The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States

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Overview

The presence of Afro-Latin@s in the United States (and throughout the Americas) belies the notion that Blacks and Latin@s are two distinct categories or cultures. Afro-Latin@s are uniquely situated to bridge the widening social divide between Latin@s and African Americans; at the same time, their experiences reveal pervasive racism among Latin@s and ethnocentrism among African Americans. Offering insight into Afro-Latin@ life and new ways to understand culture, ethnicity, nation, identity, and antiracist politics, The Afro-Latin@ Reader presents a kaleidoscopic view of Black Latin@s in the United States. It addresses history, music, gender, class, and media representations in more than sixty selections, including scholarly essays, memoirs, newspaper and magazine articles, poetry, short stories, and interviews. While the selections cover centuries of Afro-Latin@ history, since the arrival of Spanish-speaking Africans in North America in the mid-sixteenth-century, most of them focus on the past fifty years. The central question of how Afro-Latin@s relate to and experience U.S. and Latin American racial ideologies is engaged throughout, in first-person accounts of growing up Afro-Latin@, a classic essay by a leader of the Young Lords, and analyses of U.S. census data on race and ethnicity, as well as in pieces on gender and sexuality, major-league baseball, and religion. The contributions that Afro-Latin@s have made to U.S. culture are highlighted in essays on the illustrious Afro-Puerto Rican bibliophile Arturo Alfonso Schomburg and music and dance genres from salsa to mambo, and from boogaloo to hip hop. Taken together, these and many more selections help to bring Afro-Latin@s in the United States into critical view.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[R]equired reading for all Latinos. . . . This important reader provides critical information from a wide variety of approaches on the evolution and current realities of Black Latinos and Latinas. From poetic to musical to social scientific sources, this is a powerful 360-degree treatment of the subject.” - Angelo Falcón, National Institute for Latino Policy Book Notes

“This exciting collection is a great resource for anyone interested in Ethnic Studies, Cultural Studies, or American Studies.” - Jenell Navarro, Women’s Studies

“As a collection of pieces, many of which have been published previously, The Afro-Latin@ Reader ultimately serves as a compact archive of materials from various academic disciplines and creative genres that details the Afro-Latina/o experience in the United States. . . . The Afro-Latin@ Reader makes accessible to students, scholars, and the general public a virtually ignored set of important contributions, not only to the study of Afro-Latina/os, but to the discourse about race in the United States more generally.” - Petra R. Rivera, Transition

“The collected works in The Afro-Latin@ Reader broaden definitions of blackness and latinidad and reveal the multiple ways in which Afro-Latino/as navigate national and cultural histories that have consistently denigrated or dismissed their African heritage and challenge US racial classifications that dismiss their cultural background and linguistic difference. The Afro-Latin@ Reader invites us to move beyond a binary understanding of racial identity and to embrace the allegiances that may be forged and, in many instances, have been forged among Afro-Latino/as, Latinos/as, African Americans, and other underrepresented groups in the US.” - Sobeira Latorre, Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal

The Afro-Latin@ Reader assembles in one place an extraordinary range of articles, chapters, and first-person accounts of Afro-Latin@ identity. These pieces show that explorations of Afro-Latin@ identities quickly reveal significant hidden histories of racialization, colonization, exploitation, and social mobilization. They complicate our understanding of the U.S. racial order and its complex systems of inclusion and exclusion. This collection is a much-needed addition to scholarship in ethnic studies.”—George Lipsitz, author of American Studies in a Moment of Danger

The Afro-Latin@ Reader is a superb collection, one that I cannot wait to use in my own courses. For some time now, scholars have engaged the history and anthropology of Black populations in Latin America, but the scholarship on the Afro-Latin@ presence (as configured on this side of the Rio Grande) has been more episodic and, to some extent, under-theorized. The breadth of The Afro-Latin@ Reader, as well as its effort to actually define the entire field, makes it a unique scholarly contribution.”—Ben Vinson III, co-author of African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822345725
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2010
  • Series: A John Hope Franklin Center Book Series
  • Pages: 584
  • Sales rank: 797,702
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Miriam Jiménez Román is a visiting scholar in the Africana Studies Program at New York University and Executive Director of afrolatin@ forum, a research and resource center focusing on Black Latin@s in the United States.

Juan Flores is Professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. His most recent works include The Diaspora Strikes Back: Caribeño Tales of Learning and Turning, From Bomba To Hip-Hop: Puerto Rican Culture and Latino Identity, and the English translation of Edgardo Rodríguez Juliá’s book Cortijo’s Wake, also published by Duke University Press.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii

Editorial Note xv

Introduction 1

I Historical Background before 1900

The Earliest Africans in North America Peter H. Wood 19

Black Pioneers: The Spanish-Speaking Afro-Americans of the Southwest Jack D. Forbes 27

Slave and Free Women of Color in the Spanish Ports of New Orleans, Mobile, and Pensacola Virginia Meacham Gould 38

Afro-Cubans in Tampa Susan D. Dreenbaum 51

Excerpt from Pulling the Muse from the Drum Adrián Castro 62

II Arturo Alfonso Schomburg

Excerpt from "Racial Integrity: A Plea for the Establishment of a Chair of Negro History in Our Schools and Colleges," Arthur A. Schomburg 67

The World of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof 70

Invoking Arturo Schomburg's Legacy in Philadelphia Evelyne Laurent-Perrault 92

III Afro-Latin@s on the Color Line

Black Cuban, Black American Evelio Grillo 99

A Puerto Rican in New York and Other Sketches Jesús Colón 113

Melba Alvarado, El Club Cubano Inter-Americano, and the Creation of Afro-Cubanidades in New York City Nancy Raquel Mirabal 120

An Uneven Playing Field: Afro-Latinos in Major League Baseball Adrian Burgos 127

Changing Identities: An Afro-Latin@ Family Portrait Gabriel Haslip-Viera 142

iEso era tremendo! An Afro-Cuban Musician Remembers Graciela 150

IV Roots of Salsa: Afro-Latin@ Popular Music

From "Indianola" to "Ño Colá": The Strange Career of the Afro-Puerto Rican Musician 157

Excerpt from cu/bop Louis Reyes Rivera 176

Bauzáa-Gillespie-Latin/Jazz:Difference, Modernity, and the Black Caribbean Jairo Moreno 177

Contesting that Damned Mambo: Arsenio Rodríguez and the People of El Barrio and the Bronx in the 1950s David F. García 187

Boogaloo and Latin Soul Juan Flores 199

Excerpt from the salsa of bethesda fountain Tato Laviera 207

V Black Latin@ Sixties

Hair Conking; Buy Black Carlos Cooks 211

Dominican Garveyite in Harlem Pedro R. Rivera Carlos A. Cooks 215

Down These Mean Streets Piri Thomas 219

African Things Victor Hernández Cruz 232

Black Notes and "You Do Something to Me," Sandra María Esteves 233

Before People Called Me a Spic, They Called Me a Nigger Pablo "Yoruba" Guzmán 235

Excerpt from Jíbaro, My Pretty Nigger Felipe Luciano 244

The Yoruba Orisha Tradition Comes to New York City Marta Moreno Vega 245

Reflections and Lived Experiences of Afro-Latin@ Religiosity Luis Barrios 252

Discovering Myself: Un Testimonio Sherezada "Chiqui" Vicioso 262

Excerpt from Dominicanish Josefina Báez 266

VI Afro-Latinas

The Black Puerto Rican Woman in Contemporary American Society Angela Jorge 269

Something Latino Was Up with Us Spring Redd 276

Excerpt from Poem for My Grifa-Rican Sistah, or Broken Ends Broken Promises Mariposa (María Teresa Fernández 280

Latinegras: Desired Women-Undesirable Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, and Wives Marta I. Cruz-Janzen 282

Letter to a Friend Nilaja Sun 296

Uncovering Mirrors: Afro-Latina Lesbian Subjects Ana M. Lara 298

The Black Bellybutton of a Bongo Marianela Medrano 314

VII Public Images and (Mis)Representations

Notes on Eusebia Cosme and Juano Hernández Miriam Jiménez Román 319

Desde el Mero Medio: Race Discrimination within the Latin@ Community Carlos Flores 323

Displaying Identity: Dominicans in the Black Mosaic of Washington, D.C. Ginetta E. B. Candelario 326

Bringing the Soul: Afros, Black Empowerment, and Lucecita Benítez Yeidy M. Rivero 343

Can BET Make You Black? Remixing and Reshaping Latin@ on Black Entertainment Television Ejima Baker 358

The Afro-Latino Connection: Can this group be the bridge to a broadbased Black-Hispanic alliance? Alan Hughes Milca Esdaille 364

VIII Afro-Latin@s in the Hip Hop Zone

Ghettocentricity, Blackness, and Pan-Latinidad Raquel Z. Rivera 373

Chicano Rap Roots: Afro-Mexico and Black-Brown Cultural Exchange Pancho McFarland 387

The Rise and Fall of Reggaeton: From Daddy Yankee to Tego Calderón and Beyond Wayne Marshall 396

Do Plátanos Go wit' Collard Greens? David Lamb 404

Divas Don't Yield Sofia Quintero 411

IX Living Afro-Latinidades

An Afro-Latina's Quest for Inclusion Yvette Modestin 417

Retracing Migration: From Samaná to New York and Back Again Ryan Mann-Hamiton 422

Negotiating among Invisibilities: Tales of Afro-Latinidades in the United States Vielka Cecilia Hoy 426

We Are Black Too: Experiences of a Honduran Garifuna Aida Lambert 431

Profile of an Afro-Latina: Black, Mexican, Both María Rosario Jackson 434

Enrique Patterson: Black Cuban Intellectual in Cuban Miami Antonio López 439

Reflections about Race by a Negrito Acomplejao Eduardo Bonilla-Silva 445

Divisible Blackness: Reflections on Heterogeneity and Racial Identity Silvio Torres-Saillant 453

Nigger-Reecan Blues Willie Perdomo 467

X Afro-Latin@s: Present and Future Tenses

How Race Counts for Hispanic Americans John R. Logan 471

Bleach in the Rainbow: Latino Ethnicity and Preference for Whiteness William A. Darity Jr. Jason Dietrich Darrick Hamilton 485

Brown Like Me? Ed Morales 499

An Oral history project in western Puerto Rico Against the Myth of Racial Harmony in Puerto Rico Afro-Pureto Rican Tesimonies 508

Mexican Ways, African Roots Lisa Hoppenjans Ted Richardson 512

Afro-Latin@s and the Latin@ Workplace Tanya Katerí Hernández 520

Racial Politics in Multiethnic America: Black and Latin@ Identities and Coalitions Mark Sawyer 527

Afro-Latinism in United States Society: A Commentary James Jennings 540

Sources and Permissions 547

Contributors 551

Index 559

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