Blackness in the White Nation: A History of Afro-Uruguay

Blackness in the White Nation: A History of Afro-Uruguay

by George Reid Andrews


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Uruguay is not conventionally thought of as part of the African diaspora, yet during the period of Spanish colonial rule, thousands of enslaved Africans arrived in the country. Afro-Uruguayans played important roles in Uruguay's national life, creating the second-largest black press in Latin America, a racially defined political party, and numerous social and civic organizations.

Afro-Uruguayans were also central participants in the creation of Uruguayan popular culture and the country's principal musical forms, tango and candombe. Candombe, a style of African-inflected music, is one of the defining features of the nation's culture, embraced equally by white and black citizens.

In Blackness in the White Nation, George Reid Andrews offers a comprehensive history of Afro-Uruguayans from the colonial period to the present. Showing how social and political mobilization is intertwined with candombe, he traces the development of Afro-Uruguayan racial discourse and argues that candombe's evolution as a central part of the nation's culture has not fundamentally helped the cause of racial equality. Incorporating lively descriptions of his own experiences as a member of a candombe drumming and performance group, Andrews consistently connects the struggles of Afro-Uruguayans to the broader issues of race, culture, gender, and politics throughout Latin America and the African diaspora generally.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807871584
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 10/18/2010
Edition description: 1
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

George Reid Andrews is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh. He is author of Afro-Latin America, 1800-2000.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Andrews fills a gap in the English-language and Latin American scholarship and, more important, he provides valuable new insights into the ways that African diasporic cultural practices have been incorporated into 'white' national identities even as people of African descent continue to suffer from inequality and discrimination.—Nancy P. Appelbaum, The State University of New York at Binghamton

This new book written by Reid Andrews, a master historian at the height of his form, is destined to become the standard work on its topic, just as his study, The Afro-Argentines of Buenos Aires, 1800-1900 has been for an entire generation.—John Charles Chasteen, author of Americanos: Latin America's Struggle for Independence

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