National Identity, Citizenship, and Belonging: Afro-descendants in Spain and Catalonia – Agnes

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Europe, Media Archive on 2017-12-05 22:07Z by Steven

National Identity, Citizenship, and Belonging: Afro-descendants in Spain and Catalonia – Agnes

The Afropean: Adventures in Afro Europe
2017-10-27

Abena Wariebi

The second excerpt from interviews taken from a Master’s thesis carried out by Abena Wariebi at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain.

Entitled “National Identity, Citizenship, and Belonging: Afro-descendants in Spain and Catalonia”, the thesis is an investigation of black identities in Barcelona, specifically exploring what it means to be black and Spanish, or black and Catalan.

These interviews represent a small part of the black community in Barcelona. This thesis is in no way conclusive or overall encompassing. It does not represent the views or opinions of all Afro-descendants in Barcelona or Spain. Nevertheless, these accounts are powerful, enriching, and demonstrate the unquestionable solidarity that exists within the diaspora.

Name: Agnes
Age: 20
Profession: Teacher and Photographer


Agnes, teacher and photographer

“I think my mum is the only person in the world who thinks I’m Spanish. Because when I go out on the street, when like a policeman comes and they see my passport or whatever they keep asking ‘oh but where are you from? This says Spain; this says you were born in Barcelona but where are you from? Where is your dad from? Where is your mum from? So, I feel like, I don’t want to be Spanish.

I really feel like I’m Cameroonian. And in a way my dad always tried to raise me to feel like I’m not Spanish, I’m Cameroonian.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Guest Post: A View from the Past: The Contingencies of Racialization in 15th- and 16th-Century Iberia

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History on 2016-12-12 22:18Z by Steven

Guest Post: A View from the Past: The Contingencies of Racialization in 15th- and 16th-Century Iberia

The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History
2016-12-12

Marley-Vincent Lindsey
Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

When Paul Gilroy wrote his now-classic critique of cultural nationalism in 1995, he conceived a Black Atlantic that was a geo-political amalgamation of Africa, America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Gilroy was particularly interested in the construction of a modern, post-colonial cultural space in which slavery remained a part of modern black consciousness. His book is particularly noted for the introduction of race as a critical consideration in exploring the Black Atlantic.

It is fitting then, that we kick off our week-long discussion of the Black Atlantic with a post by Marley-Vincent Lindsey, which explores considerations of race in the Iberian Atlantic. Subsequent posts will consider Black responses to freedom (and unfreedom), historical narrative, race, and of course, power.

Juan Garrido was a typical conquistador: arriving in Hispaniola by 1508, Garrido accompanied Juan Ponce de León in his invasion of Puerto Rico, and was later found with Hernan Cortés in Mexico City. Yet his proofs of service, a portion of which was printed by Francisco Icaza in a collection of autobiographies by the conquistadors and settlers of New Spain, made a unique note: de color negro, or “of Black color.”1

What significance was the color of his skin? From our crystal ball of future development, the answer is obvious: Spain had developed a particularly unique concern for racializing individuals, and the Iberian excursions throughout the western and southern coasts of Africa added fuel for “hardening identities” of what was significant about being Black or White. This unique historical contingency, argued James Sweet, was the genesis for American conceptions of race.2

Supporting this construction is the intuitive power of 1492, when Columbus invaded the ocean blue. Iberia’s box score for the year also included the seizure of Granada and the expulsion of Jews who refused conversion. For the century prior, there existed a rich vocabulary through which differences of religion were literally racialized: by 1611, Corrubias’ Spanish dictionary defined raza in reference to humans as being bad lineage, like Jewish or Muslim ancestry. Medievalists like David Nirenberg have traced these discourses through which raza gained biological potency through Castilian and Aragonese experiences with Jews and Moors.3

Read the entire article here.

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Transatlantic Obligations: Creating the Bonds of Family in Conquest-Era Peru and Spain

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2016-11-14 20:45Z by Steven

Transatlantic Obligations: Creating the Bonds of Family in Conquest-Era Peru and Spain

Oxford University Press
2015-12-31
264 Pages
9 illus.
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780199768578
Paperback ISBN: 9780199768585

Jane E. Mangan, Professor of History and Latin American Studies
Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina

  • The first systematic study of families in sixteenth century Peru with a transatlantic focus
  • Traces family obligations connecting Peru and Spain through dowries, bequests, legal powers, and letters

The sixteenth-century changes wrought by expansion of Spanish empire into Peru shaped the ways of being a family in colonial Peru. Even as migration, race mixture, and transculturation took place, family members fulfilled obligations to one another by adapting custom to a changing world. Family began to shift when, from the moment of their arrival in 1532, Spaniards were joined with elite indigenous women in political marriage-like alliances. Almost immediately, a generation of mestizos was born that challenged the hierarchies of colonial society. In response, the Spanish Crown began to promote the marriage of these men and the travel of Spanish women to Peru to promote good customs and even serve as surrogate parents. Other reactions came from wives in Spain who, abandoned by husbands, sought assistance to fulfill family duties. For indigenous families, the pressures of colonialism prompted migration to cities. By mid-century, the increase of Spanish migration to Peru changed the social landscape, but did not halt mixed-race marriages. The book posits that late sixteenth-century cities, specifically Lima and Arequipa, were host to indigenous and Spanish families but also to numerous ‘blended’ families borne of a process of mestizaje. In its final chapter, the legacies for the next generation reveal how Spanish fathers sometimes challenged law with custom and sentiment to establish inheritance plans for their children. By tracing family obligations connecting Peru and Spain through dowries, bequests, legal powers, and letters, Transatlantic Obligations presents a powerful call to rethink sixteenth-century definitions of family.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Matchmaking: Law, Language, and the Conquest-Era Family Tree
  • Chapter 2: Removal: For the Love and Labor of Mixed-Race Children
  • Chapter 3: Marriage: Vida Maridable in a Transatlantic Context
  • Chapter 4: Journey: Family Strategies and the Transatlantic Voyage
  • Chapter 5: Adaptation: Creating Custom in the Colonial Family
  • Chapter 6: Legacy: Recognition, Inheritance, and Law on the Transatlantic Family Tree
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Perception and the Mulatto Body in Inquisitorial Spain: A Neurohistory*

Posted in Articles, Europe, History, Media Archive on 2016-04-18 01:51Z by Steven

Perception and the Mulatto Body in Inquisitorial Spain: A Neurohistory*

Past and Present
First published online: 2016-04-16
DOI: 10.1093/pastj/gtw001

Cristian Berco, Associate Professor of History
Bishop’s University, Quebec

On 1 July 1625, their hands issuing from Dominican cloaks as black as night, inquisitors in Madrid voted to arrest Luisa Nuñez on suspicion of practising love magic and divination using a stolen altar stone. It fell to the inquisitorial secretary Gaspar Isidro de Argüello to lead the arrest. Since witnesses had provided no physical description of the suspect, all Argüello had to go by was a name and address. Despite this lack of information, on Luisa’s opening the door Argüello rapidly assessed her and labelled her with a racializing term plucked out of the air: ‘mulatta’. However, this categorization was problematic. Luisa would never refer to herself in this way, either in testimony or in the formal life narrative she would recount before the inquisitors. According to her, she was the American-born daughter of a Spanish notary and a Mexican Indian woman, and was now a citizen of Madrid and wife to a Galician courier.

While the label ‘mulatta’ embodied ambiguous meanings typical of the era (it could refer to either skin colour or category of being), its application was important. Not only did the word conjure up a negative stereotype particularly detrimental to a suspected sorceress, but the label continued to define Luisa as a racialized being long after her death. Even the modern catalogue containing her trial specifically uses the term in its one-line summary. In a way, the increasing tendency of early modern Europeans to connect the phenotype of colonized and enslaved peoples with inherent negative characteristics not only victimized Luisa but also reflected the long-term emergence of race as an ontological category. However, because such identity categories define our world-view today, to the point where we deploy them automatically, we tend to think of the cognitive process behind racialization as…

Read or purchase the article here.

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Preference and prejudice: Does intermarriage erode negative ethno-racial attitudes between groups in Spain?

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Europe, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science on 2016-03-30 15:24Z by Steven

Preference and prejudice: Does intermarriage erode negative ethno-racial attitudes between groups in Spain?

Ethnicities
Published online before print 2016-03-28
DOI: 10.1177/1468796816638404

Dan Rodríguez-García, Associate Professor
Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Miguel Solana-Solana
Department of Geography
Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Miranda J. Lubbers, Ramón y Cajal Researcher
Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

This paper challenges the idea – rooted in classic assimilation theory – that intermarriage clearly erodes social and ethno-racial boundaries and negative attitudes between groups. Drawing on narratives from 58 immigrants of seven different origin countries residing in Catalonia, Spain, who are in romantic partnerships with Spanish-born people, we focus on preferences and prejudices related to mixing. We find that the members of exogamous couples both suffer social discrimination regarding the crossing of ethnocultural borders, particularly from their respective family members – a rejection that is based on negative stereotypes and preconceptions linked to the partner’s origin, phenotype or ethnocultural characteristics, such as religion, in intersection with gender. More significantly, we also find that ethno-racial prejudices (particularly when referring to marriage preferences for the respondents and their children) and discriminatory attitudes (towards one’s own and other immigrant minority groups) also exist among intermarried couples themselves. In sum, we question the role of mixed unions as a diluter of differences and an accelerator of integration.

Read or purchase the article here.

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You may not know it — but if you speak Spanish, you speak some Arabic too

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Audio, Europe, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2015-11-25 23:22Z by Steven

You may not know it — but if you speak Spanish, you speak some Arabic too

PRI’s The World
Public Radio International
2015-10-15

Joy Diaz, Reporter

Rihab Massif, originally from Lebanon, was my daughter’s preschool teacher in Austin. As a little girl, Camila, my daughter, spoke mostly in Spanish. And Massif remembers a day when Camila was frustrated because she couldn’t remember a word in English.

“She was telling me about her camis,” Massif says.

Camisa is the word in Spanish for “shirt,” and Massif understood it perfectly because camis means the same thing in Arabic.

“And I was like ‘Oh! There are some words related to Arabic,’” she says.

To see just how many, Massif and I did an exercise. I’d say a word in Spanish, and she’d say it back in Arabic.

Aceite?

“We say ceit,” Massif says.

Guitarra?

“We say guitar.”

Now that I am aware, it seems like I hear Arabic words everywhere…

…Linguist Victor Solis Parejo from the University of Barcelona in Spain says part of the language Spanish speakers use comes from a legacy of the Moorish influence. “Moors” was the name used to refer to the Arabic-speaking group from North Africa that invaded what would become Spain back in the eighth century. Their influence lasted about 700 years and is still visible today.

“Especially if you travel [in the] south of Spain­. For example in Merida, in the city where I was born, we have the Alcazaba Arabe, an Arabic fortification,” Parejo says. “So, you can see that in the cities nowadays, but you can also see that Islamic presence, that Arabic presence in the language.”…

Read the story here. Listen to the story here. Download the story here.

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I’m white in Barcelona but in Los Angeles I’m Hispanic?

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Audio, Europe, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-11-16 02:42Z by Steven

I’m white in Barcelona but in Los Angeles I’m Hispanic?

Public Radio International
2015-10-27

Jaime Gonzalez, BBC World Service Journalist
Los Angeles, California

“You’re not white, where are you from?”

This is how I was greeted a few months ago by a young Black man I interviewed in Los Angeles for a story I was working on.

Having lived in the United States for more than six years, the question did not surprise me, as it was not the first time I had to answer it.

I was born and raised in Barcelona, ​​in northeast Spain, and although I had never given much thought to this matter, I always thought I was white. With dark Mediterranean features, but white.

How else could I define myself if someone asked me about my race?

In 2009, I moved to Miami and soon I became aware of the deep racial divide that still exists in this country.

In America, the definition of what being white means is much more limited than in Spain…

Read the entire article here. Listen to the story here. Download the story here.

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Intermarriage and Integration Revisited: International Experiences and Cross-Disciplinary Approaches

Posted in Articles, Canada, Europe, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2015-11-12 16:40Z by Steven

Intermarriage and Integration Revisited: International Experiences and Cross-Disciplinary Approaches

The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Volume 662, November 2015

Guest Edited by:

Dan Rodríguez-García, Associate Professor
Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Intermarriage has been a subject of study in the social sciences for more than a century.  Conventional wisdom (and some scattered research) holds that intermarriage is important to the  social integration of immigrants and minority peoples in majority cultures and economies, but we still have a great deal to learn about dynamics of intermarriage and integration. Which groups are  more likely to intermarry? Does crossing racial, ethno-cultural, national, religious or class  boundaries at the intimate level lead to greater integration of individuals and groups that have not  been considered part of the societal mainstream?

This special issue of The ANNALS investigates the intermarriage/integration nexus. The  research within shows the extent to which intermarriage is related to pluralism, cultural diversity,  and social inclusion/exclusion in the twenty-first century; we also evaluate the impact that mixed  marriages, families, and individuals have on shaping and transforming modern societies. We  identify patterns and outcomes of intermarriage in both North America and Europe, detecting  boundaries between native majorities and ethnic minorities.

Obviously, intermarriage and mixedness are often deeply entwined with immigration, so we also  scrutinize the relationship between intermarriage and various aspects of immigrant integration,  whether legal, political, economic, social, or cultural. Does intermarriage, in fact, contribute to  immigrant incorporation? How and to what degree? Findings – whether quantitative, qualitative,  or both – are presented in this volume for a wide variety of national contexts: Canada, the United States, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden.

Specific findings include:

  • Race and religion remain significant barriers to societal integration, and deep social cleavages exist even in countries with higher rates of intermarriage. Race is a significant barrier in the United States, and religion – Islam in particular – is a prominent barrier in Western Europe, where even “looking Muslim” is automatically a low-status attribute, making some basic social integration, from housing to employment, automatically more difficult.
  • Diversity has never been greater in the United States, but social integration is context-bound and conditional:
    • White immigrants have an easier time with various forms of integration (e.g. educational attainment, housing, and labor), but the opposite is true for black immigrants, who are less likely to marry black natives or out-marry with other groups.
    • Asian Americans have become the most “marriageable” ethnoracial minority in America. Boundaries to integration in the U.S. for Asians have not disappeared, but the rising multiracial Asian population faces fewer social hurdles. This is particularly true for Asian women, who are seen as more desirable than Asian men, likely because of persistent ethnic stereotypes.
    • The earnings gap between immigrants who marry natives and those who marry other immigrants has increased over time in the U.S.
  • In the U.S. and France, immigrants with high levels of education are more likely to marry natural born citizens.
  • British multiracial people with part white ancestry and their children do not necessarily integrate into the white mainstream.
  • EU citizens generally have a strong identification with Europe – they tend to feel “European” and take pride in being so; this is particularly true of those with a partner from a different EU27 country.
  • The key to integration can lie in children who are products of mixed unions and the role that these families have in shaping societies where plural identities are normalized. In Quebec, for example, parents in mixed unions tend to make decisions that transmit identity, values, and culture to their children in ways that contribute to the “unique social pluralism” of the Quebecois.
  • Immigrants in Canada with Canadian-born partners have similar levels of political engagement as the third-plus generation with Canadian-born partners; however, immigrants with foreign-born partners have lower political participation.
  • The regulation of mixed marriages in the Netherlands has historically been gendered, to the detriment of Dutch women.
  • The link between intermarriage and immigrant integration in Spain is complex and varied: outcomes for some aspects of integration may show a direct connection, while other results indicate either no relationship or a bidirectional association; further, the outcomes may be moderated by factors such as country of origin, gender, or length of residence.
  • The social, cultural, and achievement outcomes for children of mixed marriages in England, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden are always in between the outcomes for immigrant children and native children, suggesting that mechanisms of both integration and  stigmatization, among other possibilities, play a role.

Together, these studies suggest a more complex picture of the nexus between intermarriage and integration than has traditionally been theorized, composing a portrait of what some scholars are calling “mixedness” – an encompassing concept that refers to intermarriage and mixed families, and the sociocultural processes attendant to them, in the modern world. We find that mixedness can be socially transformative, but also that it illuminates the disheartening persistence of ethnic and cultural divides that hinder inclusion and social cohesion.

Read or purchase this special issue here.

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Dark skin, blue eyes: Genes paint a picture of 7,000-year-old European

Posted in Articles, Europe, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive on 2014-01-27 03:10Z by Steven

Dark skin, blue eyes: Genes paint a picture of 7,000-year-old European

NBC News
2014-01-26

Alan Boyle, Science Editor

A 7,000-year-old man whose bones were left behind in a Spanish cave had the dark skin of an African, but the blue eyes of a Scandinavian. He was a hunter-gatherer who ate a low-starch diet and couldn’t digest milk well — which meshes with the lifestyle that predated the rise of agriculture. But his immune system was already starting to adapt to a new lifestyle.

Researchers found all this out not from medical records, or from a study of the man’s actual skin or eyes, but from an analysis of the DNA extracted from his tooth.

The study, published online Sunday by the journal Nature, lays out what’s said to be the first recovered genome of a European hunter-gatherer from a transitional time known as the Mesolithic Period, which lasted from 10,000 to 5,000 years ago. It’s a time when the hunter-gatherer lifestyle was starting to give way to a more settled existence, with farms, livestock and urban settlements.

The remains of the Mesolithic male, dubbed La Braña 1, were found in 2006 in the La Braña-Arintero cave complex in northwest Spain. In the Nature paper, the researchers describe how they isolated the ancient DNA, sequenced the genome and looked at key regions linked to physical traits — including lactose intolerance, starch digestion and immune response.

The biggest surprise was that the genes linked to skin pigmentation reflected African rather than modern European variations. That indicates that the man had dark skin, “although we cannot know the exact shade,” Carles Lalueza-Fox, a member of the research team from the Spanish National Research Council, said in a news release. At the same time, the man possessed the genetic variations that produce blue eyes in current Europeans…

Read the entire article here.

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Viva Obama! – How Spain Views The US Elections

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Europe, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2012-11-07 22:15Z by Steven

Viva Obama! – How Spain Views The US Elections

International Business Times
2012-11-06

Palash R. Ghosh

Spain, reeling from a paralyzing economic crisis that has thrown one-quarter of the workforce onto the streets and crippling budget cuts, may not have its full attention upon Tuesday’s presidential elections.

However, given the widespread approval of Barack Obama across much of western Europe, some Spaniards may indeed be cast a glance across the Atlantic.
 
The financial collapse in Spain ended the tenure of the Socialist government of former Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, supplanted by the conservative administration of Mariano Rajoy of the People’s Party.

International Business Times spoke to an expert on Spain to discuss how the beleaguered Spaniards view the U.S. Presidential election,
 
Laura Gonzalez-Alana is Assistant Professor of Finance and Business Economics at Fordham University in New York City.

IB TIMES: Do you sense a great deal of interest in the 2012 U.S. presidential election among the Spanish public? Or has it waned since 2008?

GONZALEZ-ALANA: The Spanish press has been widely covering the campaign. I could actually read summaries and opinions about the outcomes of the debates earlier in Spain than on CNN. Clearly the European press prefers Barack Obama, despite the disappointment regarding the expectations raised by his 2008 victory..
 
Spaniards, like other Europeans, are worried about how foreign policy and diplomatic relations with the United States could change if Mitt Romney becomes president. They do not trust the current moderate tones in Romney’s speeches after the very conservative stances he took during the primaries to appeal to the far-right Tea Party.

In general, the majority of Europeans believe Obama could be a more efficient negotiator with them and with the Middle East nations.

Another armed conflict [in the Mideast] would be particularly difficult to support given the economic crisis in Europe.

Also, Europeans, and Spaniards in general do not believe that open confrontation with China over trade issues would be the most effective manner to handle such abuses. And Europeans still resent having been dragged into the armed conflicts waged by George W. Bush…

…IB TIMES: Does Spanish media describe Obama as “black” or “mixed race” (given that his mother was white). Is this distinction important to Spaniards?
 
GONZALEZ-ALANA: People in Spain are aware of his being half-white and half-black, but not much is said about his racial profile, other than it makes extremist groups more nervous about him, given that in the European mind, the U.S. is still quite uncomfortable with racial diversity.
 
Europeans have some racial issues, too, but they see Obama as an “American” leader, and as a person to admire, like other famous black or half-black famous US people, like singers, actors, sports figures and so on.

If you asked Spaniards to pick a word to describe Obama, they would say “black”—in a sense, not being ‘fully white’ means ‘black.’

Now, the word ‘negro’ in Spain is not politically incorrect, but it all depends on the context and intonation…

Read the entire interview here.

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