in the White Nation: A History of Afro-Uruguay

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2012-04-29 17:52Z by Steven

Blackness in the White Nation: A History of Afro-Uruguay

University of North Carolina Press
October 2010
256 pages
6.125 x 9.25, 14 illus., 9 tables, notes, bibl., index
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8078-3417-6
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8078-7158-4

George Reid Andrews, Distinguished Professor of History
University of Pittsburgh

2011 Arthur P. Whitaker Prize, Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies

Uruguay is not conventionally thought of as part of the African diaspora, yet during the period of Spanish colonial rule, thousands of enslaved Africans arrived in the country. Afro-Uruguayans played important roles in Uruguay’s national life, creating the second-largest black press in Latin America, a racially defined political party, and numerous social and civic organizations.

Afro-Uruguayans were also central participants in the creation of Uruguayan popular culture and the country’s principal musical forms, tango and candombe. Candombe, a style of African-inflected music, is one of the defining features of the nation’s culture, embraced equally by white and black citizens.

In Blackness in the White Nation, George Reid Andrews offers a comprehensive history of Afro-Uruguayans from the colonial period to the present. Showing how social and political mobilization is intertwined with candombe, he traces the development of Afro-Uruguayan racial discourse and argues that candombe’s evolution as a central part of the nation’s culture has not fundamentally helped the cause of racial equality. Incorporating lively descriptions of his own experiences as a member of a candombe drumming and performance group, Andrews consistently connects the struggles of Afro-Uruguayans to the broader issues of race, culture, gender, and politics throughout Latin America and the African diaspora generally.

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The Afro-Argentines of Buenos Aires, 1800–1900

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2012-04-08 22:10Z by Steven

The Afro-Argentines of Buenos Aires, 1800–1900

University of Wisconsin Press
November 1980
308 pages
6 x 9, 15 illus. or photos, several tables
ISBN-10: 0299082903
ISBN-13: 978-0299082901

George Reid Andrews, Distinguished Professor of History
University of Pittsburgh

George Reid Andrews has given us a major revision and reconstruction of black history in Argentina since the time of independence, making an exciting and important contribution to both Latin American and Afro-American history. Along the way, he explodes long-held myths, solves a major historical mystery, and documents contributions of blacks to a society that has, in its pursuit of “whiteness,” virtually denied their existence.

While historians have devoted much attention to Afro-Latin American slavery of the colonial period, Andrews is among the first to examine the history of the post-abolition period. He illuminates the social, economic, and political roles of black people in the evolving societies of the national period, effectively destroying the myths that the Afro-Argentines virtually disappeared over the course of a century, that they played no significant role in Argentine history after the independence, and that they were quietly and peacefully integrated into the larger society. While similar studies have been carried out for the black experience in the United States, this is the first such attempt for any Spanish American country.

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Afro-Latin America, 1800-2000

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery on 2012-04-08 20:24Z by Steven

Afro-Latin America, 1800-2000

Oxford University Press
May 2004
304 pages
15 illus. & 3 maps; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Hardback ISBN13: 9780195152326; ISBN10: 0195152328
Paperback ISBN13: 978-0-19-515233-3; ISBN10: 0-19-515233-6

George Reid Andrews, Distinguished Professor of History
University of Pittsburgh

Winner of the Arthur P. Whitaker Prize of the Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies

While the rise and abolition of slavery and ongoing race relations are central themes of the history of the United States, the African diaspora actually had a far greater impact on Latin and Central America. More than ten times as many Africans came to Spanish and Portuguese America as the United States.

In this, the first history of the African diaspora in Latin America from emancipation to the present, George Reid Andrews deftly synthesizes the history of people of African descent in every Latin American country from Mexico and the Caribbean to Argentina. He examines how African peoples and their descendants made their way from slavery to freedom and how they helped shape and responded to political, economic, and cultural changes in their societies. Individually and collectively they pursued the goals of freedom, equality, and citizenship through military service, political parties, civic organizations, labor unions, religious activity, and other avenues.

Spanning two centuries, this tour de force should be read by anyone interested in Latin American history, the history of slavery, and the African diaspora, as well as the future of Latin America.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: i8oo
  • Chapter 2: “An Exterminating Bolt of Lightning”: The Wars for Freedom, 1810-1890
  • Chapter 3: “Our New Citizens, the Blacks”: The Politics of Freedom, 1810-1890
  • Chapter 4: “A Transfusion of New Blood”: Whitening, 1880-1930
  • Chapter 5: Browning and Blackening, 1930-2000
  • Chapter 6: Into the Twenty-First Century: 2000 and Beyond
  • Appendix: Population Counts, 1800-2000
  • Glossary
  • Notes
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Index
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Brazilian Racial Democracy, 1900-90: An American Counterpoint

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Social Science on 2011-12-12 03:45Z by Steven

Brazilian Racial Democracy, 1900-90: An American Counterpoint

Journal of Contemporary History
Volume 31, Number 3 (July 1996)
pages 483-507
DOI: 10.1177/002200949603100303

George Reid Andrews, Distinguished Professor of History
University of Pittsburgh

Brazil is one of the largest multi-racial societies in the world, and the home of the largest single component of the overseas African diaspora. During the first half of the 1900s, it was frequently described, both by native-born and foreign observers, as a ‘racial democracy‘, in which blacks, mulattoes, and whites lived under conditions of juridical and, to a large degree, social equality. During the second half of the century, however, that description has been sharply revised. From 1940 to the present, national censuses have documented persistent disparities between the white and non-white populations in education, vocational achievement, earnings, and life expectancy. Survey research has shown racist attitudes and stereotypes concerning blacks and mulattoes to be widely diffused throughout Brazilian society, and Afro-Brazilians report being the victims of subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, racism and discrimination. Thus while observers writing in the 1930s and 1940s focused on the harmonious, egalitarian quality of racial interaction in Brazil, similar discussions in the 1980s and 1990s have emphasized ‘the perception, ever more widespread, that [the concept of] “racial democracy”, in its official and semi-official versions, does not reflect Brazilian reality’. ‘The myth of racial democracy appears to be definitively in its grave’, observed the news-magazine IstoĂ© during the celebrations marking the centennial of the abolition of slavery, in 1988; ‘racial discrimination’, not racial democracy, ‘is the basis of Brazilian culture’, argued historian DĂ©cio Freitas.

What accounts for this transformation in characterizations of Brazilian race relations? I have argued elsewhere that the disagreements and debates surrounding the concept of racial democracy in Brazil are closely tied to the tensions surrounding the theory and practice of political democracy in that country. Racial democracy was originally conceived as part of a larger ideological…

Read the entire article here.

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Blackness and Race Mixture: The Dynamics of Racial Identity in Colombia. – book reviews

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Slavery on 2011-06-27 00:41Z by Steven

Blackness and Race Mixture: The Dynamics of Racial Identity in Colombia. – book reviews

Journal of Social History
Volume 28, Number 2 (Winter 1994)

George Reid Andrews, Distinguished Professor of History
University of Pittsburgh

Peter Wade, Blackness and Race Mixture: The Dynamics of Racial Identity in Colombia, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993, 432 pages, Paperback ISBN-10: 9780801852510; ISBN-13: 978-0801852510.

The numbers tell the story: the heart of the New World African diaspora lies, not north of the border, but south. During the period of slavery, ten times as many Africans came to Spanish and Portuguese America as to the United States. People of African ancestry found considerably more favorable conditions in North America for their survival and increase than they did in Latin America; nevertheless, by 1990 the estimated 100 million Afro-Latin Americans still outnumbered Afro-North Americans by a factor of more than three to one and accounted for almost twice as large a proportion of their respective national populations.

Though the historiography on Afro-Latin America has expanded greatly during the last twenty years, it continues to differ in at least one important respect from comparable work on the United States: it focuses almost entirely on slavery, and essentially comes to an end at the moment of abolition. While historians in the United States have devoted extensive attention to the post-emancipation period in this country and to the subsequent evolution of race relations during the twentieth century, Magnus Morner’s evaluation, written a quarter of a century ago, still holds true today: historians of Latin America “seem to lose all interest in the Negro as soon as abolition is accomplished. In any case, he disappears almost completely from historical literature.”

race in the region has been shaped by anthropologists and sociologists: Thales de Azevedo, Roger Bastide, Florestan Fernandes, Gilberto Freyre, Marvin Harris, Carlos Hasenbalg, Octavio Ianni, Clovis Moura, Joao Baptista Borges Pereira, and Charles Wagley in Brazil; Angelina Pollak-Eltz in Venezuela; Jaime Arocha and Nina de Freidemann in Colombia; Norman Whitten in Ecuador, to name just a few. Even this literature is not abundant; and, significantly, much of it has been produced by scholars who are not native to the countries they study. Latin American sociologists have proven reluctant to contest their societies’ self-image as “racial democracies”; and as Peter Wade suggests for the case of Colombia, the belief that people of African ancestry have been satisfactorily integrated into their national societies has tended to remove them as objects of study for local anthropologists, who focus instead on the less assimilated, more “primitive” Amerindian populations.

So when three major new works on Afro-Latin America (written, in keeping with the pattern just noted, by foreign anthropologists) appear in a relatively short space of time, it is an event worthy of notice. Only one of those works, Peter Wade’s Blackness and Race Mixture, focuses specifically on questions of race. Nancy Scheper-Hughes’s Death Without Weeping is concerned with “slow starvation … as a primary motivating force in social life” and “the effects of chronic hunger, sickness, death, and loss on the ability to love, trust, have faith and keep it.” (Scheper-Hughes: 15) And John Burdick’s Looking for God in Brazil seeks to explain why Catholic liberation theology and “base communities,” hailed during the 1970s and 80s as engines of progressive political change, are now being displaced among poor and working-class Brazilians by evangelical Protestantism and Afro-Brazilian umbanda. But in order to answer these questions, Scheper-Hughes and Burdick both carried out field research in communities which are majority Afro-Latin American. And since all three authors were able to talk directly to the subjects of their research, they portray those communities with a depth and richness of detail that historians forced to work with sketchy and fragmentary documentary evidence can only rarely achieve.

Paralleling (and in part inspired by) recent scholarship on Brazil, Peter Wade begins by questioning Colombia’s semi-official image of itself as a racial democracy, a mestizo society created by a centuries-long process of race mixture among Europeans, Indians, and Africans. He has little trouble demonstrating that, like other Latin American societies, Colombia is in fact a racial hierarchy in which whiteness is highly valued over blackness and Indianness. Whites are correspondingly over-represented in the upper and middle classes, and nonwhites are over-represented in the working class and among the poor.

Thus far this is familiar ground. Wade pushes on beyond the existing literature, however, by noting that racial groups are unequally distributed not just in Colombia’s class structure; they are unequally distributed across the country’s regions as well. This leads him to ask how the ideology and practice of racial hierarchy vary between areas which are predominantly black and those which are predominantly white. The book thus becomes a comparative study within Colombia, focusing on the Choco, a lowland tropical rain forest bordering Panama, and the highland region of Antioquia…

Read the entire review here.

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