Geographies Of Cubanidad: Place, Race, and Musical Performance in Contemporary Cuba

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs on 2015-08-01 01:42Z by Steven

Geographies Of Cubanidad: Place, Race, and Musical Performance in Contemporary Cuba

University Press of Mississippi
2005-07-10
328 pages
6 x 9 inches, 14 b&w illustrations, 1 map, 3 tables, glossary, bibliography, index
Hardback ISBN: 9781628462395

Rebecca M. Bodenheimer

A study of how notions of place and race inform the identities and performances of musicians in contemporary Cuba

Derived from the nationalist writings of José Martí, the concept of Cubanidad (Cubanness) has always imagined a unified hybrid nation where racial difference is nonexistent and nationality trumps all other axes identities. Scholars have critiqued this celebration of racial mixture, highlighting a gap between the claim of racial harmony and the realities of inequality faced by Afro-Cubans since independence in 1898. In this book, Rebecca M. Bodenheimer argues that it is not only the recognition of racial difference that threatens to divide the nation, but that popular regional sentiment further contests the hegemonic national discourse. Given that the music is a prominent symbol of Cubanidad, musical practices play an important role in constructing regional, local, and national identities.

This book suggests that regional identity exerts a significant influence on the aesthetic choices made by Cuban musicians. Through the examination of several genres, Bodenheimer explores the various ways that race and place are entangled in contemporary Cuban music. She argues that racialized notions which circulate about different cities affect both the formation of local identity and musical performance. Thus, the musical practices discussed in the book—including rumba, timba, eastern Cuban folklore, and son—are examples of the intersections between regional identity formation, racialized notions of place, and music-making.

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Long Time No See: A memoir of fathers, daughters and games of chance

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Novels, United Kingdom on 2015-07-28 15:02Z by Steven

Long Time No See: A memoir of fathers, daughters and games of chance

Periscope
2015-07-24
336 pages
204mm x 138mm
Paperback ISBN: 9781859643969

Hannah Lowe

Hannah Lowe’s father “Chick”, a half-Chinese, half-black Jamaican immigrant, worked long hours at night to support his family – except Chick was no ordinary working man. A legendary gambler, he would vanish into the shadows of East London to win at cards or dice, returning during the daylight hours to greet the daughter whose love and respect he courted.

In this poignant memoir, Lowe calls forth the unstable world of card sharps, confidence men and small-time criminals that eventually took its toll on Chick. She also evokes her father’s Jamaica, where he learned his formidable skills, and her own coming of age in a changing Britain.

Long Time No See speaks eloquently of love and its absence, regret and compassion, and the struggle to know oneself.

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An Intellectual History of Black Women

Posted in Africa, Biography, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Live Events, United States, Women on 2015-07-27 02:44Z by Steven

An Intellectual History of Black Women

Katharine Cornell Theater
54 Spring Street
Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts 02568
Sunday, 2015-08-02, 19:00-20:30 EDT (Local Time)

Moderator:

Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African and African American Studies
Harvard University

Discussants:

Farah J. Griffin, William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African-American Studies
Columbia University

Mia Bay, Professor of History and Director of Center for Race and Ethnicity
Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey

Martha S. Jones, Arthur F Thurnau Professor, Associate Professor of History
University of Michigan School of Law

Barbara D. Savage, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Professor Africana Studies
University of Pennsylvania

The Vineyard Haven Public Library presents a panel discussion celebrating intellectuals previously neglected because of race and gender. Moderated by Evelyn Higginbotham, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African American Studies at Harvard. Featuring all 4 editors of the new book Toward and Intellectual History of Black Women.  Join us for what should be a lively and stimulating discussion.

For more information, click here.

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Confounding Anti-racism: Mixture, Racial Democracy, and Post-racial Politics in Brazil

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science on 2015-07-27 02:15Z by Steven

Confounding Anti-racism: Mixture, Racial Democracy, and Post-racial Politics in Brazil

Critical Sociology
Published online before print 2014-01-31
DOI: 10.1177/0896920513508663

Alexandre Emboaba Da Costa, Assistant Professor
Department of Educational Policy Studies
University of Alberta, Canada

In this article, I analyze the particularity of post-racial ideology in Brazil. I examine recent deployments of mixture and racial democracy as re-articulations of historically hegemonic versions of these ideologies that minimize the problem of racism, deny its systemic nature, and deem ethno-racial policies as threats to achieving nonracial belonging and citizenship. Drawing on scholarship on race and racism from the United States, Brazil, and elsewhere in Latin America, I delineate a relational framework for analyzing the post-racial and apply this framework to three examples of post-racial ideology. Through these examples, I illustrate the problematic logics shaping aggressive investments in the post-racial as future promise to the detriment of addressing the unequal effects racial difference presents for inclusion/exclusion today. The article asserts the necessity of mounting transnational and interdisciplinary theoretical, epistemological, and practical strategies to challenge the ways post-racial ideologies rearticulate racial hierarchies, maintain racial subordination, and delimit social change.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Breaking the silence on Afro-Cuban history

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive on 2015-07-26 23:51Z by Steven

Breaking the silence on Afro-Cuban history

Daily Kos
2015-07-26

Denise Oliver Velez

The news of the re-opening of Cuba’s embassy in the U.S., and America’s embassy in Cuba, was covered worldwide this past week, garnering particular interest in the Caribbean and Latin America, and in Cuban-American communities in the U.S., in stories like this: Cuba opens Washington embassy, urges end to embargo:

The Cuban flag was raised over Havana’s embassy in Washington on Monday for the first time in 54 years as the United States and Cuba formally restored relations, opening a new chapter of engagement between the former Cold War foes.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez presided over the reinauguration of the embassy, a milestone in the diplomatic thaw that began with an announcement by U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro on Dec. 17.

Underscoring differences that remain between the United States and Communist-ruled Cuba, Rodriguez seized the opportunity to urge Obama to use executive powers to do more to dismantle the economic embargo, the main stumbling block to full normalization of ties. For its part, the Obama administration pressed Havana for improvement on human rights.

But even with continuing friction, the reopening of embassies in each others’ capitals provided the most concrete symbols yet of what has been achieved after more than two years of negotiations between governments that had long shunned each other.

Watching the symbolic event, which has been a long time coming, I couldn’t help but notice the three young men chosen to raise the Cuban flag, and I feel sure that their selection was purposeful, making a Cuban statement about who Cubans are racially.

Cubans are very aware of U.S. racial strife, historically and in the present day, and Fidel Castro has had a very particular relationship with the African-American community.

Follow me below for more…

Read the entire article here.

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“We Are Not Racists, We Are Mexicans”: Privilege, Nationalism and Post-Race Ideology in Mexico

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico, Social Science on 2015-07-26 02:42Z by Steven

“We Are Not Racists, We Are Mexicans”: Privilege, Nationalism and Post-Race Ideology in Mexico

Critical Sociology
Published online before print 2015-06-18
DOI: 10.1177/0896920515591296

Mónica G. Moreno Figueroa, Lecturer in Sociology
University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Emiko Saldívar, Associate Project Scientist
Department of Anthropology
University of California, Santa Barbara

This article analyses the conflicting understandings surrounding the recognition of anti-black racism in Mexico, drawing from an analysis of the 2005 controversy around Memín Pinguín. We ask what is at stake when opposition arises to claims of racism, how racial disavowal is possible, and how is it that the racial project of mestizaje (racial and cultural mixture) expresses a form of Mexican post-racial ideology. We argue that the ideology of mestizaje is key for unpacking the tensions between the recognition and disavowal of racism. Mestizaje solidifies into a form of nationalist denial in moments when racism is openly contested or brought up. It becomes a concrete strategy of power that is mobilized to simplify or divert attention in particular moments, such as with the Memín Pinguín controversy, when the contradictions within the social dynamic are revealed and questioned. Here is where Mexico’s “raceless” ideology of mestizaje overlaps with current post-racial politics. We explore state, elite and popular reactions to the debate to discuss how such public displays reflect an invested denial of race and racism while, at the same time, the racial status quo of mestizaje is reinforced. This, we argue, is the essence of post-racial politics in Mexico.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Thinking ‘Post-Racial’ Ideology Transnationally: The Contemporary Politics of Race and Indigeneity in the Americas

Posted in Articles, Canada, Caribbean/Latin America, Social Science, United States on 2015-07-25 02:20Z by Steven

Thinking ‘Post-Racial’ Ideology Transnationally: The Contemporary Politics of Race and Indigeneity in the Americas

Critical Sociology
Published online before print 2015-07-03
DOI: 10.1177/0896920515591175

Alexandre Emboaba Da Costa, Assistant Professor
Department of Educational Policy Studies
University of Alberta, Canada

This article introduces the special issue on post-racial ideologies and politics in the Americas. It argues for the necessity of a transnational frame when examining the related, yet historically variable expressions of post-racial ideology and politics across diverse moments and contexts in the Western Hemisphere. The article examines various modalities of ‘post-racial’ thinking and politics, including mestizaje (racial and cultural mixture), colorblindness, and multiculturalism, elaborating their interrelated characteristics in relation to the silencing and minimization of racism and the elision of the role race plays in maintaining structural inequalities. The intersections between the post-racial and racial neoliberalism are highlighted as are the implications of post-racial ideologies for anti-racist and decolonial politics. Special issue article contributions are also described and situated.

Read or purchase the article here.

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The Global African – Mexican Afro-descendants

Posted in Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Native Americans/First Nation, United States, Videos on 2015-07-17 15:03Z by Steven

The Global African – Mexican Afro-descendants

The Global African
2014-12-03

Bill Fletcher, Host

Randal Archibold, Bureau Chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean
The New York Times (Author of the article “Negro? Prieto? Moreno? A Question of Identity for Black Mexicans”)

William Loren Katz
Author of: Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage

Each week on “The Global African” host Bill Fletcher, Jr. addresses issues facing Africa and the African Diasporas.

Mexico’s Afro-descendant population for years has been virtually invisible; now, for the first time ever, the next national census will include the category of Afro-Mexican. Fletcher interviews NY Times Bureau Chief for Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean Randal Archibold about Mexico’s Afro-descendant population. The next segment of the program deals with a fascinating yet virtually unknown chapter of US history, the biological and cultural bonds established between African slaves and Native Americans. Professor William Loren Katz, author of Black Indians-A Hidden Heritage and 40 other books on African-Americans and Native Americans, describes his research on relations between Africans and Afro-descendants and Native Americans.

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CUNY Exhibition Documents Lives of Black Africans in Early Dominican Republic

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, United States on 2015-07-14 20:42Z by Steven

CUNY Exhibition Documents Lives of Black Africans in Early Dominican Republic

The New York Times
2015-07-13

Sandra E. Garcia

Scholars at the City University of New York are using clues left in 16th-century manuscripts and Spanish records to track the lives of the earliest black Africans in the Dominican Republic.

An exhibition now on view of letters and other documents from the archives of CUNY’s Dominican Studies Institute and the General Archives of the Indies in Seville, Spain, provides a window onto the lives of the often ignored black Africans of La Española, the island of Hispaniola.

In the exhibition, “16th-Century La Española: Glimpses of the First Blacks in the Early Colonial Americas,” 25 panels display photos of an original letter or record, along with an English translation, that explain or question situations involving formerly enslaved Africans on the island.

When searching the archives, Anthony Stevens-Acevedo, the assistant director of the Dominican Studies Institute, focused on keywords like “mulatto,” “negro” and “negra,” he said.

Read the entire article here.

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Early Afro-Mexican Settlers in California

Posted in Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, United States, Videos on 2015-07-13 18:05Z by Steven

Early Afro-Mexican Settlers in California

C-SPAN: Created by Cable
2015-05-20

Host: California Historical Society

Professor Carlos Manuel Salomon, author of Pio Pico: The Last Governor of Mexican California, talked about Mexicans of African descent who were some of the first non-Indian settlers in California. Many came from Sinaloa and Sonora, Mexico, with the Anza Expedition in 1775, and helped to shape the character of California, building and establishing pueblos and ranches that grew into towns such as Los Angeles, San Diego, Monterey, and San Jose. Several became wealthy landowners and politicians, including Pio Pico, the last governor of Mexican California.

Watch the video (01:21:44) here.

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