Queridos Blanquitos: The Hidden Racism of Nuestra América

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-11-24 01:04Z by Steven

Queridos Blanquitos: The Hidden Racism of Nuestra América

NACLA Report on the Americas
New York, New York
2014-11-19

Ed Morales
Columbia University, New York, New York

In Justin Simien’s debut film Dear White People, a passing comment about Puerto Ricans exposes the contradictory status of mixed-race people in the “post-racial” Americas.

There is a moment in Dear White People, a film that is drawing a lot of attention for its frank treatment of “post-racial” America—particularly in Ivy League universities—that made me laugh, although I felt not many in the theater got the joke the way I did. It was during a voiceover dialog during which the protagonist Sam’s African-American suitor was musing that he thought at first that she was “Puerto Rican” because of her lighter skin and superior attitude. Sam is a mixed-race filmmaker and agitator who is constantly angry over “micro-aggressions” she endures every day on campus, and is determined to put the brakes on all forms of neo-racism, period…

…In an Ivy League university a mulata is an exotic character, charged with a social and sexual ambivalence that is hard to resolve in quotidian campus interactions. Sam, reflecting on this, suffered the crisis of being accompanied by her white father to grade school when she was a child–the desire to separate herself to avoid confusion that resulted from noticing how people looked at her curiously–what is that white man doing with that black girl?  Other scenes find Sam grappling with being an object of sexual desire and political solidarity with white and black lovers, with all of this seemingly just adding to her quiet agony…

Read the entire article here.

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Let’s Talk About Race (in Latin@ Communities)

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-11-24 00:43Z by Steven

Let’s Talk About Race (in Latin@ Communities)

NACLA Report on the Americas
New York, New York
2014-10-16

Melissa M. Valle, Ph.D. candidate
Columbia University, New York, New York

While many trivialize race in Latin@ communities as abstract and irrelevant, Afro-Latin@s are still fighting a definitive racial hierarchy.

They say that the Devil’s greatest trick is convincing the world he didn’t exist. While I’m not a religious person, I find something alarming about the notion that a sinister force is exacting its will on humanity while successfully going undetected, and therefore uncontested. Racism in Latin America has a similar invisible, but insidious, sort of quality.

Bring up racism amongst those from Latin America and you’ll often get an exasperated groan, followed by something about how class is the predominate stratifying principle in Latin America, and a plea to stop applying your U.S.-based take on race to those in Latin America and the Caribbean. They may even throw in a “we’re all mixed” or “what is race?” rejoinder for good measure.

They will likely bring up the fluidity of racial boundaries as a way of suggesting that the struggles around this form of discrimination have their own set of particularities when in a different setting like Latin America, and that these particularities absolve them from dealing with contradictory experiences of Afro-Latin@s that reveal a peculiarly hidden racism.

Fortunately, there are now numerous organizations and scholars carrying out the tireless work of bringing to light, documenting, and challenging the cumulative effects of centuries of oppression that continue to negatively impact the lives of millions of Afro-Latin@s. Recognizing the need for a critical analysis of the social reality of African-descended people from Latin America, local activists and scholars led by Juan Flores and Miriam Jiménez Román founded the afrolatin@ forum in New York in 2007. It was a moving experience to serve on the executive board of the forum in New York City in 2011 and help coordinate its first conference, “Afro-Latin@s Now!: Strategies for Visibility and Action.” The afrolatin@ forum is committed to advancing an understanding of the afrolatin@ experience in the United States and abroad. But on a personal level it has also heightened an understanding of racial marginalization and resistance for me and many of my co-organizers. Working with this collective, I feel my own identity as an Afro-Latina and scholar-activist has been affirmed.

This October’s second afrolatin@ forum conference, “Afro-Latin@s Now: Race Counts!” will provide a space to examine the structural and ideological barriers to full Afro-Latin@ representation and discuss opportunities for positive social change. The event will focus specifically on how race structures the life chances of Latin@s of African descent and how it is therefore critical that our experiences be shared and our numbers be counted in the census…

Read the entire article here.

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Kathleen López: Chinese Cubans: A Transnational History

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Audio, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Interviews, Media Archive on 2014-11-22 02:39Z by Steven

Kathleen López: Chinese Cubans: A Transnational History

New Books in Latin American Studies: Discussions with Scholars of Latin America about Their New Books
2014-11-21

Alejandra Bronfman, Associate Professor of History
University of British Columbia, Canada

Successive waves of migration brought thousands of Chinese laborers to Cuba over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The coolie trade, which was meant to replace waning supplies of slaves, was but the first. In the twentieth century, a sugar boom in Cuba facilitated the entry of thousands more. Many of these itinerant workers stayed, and this book uses Chinese and Spanish languages sources and microhistorical methods to trace their lives as they married, raised children, formed associations and ran businesses. Kathleen López‘s book Chinese Cubans, A Transnational History (University of North Carolina Press, 2013) asks questions about belonging and offers a nuanced interpretation of the ways people of Chinese descent could proffer loyalties to Cuba even as they were embedded in transnational Chinese networks. There are surprising stories here, about race, family and work. Next time you encounter a Chinese-Cuban restaurant, you’ll know a little more about how it got there.

Listen to the interview (01:06:29) here. Download the interview here.

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Is Parental Love Colorblind? Human Capital Accumulation within Mixed Families

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Economics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-11-19 17:32Z by Steven

Is Parental Love Colorblind? Human Capital Accumulation within Mixed Families

The Review of Black Political Economy
2014-07-04
DOI: 10.1007/s12114-014-9190-1

Marcos A. Rangel, Assistant Professor
Sanford School of Public Policy
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Studies have shown that differences in wage-determinant skills between blacks and whites emerge during a child’s infancy, highlighting the roles of parental characteristics and investment decisions. Exploring the genetics of skin-color and models of intrahousehold allocations, I present evidence that, controlling for observed and unobserved parental characteristics, light-skinned children are more likely to receive investments in formal education than their dark-skinned siblings. Conscious parental decisions regarding human capital acquisition for their children seem to contribute for the persistence of earnings differentials and socio-economic stratification in Brazil.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Ormonde: Windrush’s Forgotten Forerunner

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Poetry, United Kingdom on 2014-11-12 00:21Z by Steven

Ormonde: Windrush’s Forgotten Forerunner

Hannah Lowe

Hercules Editions
2014-11-05
36 pages
125 x 140 mm, full colour throughout
ISBN: ISBN 978-0-9572738-2-5

Ormonde is a chapbook by the award-winning writer Hannah Lowe, which brings together a cycle of poems and unique personal and historical archives to chart the 1947 journey of SS Ormonde, the first post-WW2 ship (more than a year before SS Empire Windrush) to carry immigrants from Jamaica to the UK.

On board was the poet’s father, R. Lowe, ready to start a new life in a new country. His daughter writes poignantly of his hopes and aspirations, of his fellow passengers, and the issues faced by immigrants arriving in Britain at the time.

The book includes a foreword by the author explaining her personal quest to find out more about this forgotten ship, and her influences and process in writing the poems. An afterword by the acclaimed writer and historian Mike Phillips puts the history of the Ormonde into the wider context of black British immigration.

The chapbook is published in a limited edition of 300, and is signed by the author. A special edition, available only through our Indiegogo campaign, includes an additional signed poem.

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Growing Up “Too Black” In Trinidad

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Women on 2014-11-10 19:50Z by Steven

Growing Up “Too Black” In Trinidad

The New Local: Think Global, Read Local
2014-11-10

Malaika Crichlow
Miami, Florida

I grew up in Trinidad in the 80s and 90s as a black girl child. To be black in a country that idealizes the curly hair and mixed ethnicity aesthetic is rough to say the least. Although I shared the same parental genes as my sister, who is considered mixed or “red,” what I embodied physically was dark skin and “kinky” hair. It didn’t matter that my heritage included French, Scottish, East Indian and African; I was black to everyone who saw me, which wouldn’t bother me if I wasn’t treated as less than because of it.

I was the daughter of a dark-skinned man who, as a man, couldn’t comprehend my female self-esteem struggles. He didn’t know that his unabashed preference of my light-skinned sister could truly fuck me up. As my primary example of the male gender and my only other dark skinned counterpart in our immediate family, he didn’t understand that not loving me as much as my red sister could damage my mind and sense of self for years.  I was also the daughter of a light-skinned mother who, similarly, couldn’t fully understand my dark-skinned complex because like my sister, she had gotten the red woman’s preferential treatment her whole life…

Read the entire article here.

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Honduran held in Mexican jail returns home

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Law, Live Events, Media Archive, Mexico, United States on 2014-11-09 20:35Z by Steven

Honduran held in Mexican jail returns home

BBC News
2014-11-08

A Honduran migrant who was jailed for more than five years by Mexican police is expected to arrive in his home country on Sunday.

Angel Amilcar Colon Quevedo belongs to the Garifuna community, descended from African slaves and indigenous groups.

He was picked up in 2009 by police in Tijuana in Mexico as he tried to across the border into the United States.

Human rights organisations say Mr Colon was tortured and detained on the basis of his ethnicity.

Mr Colon was released in mid-October but stayed on in Mexico to publicise the treatment he had received.

International human rights organisations worked alongside local rights campaigners to release him.

“I am an example of thousands of people who are in jail today and who do not have anyone defending them.” said Mr Colon…

…The Garifuna

The black communities living on the Caribbean coast of Central America are commonly called Garifuna or Black Carib, or as they refer to themselves, Garinagu.

Over the last three centuries, in spite of many migrations, re-settlements and interactions with Indians, British, French and Spanish, they have preserved much of the culture from their two main branches of ancestry.

The Garinagu are the descendants of Caribs Indians and Black African slaves. The Caribs were originally indigenous peoples from South America…

Read the entire article here.

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Everyday Life in the Early English Caribbean: Irish, Africans, and the Construction of Difference

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2014-11-09 17:59Z by Steven

Everyday Life in the Early English Caribbean: Irish, Africans, and the Construction of Difference

University of Georgia Press
2013-11-15
256 pages
18 b&w photos, 1 map
Trim size: 6 x 9
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8203-4505-5
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8203-4662-5
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-8203-4634-2

Jenny Shaw, Assistant Professor of History
University of Alabama

A new examination of the experiences of Irish and Africans in the English Caribbean

Set along both the physical and social margins of the British Empire in the second half of the seventeenth century, Everyday Life in the Early English Caribbean explores the construction of difference through the everyday life of colonial subjects. Jenny Shaw examines how marginalized colonial subjects—Irish and Africans—contributed to these processes. By emphasizing their everyday experiences Shaw makes clear that each group persisted in its own cultural practices; Irish and Africans also worked within—and challenged—the limits of the colonial regime. Shaw’s research demonstrates the extent to which hierarchies were in flux in the early modern Caribbean, allowing even an outcast servant to rise to the position of island planter, and underscores the fallacy that racial categories of black and white were the sole arbiters of difference in the early English Caribbean.

The everyday lives of Irish and Africans are obscured by sources constructed by elites. Through her research, Jenny Shaw overcomes the constraints such sources impose by pushing methodological boundaries to fill in the gaps, silences, and absences that dominate the historical record. By examining legal statutes, census material, plantation records, travel narratives, depositions, interrogations, and official colonial correspondence, as much for what they omit as for what they include, Everyday Life in the Early English Caribbean uncovers perspectives that would otherwise remain obscured. This book encourages readers to rethink the boundaries of historical research and writing and to think more expansively about questions of race and difference in English slave societies.

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The Mulatto Republic: Class, Race, and Dominican National Identity

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2014-11-09 17:51Z by Steven

The Mulatto Republic: Class, Race, and Dominican National Identity

University Press of Florida
2014-03-24
224 pages
6×9
Cloth ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-4919-9

April J. Mayes, Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies
Pomona College, Claremont, California

The Dominican Republic was once celebrated as a mulatto racial paradise. Now the island nation is idealized as a white, Hispanic nation, having abandoned its many Haitian and black influences. The possible causes of this shift in ideologies between popular expressions of Dominican identity and official nationalism has long been debated by historians, political scientists, and journalists.

In The Mulatto Republic, April Mayes looks at the many ways Dominicans define themselves through race, skin color, and culture. She explores significant historical factors and events that have led the nation, for much of the twentieth century, to favor privileged European ancestry and Hispanic cultural norms such as the Spanish language and Catholicism.

Mayes seeks to discern whether contemporary Dominican identity is a product of the Trujillo regime—and, therefore, only a legacy of authoritarian rule—or is representative of a nationalism unique to an island divided into two countries long engaged with each other in ways that are sometimes cooperative and at other times conflicted. Her answers enrich and enliven an ongoing debate.

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Mestizo Genomics: Race Mixture, Nation, and Science in Latin America

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Mexico on 2014-11-09 17:49Z by Steven

Mestizo Genomics: Race Mixture, Nation, and Science in Latin America

Duke University Press
April 2014
320 pages
4 photos, 2 tables, 6 figures
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5648-6
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-5659-2

Edited by:

Peter Wade, Professor of Social Anthropology
University of Manchester

Carlos López Beltrán, Researcher
Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas, Coyoacán, México, D.F.

Eduardo Restrepo
Universidad Javeriana, Estudios Culturales

Ricardo Ventura Santos
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)

In genetics laboratories in Latin America, scientists have been mapping the genomes of local populations, seeking to locate the genetic basis of complex diseases and to trace population histories. As part of their work, geneticists often calculate the European, African, and Amerindian genetic ancestry of populations. Some researchers explicitly connect their findings to questions of national identity and racial and ethnic difference, bringing their research to bear on issues of politics and identity.

Based on ethnographic research in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, the contributors to Mestizo Genomics explore how the concepts of race, ethnicity, nation, and gender enter into and are affected by genomic research. In Latin America, national identities are often based on ideas about mestizaje (race mixture), rather than racial division. Since mestizaje is said to involve relations between European men and indigenous or African women, gender is a key factor in Latin American genomics and the analyses in this book. Also important are links between contemporary genomics and recent moves toward official multiculturalism in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. One of the first studies of its kind, Mestizo Genomics sheds new light on the interrelations between “race,” identity, and genomics in Latin America.

Contributors: Adriana Díaz del Castillo H., Roosbelinda Cárdenas, Vivette García Deister, Verlan Valle Gaspar Neto, Michael Kent, Carlos López Beltrán, María Fernanda Olarte Sierra, Eduardo Restrepo, Mariana Rios Sandoval, Ernesto Schwartz-Marín, Ricardo Ventura Santos, Peter Wade

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