Afro-Mexican Constructions of Diaspora, Gender, Identity and Nation

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs on 2016-08-28 02:32Z by Steven

Afro-Mexican Constructions of Diaspora, Gender, Identity and Nation

University of The West Indies Press
April 2016
234 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-976-640-579-3

Paulette A. Ramsay, Senior Lecturer in Spanish
University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica

Paulette Ramsay’s study analyses cultural and literary material produced by Afro-Mexicans on the Costa Chica de Guerrero y Oaxaca, Mexico, to undermine and overturn claims of mestizaje or Mexican homogeneity.

The interdisciplinary research draws on several theoretical constructs: cultural studies, linguistic anthropology, masculinity studies, gender studies, feminist criticisms, and broad postcolonial and postmodernist theories, especially as they relate to issues of belonging, diaspora, cultural identity, gender, marginalization, subjectivity and nationhood. The author points to the need to bring to an end all attempts at extending the discourse, whether for political or other reasons, that there are no identifiable Afro-descendants in Mexico. The undeniable existence of distinctively black Mexicans and their contributions to Mexican multiculturalism is patently recorded in these pages.

The analyses also aid the agenda of locating Afro-Mexican literary and cultural production within a broad Caribbean aesthetics, contributing to the expansion of the Caribbean as a broader cultural and historical space which includes Central and Latin America.

Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Foreword Father Glyn Jemmott Nelson
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • 1. Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Mexico through the Distorted Lens of Memín Pinguín
  • 2. Constructions of Gender and Nation in Selected Afro-Mexican Folktales
  • 3. Masculinity, Language and Power in Selected Afro-Mexican Corridos
  • 4. Place, Racial and Cultural Identities in Selected Afro-Mexican Oral and Lyric Verses
  • 5. Afro-Mexico in the Context of a Caribbean Literary and Cultural Aesthetics
  • Conclusion
  • Photographs
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
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The crime of miscegenation: racial mixing in slaveholding Brazil and the threat to racial purity in post-abolition United States

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2016-08-27 18:45Z by Steven

The crime of miscegenation: racial mixing in slaveholding Brazil and the threat to racial purity in post-abolition United States

Revista Brasileira de História
Ahead of print 2016-08-08
24 pages
DOI: 10.1590/1806-93472016v36n72_007

Luciana da Cruz Brito
City University of New York

This article discuss how the Brazilian example was debated and appropriated by politicians, scientists, and other members of the white US elite, who in the post-abolition period were preparing a nation project which maintained the old slaveholding ideologies of white supremacy and racial segregation, lasting in the country until the twentieth century. In Latin America it was possible to assess the negative effects of racial mixing, while Brazil became an example of backwardness and degeneration, reinforcing the need for urgent segregationist policies in the United States. The question of racial mixing was linked to the production of a notion of national identity which was sustained by the idea of purity of blood and in opposition to Latin American societies.

Read the entire article in English or Portuguese.

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Géneros de Gente in Early Colonial Mexico: Defining Racial Difference

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Law, Mexico, Monographs on 2016-08-26 00:56Z by Steven

Géneros de Gente in Early Colonial Mexico: Defining Racial Difference

University of Oklahoma Press
2016-10-20
304 pages
Illustrations: 3 b&w illus., 2 maps, 18 tables
6″ x 9″
Hardcover ISBN: 9780806154879

Robert C. Schwaller, Assistant Professor of History
University of Kansas, Lawrence

On December 19, 1554, the members of Tenochtitlan’s indigenous cabildo, or city council, petitioned Emperor Charles V of Spain for administrative changes “to save us from any Spaniard, mestizo, black, or mulato afflicting us in the marketplace, on the roads, in the canal, or in our homes.” Within thirty years of the conquest, the presence of these groups in New Spain was large enough to threaten the social, economic, and cultural order of the indigenous elite. In Géneros de Gente in Early Colonial Mexico, an ambitious rereading of colonial history, Robert C. Schwaller proposes using the Spanish term géneros de gente (types or categories of people) as part of a more nuanced perspective on what these categories of difference meant and how they evolved. His work revises our understanding of racial hierarchy in Mexico, the repercussions of which reach into the present.

Schwaller traces the connections between medieval Iberian ideas of difference and the unique societies forged in the Americas. He analyzes the ideological and legal development of géneros de gente into a system that began to resemble modern notions of race. He then examines the lives of early colonial mestizos and mulatos to show how individuals of mixed ancestry experienced the colonial order. By pairing an analysis of legal codes with a social history of mixed-race individuals, his work reveals the disjunction between the establishment of a common colonial language of what would become race and the ability of the colonial Spanish state to enforce such distinctions. Even as the colonial order established a system of governance that entrenched racial differences, colonial subjects continued to mediate their racial identities through social networks, cultural affinities, occupation, and residence.

Presenting a more complex picture of the ways difference came to be defined in colonial Mexico, this book exposes important tensions within Spanish colonialism and the developing social order. It affords a significant new view of the development and social experience of race—in early colonial Mexico and afterward.

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The Dougla Defect

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive on 2016-08-23 18:07Z by Steven

The Dougla Defect

Without Wax
2013-12-15

Sara Bharrat

Dougla Defect?
Indian speaks to a Dougla woman about her Dougla baby
Indian: The baby getting nice now.
Now he complexion comin’ lil clear.

—(Rochelle Etwaroo photo and testimony)

For Rochelle Etwaroo: the hybrid of two great people and a seed of hope.

The Dougla Defect is evidence of Guyana’s ongoing Black and Indian war. It is a source of shame to both the Black and Indian man who insists on remaining entrenched in fear. They have both condemned the hybrid of themselves to that cold, cruel no man’s land that separates them.

It is not the Black man or the Indian man who has suffered the most painful wounds in this war. It is the hybrid who suffers; the Dougla boy, the Dougla girl, whose only crime has been birth. The war has stolen home and identity from the Dougla and replaced it with hurt and displacement. How can a nation be so cruel to its children?…

Read the entire article here.

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The Other California: Land, Identity, and Politics on the Mexican Borderlands

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Mexico, Monographs on 2016-08-23 00:03Z by Steven

The Other California: Land, Identity, and Politics on the Mexican Borderlands

University of California Press
January 2017
188 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780520291638

Verónica Castillo-Muñoz, Assistant Professor of History
University of California, Santa Barbara

The Other California is the story of working-class communities and how they constituted the racially and ethnically diverse social landscape of Baja California. Packed with new and transformative stories, the book examines the interplay of land reform and migratory labor on the peninsula from 1850 to 1954, as governments, foreign investors, and local communities shaped a vibrant and dynamic borderland alongside the booming cities of Tijuana, Mexicali, and Santa Rosalia. Migration and intermarriage between Mexican women and men from Asia, Europe, and the United States transformed Baja California into a multicultural society. Mixed-race families extended across national borders, forging new local communities, labor relations, and border politics.

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The Pleasures of Taxonomy: Casta Paintings, Classification, and Colonialism

Posted in Articles, Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive on 2016-08-22 23:59Z by Steven

The Pleasures of Taxonomy: Casta Paintings, Classification, and Colonialism

The William and Mary Quarterly
Volume 73, Number 3, July 2016, 3rd series
pages 427-466

Rebecca Earle, Professor
School of Comparative American Studies
University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom

A new model for thinking about the socioracial categories depicted in casta paintings (remarkable eighteenth-century Spanish American images representing the outcome of “racial mixing”) takes seriously both their fluidity and their genealogical character. Approaching classification, and casta paintings, from this direction clarifies the underlying epistemologies that structured colonial society and helps connect the paintings more explicitly to the debates about human difference that captivated Enlightenment thinkers. Ultimately, however, these paintings were produced and collected in the hundreds not simply because they visualized Atlantic debates about classification and human difference but because these visualizations were interesting and pleasant to contemplate. They agreeably roused the pleasures of the imagination via their taxonomic as well as their narrative power. Linking casta paintings to the importance accorded to pleasure in both the scientific and the colonial imagination helps explain their fascination, which derived from their ability to condense the complex interconnections of classification, colonialism, and sexuality into appealing images.

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Skin Color Still Plays Big Role In Ethnically Diverse Brazil

Posted in Anthropology, Audio, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2016-08-22 21:49Z by Steven

Skin Color Still Plays Big Role In Ethnically Diverse Brazil

All Things Considered
National Public Radio
2013-09-19

Audie Cornish, Host

Melissa Block visits a historic section of Rio de Janeiro that pays homage to Afro-Brazilian history and the many slaves that came ashore there. She talks with Brazilian filmmaker Joel Zito Araujo about what it means to be black or mixed race in Brazil, and how skin color still dictates many aspects of life.


Download the story here. Read the transcript here.

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Celebrating Japan’s multicultural Olympians

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive on 2016-08-20 01:40Z by Steven

Celebrating Japan’s multicultural Olympians

The Japan Times
2016-08-17

Naomi Schanen, Staff Writer

Meet the athletes flying the flag and challenging traditional views of what it is to be Japanese

Japan and Brazil’s ties go back to the early 20th century, when the first Japanese immigrants arrived as farmers in the South American country. Brazil is home to the largest Japanese community outside Japan — 1.5 million of the country’s 205 million people identify themselves as Japanese-Brazilian, including a handful of members of the Brazilian Olympic team.

But although the host countries of the current and next Summer Olympics share cultural bonds, compared to Brazil, where nearly half of people consider themselves mixed-race, multiculturalism remains elusive in Japan, where ethnic homogeneity is often held up as something to be proud of.

Though Japan is home to the second-largest Brazilian community outside of Brazil, only 2 percent of the country’s population was born overseas. Compared to most other developed countries, immigration to Japan is negligible. However, despite having to deal with an aging, shrinking population, the majority of Japanese seem to prefer it this way. In a recent Yomiuri Shimbun poll, only 37 percent said they felt that more non-Japanese should be accepted to fill the gaps in the country’s labor market…

Read the entire article here.

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Seams of Empire: Race and Radicalism in Puerto Rico and the United States

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2016-08-19 00:59Z by Steven

Seams of Empire: Race and Radicalism in Puerto Rico and the United States

University Press of Florida
2016-05-10
232 pages
6×9
Hardcover ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-6256-3

Carlos Alamo-Pastrana, Associate Professor of Sociology and Latin American and Latina/o Studies
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York

Puerto Rico’s colonial relationship with the United States and its history of intermixture of native, African, and Spanish inhabitants has prompted inconsistent narratives about race and power in the colonial territory. Departing from these accounts, early twentieth-century writers, journalists, and activists scrutinized both Puerto Rico’s and the United States’s institutionalized racism and colonialism in an attempt to spur reform, leaving an archive of oft-overlooked political writings.

In Seams of Empire, Carlos Alamo-Pastrana uses racial imbrication as a framework for reading this archive of little-known Puerto Rican, African American, and white American radicals and progressives, both on the island and the continental United States. By addressing the concealed power relations responsible for national, gendered, and class differences, this method of textual analysis reveals key symbolic and material connections between marginalized groups in both national spaces and traces the complexity of race, racism, and conflict on the edges of empire.

Contents

  • List of Figures
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. The Puerto Rican Blueprint
  • 2. Dispatches from the Colonial Outpost
  • 3. The Living Negro in Latin America
  • 4. The Republic of the Penniless
  • 5. You Are Here to Listen
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Black Autonomy: Race, Gender, and Afro-Nicaraguan Activism

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Social Science on 2016-08-17 14:40Z by Steven

Black Autonomy: Race, Gender, and Afro-Nicaraguan Activism

Stanford University Press
November 2016
248 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9780804799560
Paper ISBN: 9781503600546

Jennifer Goett, Associate Professor of Comparative Cultures and Politics
James Madison College, Michigan State University

Decades after the first multicultural reforms were introduced in Latin America, Afrodescendant people from the region are still disproportionately impoverished, underserved, policed, and incarcerated. In Nicaragua, Afrodescendants have mobilized to confront this state of siege through the politics of black autonomy. For women and men grappling with postwar violence, black autonomy has its own cultural meanings as a political aspiration and a way of crafting selfhood and solidarity.

Jennifer Goett’s ethnography examines the race and gender politics of activism for autonomous rights in an Afrodescedant Creole community in Nicaragua. Weaving together fifteen years of research, Black Autonomy follows this community-based movement from its inception in the late 1990s to its realization as an autonomous territory in 2009 and beyond. Goett argues that despite significant gains in multicultural recognition, Afro-Nicaraguan Creoles continue to grapple with the day-to-day violence of capitalist intensification, racialized policing, and drug war militarization in their territories. Activists have responded by adopting a politics of autonomy based on race pride, territoriality, self-determination, and self-defense. Black Autonomy shows how this political radicalism is rooted in African diasporic identification and gendered cultural practices that women and men use to assert control over their bodies, labor, and spaces in an atmosphere of violence.

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