A call for end of the “Globeleza Mulata”: A Manifesto

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, History, Media Archive, Slavery, Women on 2016-02-13 03:34Z by Steven

A call for end of the “Globeleza Mulata”: A Manifesto

Black Women of Brazil: The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent
2016-02-08

Stephanie Ribeiro and Djamila Ribeiro

Originally, “A Mulata Globeleza: Um Manifesto” from Agora é que são elas (2016-01-29).

The Globeleza Mulata is not a natural cultural event, but a performance that invades the imaginary and the Brazilian televisions during Carnival. A spectacular created by art director Hans Donner to be the symbol of the popular party, which exhibited for 13 years his companion Valéria Valenssa in the super-expositional function of “mulata”. We’re talking about a character that appeared in the nineties and still strictly follows the same script: it is always a black woman that dances the samba as a passista (Carnaval dancer), naked with her body painted with glitter, to the sound of the vignette displayed throughout the daily programming of Rede Globo (TV).

To start the debate on this character, we need to identify the problem contained in the term “mulata”. Besides being a word naturalized by Brazilian society, it is a captive presence in the vocabulary of the hosts, journalists and reporters from the Globo broadcasting. The word of is of Spanish origin comes from “mula” or “mulo” (the masculine and feminine of ‘mule’): that that is a hybrid originating from a cross between species. Mules are animals born crossing donkeys with mares or horses with donkeys. In another sense, they are the result of the mating of the animal considered noble (equus caballus) with the animal deemed second class (donkey). Therefore, it is a derogatory word indicating mestiçagem (racial mixture or crossbreeding), impurity; an improper mixing that should not exist.

Employed since the colonial period, the term was used to designate lighter skinned blacks, fruits of the rape of slaves by masters. Such a nomenclature has sexist and racist nature and was transferred to the Globeleza character, naturalized. The adjective “mulata” is a sad memory of the 354 years (1534-1888) of escravidão negra (black slavery) in Brazil…

Read the entire article here.

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The Brazilian carnival queen deemed ‘too black’ – video

Posted in Anthropology, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science, Videos, Women on 2016-02-13 03:13Z by Steven

The Brazilian carnival queen deemed ‘too black’ – video

The Guardian
2016-02-09

Barney Lankester-Owen, Bruce Douglas, Charlie Phillips and Juliet Riddell

Nayara Justino thought her dreams had come true when she was selected as the Globeleza carnival queen in 2013 after a public vote on one of Brazil’s biggest TV shows. But some regarded her complexion to be too dark to be an acceptable queen. Nayara and her family wonder what this says about racial roles in modern Brazil

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How “Mestizaje” in Puerto Rico Makes Room for Racism to Flourish

Posted in Anthropology, Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-02-12 19:35Z by Steven

How “Mestizaje” in Puerto Rico Makes Room for Racism to Flourish

La Respuesta: A magazine to (Re)Imagine the Boricua Diaspora
2016-02-08

Dorothy Bell Ferrer


“Three Puerto Rican Girls”

“Somos de tres razas! La blanca, la india, y la negra!” is a cliched response you can almost always count on hearing anytime you bring up race or racism in Puerto Rico or Puerto Rican Diaspora communities. It’s cute, easy to remember, and also a lie.

Ironically the European root, which is most often mistaken as the backbone of Puerto Rican culture, is mentioned first. The indigenous, Taíno root, which is often recognized strategically (yes, strategically) in front of blackness is named second. Oh, and the third? African or Black! Last but not least, right? I’d like to think so, but I know better.

The blending of these three races or roots in Puerto Rico are what we refer to as “mestizaje”, or mixture (1). This “mestizaje” is what causes Puerto Ricans to believe that we all are racially mixed the exact same way therefore there can be no “true” difference. While mestizaje is a part of Puerto Rican society and even exists in the heritage of many Puerto Ricans, the way in which mestizaje is recognized in Puerto Rico makes room for racism and white supremacy to flourish because it gives us a false historical analysis on race…

Read the entire article here.

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Mexico Finally Recognized Its Black Citizens, But That’s Just The Beginning

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Mexico on 2016-02-04 02:03Z by Steven

Mexico Finally Recognized Its Black Citizens, But That’s Just The Beginning

The Huffington Post
2016-01-27

Krithika Varagur
Associate Editor, What’s Working

In Mexico, like everywhere, identity is complex.

Last month, for the first time ever, the Mexican government recognized its 1.38 million citizens of African descent in a national survey. The survey served as a preliminary count before the 2020 national census, where “black” will debut as an official category.

A major force behind the government’s recognition was México Negro, an activist group founded in 1997 by Sergio Peñaloza Pérez, a school teacher of African descent. México Negro works for, among other initiatives, the constitutional recognition of Afro-Mexicans and to increase the visibility of Afro-Mexican culture.

The Huffington Post recently caught up with Peñaloza to discuss his organization, why recognition matters and what’s next for black Mexicans…

Why Has It Taken So Long?

Until last month, Mexico was one of only two Latin-American countries (the other is Chile) to not officially count its black population. As a result, the move to recognize Afro-Mexicans has been met with some pushback from Mexicans who believe that mestizo identity (the mix between indigenous people and Europeans) is more important than specific ethnicities.

Mexico’s post-revolutionary government made a conscious effort to create a national mixed-race identity that melded Hispanic, indigenous and African ethnicities. Article 2 of Mexico’s 1917 Constitution recognized its “multicultural composition,” and today, over 60% of Mexicans identify as mestizos. So in modern Mexico, “blackness” is still a tenuous identity, and many use labels like “criollo” (creole) or “moreno” rather than the ones black Mexicans tend to prefer. Peñaloza, for instance, describes himself as “afrodescendiente (of African descent), negro (black), or afromexicano (Afro-Mexican).”…

Read the entire article here.

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Daniel Lind Ramos and the Visual Politics of Race in Puerto Rican Art

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, United States on 2016-02-01 00:39Z by Steven

Daniel Lind Ramos and the Visual Politics of Race in Puerto Rican Art

Theory and Critique of Art in the Caribbean
2015-11-11

Fabienne Viala, Associate Professor; Director of the Year Abroad; Director of the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies
School of Modern Languages and Cultures
University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom

This article discusses the work of the painter and installation artist Daniel Lind-Ramos. The Puerto Rican artist explores the complex relationships that exist between historical memory, national identity and racial identities in Puerto Rico; more specifically, he shows the taboos that weigh on African cultural heritage in the Estado Asociado Libre, through a style of painting that is always symbolic, sometimes allegorical and containing “keys” that bring the political and the metaphysical into a dialogue on canvas and in space. For Lind-Ramos, art is the expression of an Afro-Puerto Rican hyper-consciousness that claims the right to redefine the codes of representation and visual perception of a Caribbean socio-political reality that addresses its colonial status.

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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The Relationship of Identity to the Organizational Development of FLECHAS: Perceptions of Race from a Puerto Rican Perspective

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-31 22:02Z by Steven

The Relationship of Identity to the Organizational Development of FLECHAS: Perceptions of Race from a Puerto Rican Perspective

The Forensic Examiner
June 2015

Raul A. Avila

The Puerto Rican preoccupation with “whitening” and incidents of black racism obfuscate Puerto Rican identity. The “deliberate amnesia” regarding their genetic and cultural connection with Black African slaves compels Puerto Ricans to disassociate themselves from “blackness” and everything that “blackness” unjustifiably represents among many: inferior intelligence, poverty, and a lack of ability to perform well in high-level positions. Puerto Rican whitening is the answer to the racial profiling of Blacks by law and society, especially in the United States. The resulting disassociation with the African Black heritage impedes the resolution of the Puerto Rican identity crisis.

FLECHAS is an organization founded in New Haven, CT in 1977 to challenge this identity disorder among Puerto Ricans. FLECHAS is an acronym for “Feast of Loiza in Connecticut in Honor of Saint James the Apostle.” It is significant that Loiza, a city in northern Puerto Rico, was the Port of Call for Black African slaves. The founders of FLECHAS, natives of Loiza, grew up with positive images of being black and a strong sense of history rooted in their blackness. In fact the legend of Saint James, celebrated by the town for over two hundred years, runs parallel to that of the African god, Chango, who symbolizes strength and the peoples’ battle against slavery and injustice. Founders did not experience negative portrayals of blackness as Blacks in their day were policemen, elected officials, or teachers. It was not until they left Loiza that they experienced racism, so they founded FLECHAS to reestablish blackness to its rightful place of honor among the Puerto Rican community.

FLECHAS is a Puerto Rican organization founded in New Haven, CT in 1977. (Appendix A) The founders are a group of citizens, who in the late 1960s migrated from the town of Loiza, Puerto Rico, the center of African slave trade during the period of Spanish colonialism in the New World. With membership composed of primarily Black Puerto Rican descendants, FLECHAS was created in response to the conviction that the Black Puerto Rican heritage has been either misrepresented or generally omitted in any discussion of Puerto Rican identity.

The African influence on Puerto Rican culture is obvious. That influence can be found in Puerto Rican music, dance, art, food, and religion (Galvin, 2005). Moreover, DNA tests conducted by geneticists in 2000 found that 27% of Puerto Ricans on the Island have mitochondrial DNA from the people of Africa (Martinez-Cruzado, 2003). However, the Census of 2010 indicates that only 12% of Puerto Ricans self-report as being Black, while most scientists report that, for Puerto Ricans on both the island and in mainland United States, 47% have African blood (Kinsbruner, 1996). Although these findings are hotly contested, Via (2011) reports that the percentages of Puerto Ricans with African DNA average 20%. Apparently, Puerto Ricans have made a concerted effort to disassociate themselves from their Black African heritage.

For Puerto Ricans, the issue of identity formation has been complicated by five hundred years of colonialism, four hundred of which were under Spanish rule. The issues of racism, Black and White intermarriage, and Puerto Rican identity today can be traced all the way back to the 8th century Moors, who ruled Spain for 800 years. During that period there was no discrimination against Blacks. Historians, such as Robert Martinez of Baruch College, indicate that society in Spain was devoid of racism toward Blacks, and this attitude carried over to Puerto Rico by the conquistadores. As a matter of fact, Martinez notes, racial intermarriage was not frowned upon. He writes:

In the 8th century, nearly all of Spain was conquered (711-718) by the Muslim Moors who had crossed over from North Africa. A section of the city of Seville, which was a Moorish stronghold, was inhabited by thousands of Blacks. Black women were highly sought after by Spanish males. Therefore, it was no surprise that the first conquistadors who arrived to the island intermarried with the native Taino Indians and later with the African immigrants (Martinez, 1990, p. 3).

Conversations with founders of FLECHAS indicate this was indeed the case in the province of Loiza on the island of Puerto Rico, where they were born and raised. There was neither discrimination nor racism in Loiza, as many descendants of African Black slaves like themselves held prestigious positions in Loiza as politicians, writers, teachers, and law enforcement officers. It was not the same situation outside of Loiza on the island, according to the founders of FLECHAS, and when Puerto Rico became a territory of the United States in 1898, Puerto Ricans experienced the same racist effects of “blackness” as African Americans. This writer’s role in composing this article as a participant observer is important and critical to consider since I am of Black Puerto Rican ancestry, a current member of FLECHAS, and a professional therapist for the Greater New Haven community in Connecticut

Read the entire article here.

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How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts

Posted in Anthropology, Books, History, Latino Studies, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2016-01-31 21:04Z by Steven

How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts

University of California Press
January 2014
232 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780520280076
Paperback ISBN: 9780520280083
Adbobe PDF E-Book ISBN: 9780520957190
ePUB Format ISBN: 9780520957190

Natalia Molina, Associate Dean for Faculty Equity, Division of Arts; Humanities and Associate Professor of History and Urban Studies
University of California, San Diego

How Race Is Made in America examines Mexican Americans—from 1924, when American law drastically reduced immigration into the United States, to 1965, when many quotas were abolished—to understand how broad themes of race and citizenship are constructed. These years shaped the emergence of what Natalia Molina describes as an immigration regime, which defined the racial categories that continue to influence perceptions in the United States about Mexican Americans, race, and ethnicity.

Molina demonstrates that despite the multiplicity of influences that help shape our concept of race, common themes prevail. Examining legal, political, social, and cultural sources related to immigration, she advances the theory that our understanding of race is socially constructed in relational ways—that is, in correspondence to other groups. Molina introduces and explains her central theory, racial scripts, which highlights the ways in which the lives of racialized groups are linked across time and space and thereby affect one another. How Race Is Made in America also shows that these racial scripts are easily adopted and adapted to apply to different racial groups.

Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Introduction
  • Part I. Immigration Regimes I: Mapping Race and Citizenship
    • Chapter One: Placing Mexican Immigration within the Larger Landscape of Race Relations in the U.S.
    • Chapter Two: “What is a White Man?”: The Quest to Make Mexicans Ineligible for U.S. Citizenship
    • Chapter Three: Birthright Citizenship Beyond Black and White
  • Part II. Immigration Regimes II: Making Mexicans Deportable
    • Chapter Four: Mexicans Suspended in a State of Deportability: Medical Racialization and Immigration Policy in the 1940s
    • Chapter Five: Deportations in the Urban Landscape
  • Epilogue: Making Race in the Twenty-First Century
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
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Racial Prescriptions: Pharmaceuticals, Difference, and the Politics of Life (Race & Difference Colloquium Series)

Posted in Anthropology, Forthcoming Media, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Live Events, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2016-01-31 01:58Z by Steven

Racial Prescriptions: Pharmaceuticals, Difference, and the Politics of Life (Race & Difference Colloquium Series)

Emory University
Robert W. Woodruff Library, Jones Room
540 Asbury Circle
Atlanta, Georgia 30322
Monday, 2016-02-01, 12:00-13:30 EST (Local Time)

Presented by: James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference

Jonathan Xavier Inda, Chair and Professor of Latino/a Studies
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne

In the contemporary United States, matters of life and health have become key political concerns. Important to this politics of life is the desire to overcome racial inequalities in health; from heart disease to diabetes, the populations most afflicted by a range of illnesses are racialized minorities. The solutions generally proposed to the problem of racial health disparities have been social and environmental in nature, but in the wake of the mapping of the human genome, genetic thinking has come to have considerable influence on how such inequalities are problematized. In this Race and Difference Colloquium, Professor Jonathan Xavier Inda (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne) explores the politics of dealing with health inequities through targeting pharmaceuticals at specific racial groups based on the idea that they are genetically different. Drawing on the introduction of BiDil to treat heart failure among African Americans, her contends that while racialized pharmaceuticals are ostensibly about fostering life, they also raise thorny questions concerning the biologization of race, the reproduction of inequality, and the economic exploitation of the racial body.

Engaging the concept of biopower in an examination of race, genetics and pharmaceuticals, Inda’s talk will appeal to sociologists, anthropologists and scholars of science and technology studies with interests in medicine, health, bioscience, inequality and racial politics.

For more information and to RSVP, click here.

 

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Viewing Los Angeles Through a Creole Lens

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-21 21:20Z by Steven

Viewing Los Angeles Through a Creole Lens

The New York Times
2016-01-21

Farai Chideya

The pulse of the train on the tracks sets a rhythm as its passenger cars seem to skim over Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans. These six miles of nothing but sky above and water below are the gateway into the city by rail. Next come the cemeteries at the edge of New Orleans, and all of a sudden, a day and a half of travel ends at the Amtrak terminal in the business district. I had just completed the first leg of my cross-country journey by sleeper train, starting in New York, and was beginning the second: a foray into the cultural ties between the Crescent City and California.

This trip had been inspired partly by the travel writer and blogger Greg Gross, who grew up in New Orleans and California. “I had a great-uncle who ran away at 15 to become a Pullman porter,” he said. These black men served a predominately white customer base as sleeping-car porters, often simply called “George” by their customers. Their union became a powerful force during the civil rights movement. Mr. Gross’s great-uncle Ellis Pearson worked on the Sunset Limited train from New Orleans to Los Angeles.

He was something like an usher for Mr. Gross’s family, which is full of cross-country transplants, including his parents and a deceased uncle who played jazz trumpet. When black New Orleans families like his moved to California, “They brought their food with them, their music,” he said. “They brought an energy, an attitude with them. ‘We survived there; we can make it here.’ They brought it to their churches and their neighbors.” It’s a refrain I hear many times as I speak to members of this diaspora.

The Grosses weren’t the only ones. The migration of black and Creole families moving to California from Louisiana began as a trickle in 1927, in the wake of that year’s great flood, and grew to a mass migration from the 1930s to 1960, years that encompassed the Depression, World War II and the growth of employment opportunities for blacks, and Jim Crow. While many families went from the South to the North, the train lines led many in New Orleans to the West instead. The better part of a century after its start, some migrants resettled in California after Hurricane Katrina. I wanted to follow the path that others had, to trace a thread of our cultural lineage, however faint. I wanted to see both cities through a black Bayou and Creole lens, to see if they’d drifted apart or were overlapping, remixing culture in the same way that Creoles originally had…

…Once in Los Angeles, I headed to the venerable Creole restaurant Harold and Belle’s on Jefferson Boulevard to meet up with Roger Guenveur Smith, an actor, writer and producer, and the actor and musician Mark Broyard. The dining room — scheduled to reopen next month after a renovation — was filled with locals wearing fleur-de-lis T-shirts or other symbols of their fealty to Louisiana. Mr. Broyard and Mr. Smith have known each other since childhood, and collaborated on a play called “Inside the Creole Mafia,” staged several times over the course of two decades. I got a taste of their razor-sharp banter over my gumbo.

Mr. Broyard explained how his family left Louisiana during the Jim Crow years because, “as my mother said many times,” he said, “she was not going to fight the civil rights movement with her children. We, the Creole kids, the light-skinned kids, we had been integrating schools for a lot longer because we weren’t dark. So we had been in and out of all these white institutions for years, with a tacit understanding that these people were colored, but it was O.K. that they were here because maybe they had half of one drop or something.”…

Read the entire article here.

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