“Latinidad Is Cancelled”: Confronting an Anti-Black Construct

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2021-08-10 02:15Z by Steven

“Latinidad Is Cancelled”: Confronting an Anti-Black Construct

Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture
Volume 3, Issue 3 (July 2021)
pages 58-79
DOI: 10.1525/lavc.2021.3.3.58

Tatiana Flores, Professor of Latino & Caribbean Studies and Art History
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Adopting a hemispheric perspective, this essay problematizes the construct of latinidad by foregrounding how it reproduces Black erasure. I argue that “Latin America,” rather than being a geographical designator, is an imagined community that is Eurocentric to the degree that its conceptual boundaries exclude African diaspora spaces. I then turn to understandings of whiteness across borders, contrasting perceptions of racial mixture in the United States and the Hispanophone Americas. Lastly, I examine works by (Afro-)Latinx artists whose nuanced views on race demonstrate the potential of visual representation to provide insight into this complex topic beyond the black-white binary.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Envisioning the United States in the Latin American myth of ‘racial democracy mestizaje’

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, United States on 2016-04-25 03:05Z by Steven

Envisioning the United States in the Latin American myth of ‘racial democracy mestizaje’

Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies
Published online 2016-04-12
DOI: 10.1080/17442222.2016.1170953

Tanya Katerí Hernández, Professor of Law
Fordham University, The Jesuit University of New York

Transnational comparison is relevant both to how racial hierarchy is obscured and elucidated. This Essay traces how the Latin American ‘racial democracy mestizaje’ depiction of the US as blind to racial mixture and color distinctions mistakenly misrepresent the Southern Jim Crow history as the only US experience of racism. It suggests that, in turn, such a limited frame for comparison cloaks not only the more extensive terrain of racism in the United States that is separate from the Jim Crow reality but also parallels to the Latin American context. Moreover, the circumscribed view of US racism adversely affects those who critique the ‘racial democracy mestizaje’ myth of Latin American post racialism. This is because the standard Latin American story of US racial history hinders the ability to fully countermand the attack that portrays racial justice activists as inappropriately applying overly restrictive US binary perspectives on race. With the fuller explication of the complete US racial history, and its contemporary manifestations, it will not be so easy to dismiss the comparisons of racial subordination across the Americas, as the imperialist imposition of ill-fitting US notions of race.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,