Afro-Latin America: Black Lives, 1600–2000

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Social Science on 2015-11-26 03:39Z 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.

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She Is Cuba: A Genealogy of the Mulata Body

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, Women on 2015-11-23 21:35Z by Steven

She Is Cuba: A Genealogy of the Mulata Body

Oxford University Press
240 Pages
53 images
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780199968169
Paperback ISBN: 9780199968176

Melissa Blanco Borelli, Senior Lecturer in Dance
Royal Holloway University of London

  • Weaves together historical method, auto-ethnographic, and performative writing
  • Sits at the precipice of scholarly and public interest in Cuban cultural history

She is Cuba: A Genealogy of the Mulata Body traces the history of the Cuban mulata and her association with hips, sensuality and popular dance. It examines how the mulata choreographs her racialised identity through her hips and enacts an embodied theory called hip(g)nosis. By focusing on her living and dancing body in order to flesh out the process of identity formation, this book makes a claim for how subaltern bodies negotiate a cultural identity that continues to mark their bodies on a daily basis. Combining literary and personal narratives with historical and theoretical accounts of Cuban popular dance history, religiosity and culture, this work investigates the power of embodied exchanges: bodies watching, looking, touching and dancing with one another. It sets up a genealogy of how the representations and venerations of the dancing mulata continue to circulate and participate in the volatile political and social economy of contemporary Cuba.

Table of Contents

  • Prologue, Entre Familia/Between Family
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Historicizing Hip(g)nosis
  • Interlude 1: Echando Cuentos/Telling Stories
  • Chapter 2: Hip(g)nosis at Work: Rumors, Social Dance and Cuba’s Academias de Baile
  • Interlude 2: A Marriage Proposal
  • Chapter 3: Hip(g)nosis as Pleasure: The Mulata in Film
  • Interlude 3: Lost Baggage
  • Chapter 4: Hip(g)nosis as Brand: Despelote, Tourism and Mulata Citizenship
  • Conclusion or Rear Endings
  • Index
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Brazil sees a rise in number of people who consider themselves black

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science on 2015-11-18 22:55Z by Steven

Brazil sees a rise in number of people who consider themselves black

El País
Madrid, Spain

Marina Rossi
São Paulo, Brazil

English version by Martin Delfín.

Participants in the “Curly Hair Pride March,” which was held in July in São Paulo. / CORDON PRESS

More and more Brazilians say they are black or multiracial when asked to describe their race, a new study reveals.

In a survey taken by the Brazilian Geographical and Statistics Institute (IBGE) last year, 53% of Brazilians classified themselves as either being black or multiracial while, 45.5% considered themselves white.

In the same National Household Survey taken 10 years earlier, 51.2% of Brazilians polled said they were white while 47.9% replied with black or multiracial…

…Katia Regis, a coordinator for African and Afro-Brazilian studies, believes that the increases among the population who identify themselves as black can be attributed to long battles waged by the country’s black organizations, as well as more access to higher levels of education…

Read the entire article here.

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An African King in Bolivia

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive on 2015-11-18 21:54Z by Steven

An African King in Bolivia

The New York Times

David Gonzalez, Side Street Columnist; Lens Blog Co-Editor

King Don Julio Pinedo being helped by his son, Rolando Pinedo, the prince, into a royal cloak. Queen Angelica oversees the details of her husband’s royal dress. Don Julio is shy and does not feel comfortable dressing as a king. (Susana Giron)

Tucked away in an isolated part of Bolivia, there is a royal family whose existence is as surprising as it is humble. Despite his title, King Don Julio I and his wife live in a small apartment atop a small store in Mururata, Bolivia, where he farms coca leaves and other crops.

Yet this modest monarch can trace his lineage to West Africa, where his ancestor Prince Uchicho was enslaved in 1820 and taken by the Spaniards to work in the silver mines of the region. That era gave rise to the country’s Afro-Bolivian population, which sustained the tradition, which was largely ceremonial, said Susana Giron, a Spanish photographer who was intrigued by the life of the current king, who was born 73 years ago as Julio Pinedo…

…Ms. Giron said that a historian who purchased the old hacienda — where the Pinedos had taken the names of the slave owners — learned about the royal connection to Africa and set about to find an heir. His efforts, she said, led him to Julio Pinedo, who was named king in 1992.

“He is a symbolic figure,” she said. “For the Afro-Bolivians, he is important because he gives them a cultural identity. It shows they are a people descended from Africa. It is about their history and culture.”

The history of Africans in Latin America has been coming more and more to the fore in recent years. In Bolivia, it was not until recently that they were even counted in the national census, with their 2012 population pegged at some 23,000 in a country of 10 million. They still face discrimination and socioeconomic obstacles

Read the entire article and view the slide show here.

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‘Mejorar la Raza’: An Example of Racism in Latino Culture

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Media Archive on 2015-11-18 02:57Z by Steven

‘Mejorar la Raza’: An Example of Racism in Latino Culture

Latino Voices
Huffington Post

Maria Alejandra Casale-Hardin
University of California, Hastings, Law Class of 2018

Samuel Lange Zambrano portraying a 9-year-old Venezuelan boy obsessed with straightening his hair in the 2013 film Pelo Malo.

‘Mejorar la raza’ is a common phrase used in Latin American countries, which means ‘improve the race.’ It implies that you should marry or have children with a whiter person so you’ll have better-looking kids. The phrase is used by people of any race without much thought. A year ago, a Facebook post by a Latina living in Europe started a heated argument about the history of whitewashing in Latin America. She said ‘mejorar la raza’ to justify the massive rape of Indigenous women by European colonizers. A few hours later, the girl erased the post and dismissed it as a joke. I like to hope she felt embarrassed after being called a racist on social media.

As a child, I heard my aunt asking my cousin to break up with the girl he was dating because he should ‘mejorar la raza’. Her biggest concern seemed to be the girl’s Afro-Latino heritage, “You don’t want to bring ugly kids into the world. What if you have a girl and she comes out with pelo malo?” My aunt thought she was talking some sense into her son. After all, “pelo malo” literally translates to ‘bad hair’ but it really means ‘afro-textured hair.’ She didn’t think she was being racist or mean-spirited, she thought it was her duty to point out how hard her imaginary granddaughter’s life will be if she inherited her mom’s curls…

Read the entire article here.

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Brazil’s ‘Black Lives Matter’ struggle — even deadlier

Posted in Articles, Audio, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2015-11-13 02:36Z by Steven

Brazil’s ‘Black Lives Matter’ struggle — even deadlier

Public Radio International

Will Carless

The police committed more than 1 in every 6 of Rio de Janeiro’s homicides between 2010 and 2013.

And 4 out of 5 of those who are slain overall were under 29 years old — and of African descent.

These startling figures come from an analysis of official homicide data by Amnesty International. The problem spans far beyond Rio, and more recent incidents have raised concern that it’s not going away.

Earlier this month, five police officers in Rio de Janeiro were arrested after a cellphone video showed them altering a crime scene by placing a gun in the hands of a black teen they had just shot dead.

Echoing United States movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #RiseUpOctober, activists in Brazil are fighting to draw attention to the problem of killings of young black Brazilian men, frequently by police. One of the leading local movements is Amnesty International’s “Jovem Negro Vivo,” meaning “Young Black Alive.”

It’s one of several awareness campaigns that are also aiming to dismantle a stricture that’s long existed in the country: a reluctance to talk about important social issues in terms of race.

“It’s difficult in Brazil to point out racism,” says Alexandre Ciconello, a human rights expert and adviser to Amnesty in Rio de Janeiro. “It’s a taboo for the elite of the country and for politicians and authorities. They always say ‘Brazil is a mixed country, we are not the US, we are not South Africa,’ and if you raise racial questions, you’re seen as trying to separate that.”…

Read the entire article and listen to the story here.

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Revisiting Palmares: Maroon Communities in Brazil (Celeste Henery)

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive on 2015-11-12 16:37Z by Steven

Revisiting Palmares: Maroon Communities in Brazil (Celeste Henery)

African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS)

Celeste Henery, Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Texas, Austin

This is a guest post by Celeste Henery, a Research Associate at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies. She completed a PhD in Anthropology at UT in 2010. Her research and writing focuses on issues of gendered blackness, mental wellness, and diaspora. She has conducted anthropological research in Brazil and in the United States. In addition to working on her book manuscript, she is applying her anthropological and race scholarship as a social historian for post-conviction habeas corpus proceedings. Dr. Henery is currently continuing her research on gender and race with a geographic focus on Texas and the U.S. South.

AAIHS Blogger Greg Childs’ recent post, “Visible Fugitives,” initiates a welcomed conversation about black geographies. As Childs suggests, quilombos, or maroon communities in Brazil, have played integral roles in the social constructions of such notions as the urban and rural, as well as conceptions of black subjectivity and resistance in Brazil. In the years following the fall of Palmares, quilombos persisted. In 1988, when Brazil’s current Constitution was drafted, quilombos attained state recognition and guarantees to their land. The 1988 Constitution and subsequent legislation created a bureaucratic process for quilombos to acquire land titles. According to statistics from the Fundação Cultural Palmares and the INCRA (the National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform), the two state agencies responsible for the recognition and land titling of quilombos, there are over 2,500 recognized communities—1,528 in the titling process and 196 possess titles.

However, much like their ancestors, many quilombolas, or quilombo descendants continue to struggle to stay connected to their lands and sustain themselves in spite of titles. Issues of geography and land are intricately woven into their livelihood and they raise pertinent questions about quilombos and the interplay of black geography and black racial politics in Brazil. For those interested in diaspora, quilombos also provide another critical subject of discussion about the familiar notions of home, dispersal, and sustainability–all factors that are pertinent to disparate black realities.

This post draws on my fieldwork in several quilombola communities in the state of Goiás, Brazil. These communities had registered, if not already had received their title by the time I began conducting research in 2005. These were all rural communities. One was more remote than the others–at a distance from infrastructure such as stores, hospitals, and social services. As a result, their geography presented distinct and ongoing challenges…

Read the entire article here.

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The Color of Love Lecture & Book Signing

Posted in Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2015-11-12 04:01Z by Steven

The Color of Love Lecture & Book Signing

University of South Florida
Tampa Library Grace Allen Room, 4th Floor
4202 E. Fowler Ave. LIB122
Tampa, Florida
Monday, 2015-11-16, 11:00-13:00 EST (Local Time)

Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, Assistant Professor in Sociology and ISLAC

Examining race and gender, Hordge-Freeman illustrates [in her new book, The Color of Love: Racial Features, Stigma, and Socialization in Black Brazilian Families] the privileges of whiteness, by revealing how those with “blacker” features often experience material and emotional hardships, and how it is connected to the distribution of affection within families. Racial hierarchies may orchestrate family relationships in ways that reflect and reproduce racial inequality at large, but black Brazilian families actively negotiate these hierarchies to assert their citizenship and humanity.

Open to all public. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, click here.

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The Sweet (and Sour) Enchantment of Racism in Post-Racial America

Posted in Caribbean/Latin America, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-11-12 03:41Z by Steven

The Sweet (and Sour) Enchantment of Racism in Post-Racial America

University of South Florida
Patel Center for Global Solutions Auditorium
4202 E Fowler Ave, CGS101
Tampa, Florida 33620
Friday, 2015-11-13, 12:30-13:30 EST (Local Time)

Dr. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva will be on campus on November 13, 2015, for the purpose of discussing his recent works relating to racism, the “Latin Americanization” of racism in the United States, and the connections between these discourses and the topics of citizenship, democracy and human rights. Dr. Bonilla-Silva is an internationally acclaimed scholar and speaker with a history of motivating intellectual thought of young scholars.

USF World is please to co-sponsor this event with the College of Arts and Sciences, the Humanities Institute, the Institute for Latin America and the Caribbean (ISLAC), and the Department of Government and International Affairs (GIA).

Event is free and open to the public.

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The Color of Love: Racial Features, Stigma, and Socialization in Black Brazilian Families

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2015-11-12 03:22Z by Steven

The Color of Love: Racial Features, Stigma, and Socialization in Black Brazilian Families

University of Texas Press
November 2015
328 pages
6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4773-0238-5
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4773-0788-5

Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, Assistant Professor of Sociology with a joint appointment in the Institute for the Study of Latin America & the Caribbean
University of South Florida

Drawing on more than one hundred interviews and observations within ten core families, this study of intimate relationships as sites of racial socialization reveals a new facet of race-based differential treatment and its origins—and the mechanisms that perpetuate these strata across generations.

The Color Of Love reveals the power of racial hierarchies to infiltrate our most intimate relationships. Delving far deeper than previous sociologists have into the black Brazilian experience, Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman examines the relationship between racialization and the emotional life of a family. Based on interviews and a sixteen-month ethnography of ten working-class Brazilian families, this provocative work sheds light on how families simultaneously resist and reproduce racial hierarchies. Examining race and gender, Hordge-Freeman illustrates the privileges of whiteness by revealing how those with “blacker” features often experience material and emotional hardships. From parental ties, to sibling interactions, to extended family and romantic relationships, the chapters chart new territory by revealing the connection between proximity to whiteness and the distribution of affection within families.

Hordge-Freeman also explores how black Brazilian families, particularly mothers, rely on diverse strategies that reproduce, negotiate, and resist racism. She frames efforts to modify racial features as sometimes reflecting internalized racism, and at other times as responding to material and emotional considerations. Contextualizing their strategies within broader narratives of the African diaspora, she examines how Salvador’s inhabitants perceive the history of the slave trade itself in a city that is referred to as the “blackest” in Brazil. She argues that racial hierarchies may orchestrate family relationships in ways that reflect and reproduce racial inequality, but black Brazilian families actively negotiate these hierarchies to assert their citizenship and humanity.

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