Café con leche: Race, Class, and National Image in Venezuela

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2016-06-18 22:36Z by Steven

Café con leche: Race, Class, and National Image in Venezuela

University of Texas Press
184 pages
4 illustrations
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-292-79080-3

Winthrop R. Wright, Professor Emeritus of History
University of Maryland

For over a hundred years, Venezuelans have referred to themselves as a café con leche (coffee with milk) people. This colorful expression well describes the racial composition of Venezuelan society, in which European, African, and Indian peoples have intermingled to produce a population in which almost everyone is of mixed blood. It also expresses a popular belief that within their blended society Venezuelans have achieved a racial democracy in which people of all races live free from prejudice and discrimination. Whether or not historical facts actually support this popular perception is the question Winthrop Wright explores in this study.

Wright’s research suggests that, contrary to popular belief, blacks in Venezuela have not enjoyed the full benefits of racial democracy. He finds that their status, even after the abolition of slavery in 1854, remained low in the minds of Venezuelan elites, who idealized the European somatic type and viewed blacks as inferior. Indeed, in an effort to whiten the population, Venezuelan elites promoted European immigration and blocked the entry of blacks and Asians during the early twentieth century.

These attitudes remained in place until the 1940s, when the populist Acción Democrática party (AD) challenged the elites’ whitening policies. Since that time, blacks have made significant strides and have gained considerable political power. But, as Wright reveals, other evidence suggests that most remain social outcasts and have not accumulated significant wealth. The popular perception of racial harmony in Venezuela hides the fact of ongoing discrimination.


  • Preface
  • 1. The Myth of Racial Democracy
  • 2. The Colonial Legacy: Racial Tensions in a Hierarchical Society
  • 3. Whitening the Population, 1850–1900
  • 4. Positivism and National Image, 1890–1935
  • 5. Race and National Image in the Era of Popular Politics, 1935–1958
  • Epilogue
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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The Color of Love: Racial Features, Stigma, and Socialization in Black Brazilian Families

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2015-11-12 03:22Z by Steven

The Color of Love: Racial Features, Stigma, and Socialization in Black Brazilian Families

University of Texas Press
November 2015
328 pages
6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4773-0238-5
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4773-0788-5

Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, Assistant Professor of Sociology with a joint appointment in the Institute for the Study of Latin America & the Caribbean
University of South Florida

Drawing on more than one hundred interviews and observations within ten core families, this study of intimate relationships as sites of racial socialization reveals a new facet of race-based differential treatment and its origins—and the mechanisms that perpetuate these strata across generations.

The Color Of Love reveals the power of racial hierarchies to infiltrate our most intimate relationships. Delving far deeper than previous sociologists have into the black Brazilian experience, Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman examines the relationship between racialization and the emotional life of a family. Based on interviews and a sixteen-month ethnography of ten working-class Brazilian families, this provocative work sheds light on how families simultaneously resist and reproduce racial hierarchies. Examining race and gender, Hordge-Freeman illustrates the privileges of whiteness by revealing how those with “blacker” features often experience material and emotional hardships. From parental ties, to sibling interactions, to extended family and romantic relationships, the chapters chart new territory by revealing the connection between proximity to whiteness and the distribution of affection within families.

Hordge-Freeman also explores how black Brazilian families, particularly mothers, rely on diverse strategies that reproduce, negotiate, and resist racism. She frames efforts to modify racial features as sometimes reflecting internalized racism, and at other times as responding to material and emotional considerations. Contextualizing their strategies within broader narratives of the African diaspora, she examines how Salvador’s inhabitants perceive the history of the slave trade itself in a city that is referred to as the “blackest” in Brazil. She argues that racial hierarchies may orchestrate family relationships in ways that reflect and reproduce racial inequality, but black Brazilian families actively negotiate these hierarchies to assert their citizenship and humanity.

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Mexican Americans and the Question of Race

Posted in Books, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2014-05-23 11:55Z by Steven

Mexican Americans and the Question of Race

University of Texas Press
March 2014
184 pages
3 charts, 1 maps, 1 tables
6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-292-75401-0

Julie A. Dowling, Associate Professor of Latina/Latino Studies
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

This groundbreaking and timely study explores how Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants develop their racial ideologies and identifications and how they choose to present them to others.

With Mexican Americans constituting a large and growing segment of U.S. society, their assimilation trajectory has become a constant source of debate. Some believe Mexican Americans are following the path of European immigrants toward full assimilation into whiteness, while others argue that they remain racialized as nonwhite. Drawing on extensive interviews with Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants in Texas, Dowling’s research challenges common assumptions about what informs racial labeling for this population. Her interviews demonstrate that for Mexican Americans, racial ideology is key to how they assert their identities as either in or outside the bounds of whiteness. Emphasizing the link between racial ideology and racial identification, Dowling offers an insightful narrative that highlights the complex and highly contingent nature of racial identity.


  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. The Question of Race
  • Chapter 2. “I’m white ‘cause I’m an American, right?”: The Meanings of Whiteness for Mexican Americans
  • Chapter 3. “We were never white”: Mexican Americans Identifying Outside the Bounds of Whiteness
  • Chapter 4. “In Mexico I was . . .”: Translating Racial Identities Across the Border
  • Chapter 5. “That’s what we call ourselves here”: Mexican Americans and Mexican Immigrants Negotiating Racial Labeling in Daily Life
  • Chapter 6. Re-envisioning Our Understanding of Latino Racial Identity
  • Appendix: Notes on Methodology
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index

Read chapter 1 here.

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Las Tejanas: 300 Years of History

Posted in Anthropology, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Texas, United States, Women on 2013-09-15 20:08Z by Steven

Las Tejanas: 300 Years of History

University of Texas Press
456 pages
6 1/8 x 9 1/4
142 illustrations, 3 tables
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-292-70527

Teresa Palomo Acosta

Ruthe Winegarten (1929-2004)


  • 2004 T.R. Fehrenbach Award; Texas Historical Commission
  • Texas Reference Source Award; Reference Round Table, Texas Library Association

This groundbreaking book is at once a general history and a celebration of Tejanas’ contributions to Texas over three centuries

Since the early 1700s, women of Spanish/Mexican origin or descent have played a central, if often unacknowledged, role in Texas history. Tejanas have been community builders, political and religious leaders, founders of organizations, committed trade unionists, innovative educators, astute businesswomen, experienced professionals, and highly original artists. Giving their achievements the recognition they have long deserved, this groundbreaking book is at once a general history and a celebration of Tejanas’ contributions to Texas over three centuries.

The authors have gathered and distilled a wide range of information to create this important resource. They offer one of the first detailed accounts of Tejanas’ lives in the colonial period and from the Republic of Texas up to 1900. Drawing on the fuller documentation that exists for the twentieth century, they also examine many aspects of the modern Tejana experience, including Tejanas’ contributions to education, business and the professions, faith and community, politics, and the arts. A large selection of photographs, a historical timeline, and profiles of fifty notable Tejanas complete the volume and assure its usefulness for a broad general audience, as well as for educators and historians.


  • Foreword by Cynthia E. Orozco
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Native Women, Mestizas, and Colonists
  • Chapter 2: The Status of Women in the Colonial Period
  • Chapter 3: From the Republic of Texas to 1900
  • Chapter 4: Revolution, Racism, and Resistance: 1900-1940
  • Chapter 5: Life in Rural Texas: 1900-1940
  • Chapter 6: Life in Urban Texas: 1900-1940
  • Chapter 7: Education: Learning, Teaching, Leading
  • Chapter 8: Entering Business and the Professions
  • Chapter 9: Faith and Community
  • Chapter 10: Politics, the Chicano Movement, and Tejana Feminism
  • Chapter 11: Winning and Holding Public Office
  • Chapter 12: Arts and Culture Epilogue: Grinding Corn Fifty Notable Tejanas
  • Time Line
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Disparate Diasporas: Identity and Politics in an African-Nicaraguan Community

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Monographs on 2013-03-13 23:10Z by Steven

Disparate Diasporas: Identity and Politics in an African-Nicaraguan Community

University of Texas Press
August 1998
320 pages
ISBN-10: 0292728190; ISBN-13: 978-0292728196

Edmund Gordon, Associate Professor of Anthropology
University of Texas, Austin

This book is out of print.

Based on a decade the author spent among the African-Caribbean “Creole” people on Nicaragua’s southern Caribbean coast, Disparate Diasporas is a study of identity formation and politics in that community. Edmund Gordon lived in Bluefields, Nicaragua, during most of the 1980s, a turbulent period during which he participated in the community’s search for solutions to problems ranging from a crumbling economic base to the mutual mistrust and animosity between most Creole people and the Sandinista revolutionary government.

Disparate Diasporas is not a conventional ethnography. Rather than being just an observer, Gordon actively participated in the life of the community, intent on contributing to its political processes. A basic premise of his book is that engagement and activity can enhance ethnographic insights and sharpen theoretical understanding.

Disparate Diasporas shows how a particular “Black” community can evolve distinct types of diasporic consciousness, and, depending on the historical moment, how different types of memories, consciousness, and politics come to predominate. The author uses the Gramscian notion of “common sense” to understand the Creole community’s history of shifting politics and ideologies, focusing on the period of the 1970s and 1980s. His work explains the inability of the Sandinistas to come to terms with the racial and cultural challenge to the Nicaraguan nation posed by the Creole community.

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Recovering History, Constructing Race: The Indian, Black, and White Roots of Mexican Americans

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs, Texas, United States on 2012-01-10 03:01Z by Steven

Recovering History, Constructing Race: The Indian, Black, and White Roots of Mexican Americans

University of Texas Press
389 pages
6 x 9 in., 50 b&w illus., 4 maps
Paperback ISBN: ISBN: 978-0-292-75254-2

Martha Menchaca, Professor of Anthropolgy
University of Texas, Austin

The history of Mexican Americans is a history of the intermingling of races—Indian, White, and Black. This racial history underlies a legacy of racial discrimination against Mexican Americans and their Mexican ancestors that stretches from the Spanish conquest to current battles over ending affirmative action and other assistance programs for ethnic minorities. Asserting the centrality of race in Mexican American history, Martha Menchaca here offers the first interpretive racial history of Mexican Americans, focusing on racial foundations and race relations from prehispanic times to the present.

Menchaca uses the concept of racialization to describe the process through which Spanish, Mexican, and U.S. authorities constructed racial status hierarchies that marginalized Mexicans of color and restricted their rights of land ownership. She traces this process from the Spanish colonial period and the introduction of slavery through racial laws affecting Mexican Americans into the late twentieth-century. This re-viewing of familiar history through the lens of race recovers Blacks as important historical actors, links Indians and the mission system in the Southwest to the Mexican American present, and reveals the legal and illegal means by which Mexican Americans lost their land grants.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. Racial Foundations
  • 2. Racial Formation: Spain’s Racial Order
  • 3. The Move North: The Gran Chichimeca and New Mexico
  • 4. The Spanish Settlement of Texas and Arizona
  • 5. The Settlement of California and the Twilight of the Spanish Period
  • 6. Liberal Racial Legislation during the Mexican Period, 1821-1848
  • 7. Land, Race, and War, 1821-1848
  • 8. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Racialization of the Mexican Population
  • 9. Racial Segregation and Liberal Policies Then and Now
  • Epilogue: Auto/ethnographic Observations of Race and History
  • Notes
  • Bibliography


In this book it is my intent to write about the Mexican American people’s Indian, White, and Black racial history. In doing so, I offer an interpretive historical analysis of the experiences of the Mexican Americans’ancestors in Mexico and the United States. This analysis begins with the Mexican Americans’prehistoric foundations and continues into the late twentieth century. My focus, however, is on exploring the legacy of racial discrimination that was established in the aftermath of the Spanish conquest and was later intensified by the United States government when, in 1848, it conquered northern Mexico (presently the U.S. Southwest) and annexed it to the United States (Menchaca 1999:3). The central period of study ranges from 1570 to 1898.

Though my interpretive history revisits many well-known events, it differs from previous histories on Mexican Americans and on the American Southwest because the central thread of my analysis is race relations, an area of study that is often accorded only secondary significance and generally subsumed under economic or nation-based interpretations. It also differs because I include Blacks as important historical actors, rather than denying their presence in the history of the Mexican Americans. Finally, as part of this analysis I demonstrate that racial status hierarchies are often structured upon the ability of one racial group to deny those who are racially different access to owning land. This process leads to the low social prestige and impoverishment of the marginalized. I close my analysis with commentaries on contemporary United States race relations and auto/ethnographic observations of Mexican American indigenism. Auto/ethnography is used as a method to illustrate how historical events influence racial identity.

This form of intellectual inquiry emerged from my conversations with archaeologist Fred Valdez. In 1986 Fred and I were both hired as assistant professors in the Anthropology Department at the University of Texas at Austin. It was the first time that I had met a Mexican American archaeologist. We were both fascinated by the ethnohistory of the indigenous peoples of the Americas and shared the unconventional view that Mexican Americans were part of the indigenous peoples of the American Southwest. Following endless conversations on the indigenous heritage of the Mexican Americans, we decided to study the indigenous groups of the Southwest that had been conquered by Spain and Mexico. Our objective was to identify the groups that had become subjects of Spain and, later, citizens of Mexico. This research was used to prepare an undergraduate class on the “Indigenous Heritage of the Mexican Americans.” We were pleasantly surprised that our class became very popular, as evidenced by the large enrollments. In general, students were interested in knowing about their heritage, while many others were interested in seeking specific information about the mission Indians from whom they were descended.

For me, this academic endeavor converged with the publication of Michael Omi and Howard Winant’s classic book Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1980s (1986). Their work influenced me to reassess the significance of studying the racial heritage of the Mexican Americans, given that my interest until that point had been solely to outline their indigenous ancestry. According to Omi and Winant, the significance of studying race is not to analyze the biological aspect of a people’s heritage, but rather to understand the politics and processes of racial categorization. They urgently call upon social scientists to study race as a central source of societal organization, because in multiracial societies race has been used historically by those in power to share social and economic privileges with only those people who are racially similar to themselves. Omi and Winant do not urge scholars to explore the origins or psychology of this inclusive-exclusive behavior, but rather to provide a historical context, showing how those in power use race to rationalize the distribution of wealth…

Read the entire Introduction here.

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White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion in Dallas, 1841-2001

Posted in Books, History, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion, Slavery, Texas, United States on 2012-01-09 21:27Z by Steven

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion in Dallas, 1841-2001

University of Texas Press
299 pages
6 x 9 in., 20 halftones
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-292-71274-4

Michael Phillips, Historian

The first history of race relations in Dallas from its founding until today.

From the nineteenth century until today, the power brokers of Dallas have always portrayed their city as a progressive, pro-business, racially harmonious community that has avoided the racial, ethnic, and class strife that roiled other Southern cities. But does this image of Dallas match the historical reality? In this book, Michael Phillips delves deeply into Dallas’s racial and religious past and uncovers a complicated history of resistance, collaboration, and assimilation between the city’s African American, Mexican American, and Jewish communities and its white power elite.

Exploring more than 150 years of Dallas history, Phillips reveals how white business leaders created both a white racial identity and a Southwestern regional identity that excluded African Americans from power and required Mexican Americans and Jews to adopt Anglo-Saxon norms to achieve what limited positions of power they held. He also demonstrates how the concept of whiteness kept these groups from allying with each other, and with working- and middle-class whites, to build a greater power base and end elite control of the city. Comparing the Dallas racial experience with that of Houston and Atlanta, Phillips identifies how Dallas fits into regional patterns of race relations and illuminates the unique forces that have kept its racial history hidden until the publication of this book.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Prologue: Through a Glass Darkly: Memory, Race, and Region in Dallas, Texas
  • 1. The Music of Cracking Necks: Dallas Civilization and Its Discontents
  • 2. True to Dixie and to Moses: Yankees, White Trash, Jews, and the Lost Cause
  • 3. The Great White Plague: Whiteness, Culture, and the Unmaking of the Dallas Working Class
  • 4. Consequences of Powerlessness: Whiteness as Class Politics
  • 5. Water Force: Resisting White Supremacy under Jim Crow
  • 6. White Like Me: Mexican Americans, Jews, and the Elusive Politics of Identity
  • 7. A Blight and a Sin: Segregation, the Kennedy Assassination, and the Wreckage of Whiteness
  • Afterword
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

1. The Music of Cracking Necks: Dallas Civilization and Its Discontents

Toward the end of her life, Lizzie Atkins looked back on the days since Texas Emancipation and, despite the abolition of slavery, believed that the African American community had degenerated. The Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s sent a host of interviewers across the South to collect anecdotes from former slaves. Interviewed at her home in Madisonville, Texas, 144 miles southeast of Dallas, Atkins insisted that something bad had happened to black Texans since the end of the Civil War. Blacks grew lazy, becoming liars and thieves, Atkins said, because “they are mixing with the white people too much, so many half-breeds, and this shows they are going backwards instead of forwards.”

Atkins, who grew up as a slave in Washington County, about 204 miles southeast of Dallas, believed that before the Civil War a solid color line existed between black and white. On one side, blackness equaled dignity, honesty, and thrift. On the other, whiteness meant degeneracy. Atkins could not hide her contempt for white people or their culture. In spite of the inequality it generated, Texas’ color line allowed a separate black society to develop in which African Americans judged the world and their peers on their own terms. Seven decades after slavery, Atkins saw this separation as natural and miscegenation violated this fundamental order.

Atkins’ comments reflect one basic truth. Much of East and North Central Texas before the Civil War had a simpler black-white racial structure. As this chapter will argue, soon after Anglo Texas’ separation from Mexico in the 1835-1836 revolution, white elites created a society rooted in the absolute legal separation of the white and black worlds. In order to prevent the development of a mulatto population that might inherit the political and economic wealth of the racial ruling class, white leaders promulgated harsh legal penalties in the 1840s and 1850s attached to blackness. Blacks faced slavery, the death penalty for many crimes punished less severely for whites, and laws defining the offspring of mixed-race parents as enslaved bastards ineligible for inheritance. Whiteness was defined simply as the absence of blackness, Indian blood, or other racial “pollution,” although many who were socially accepted as white had been polluted in this manner. Elites hoped that the social superiority all whites ostensibly enjoyed over blacks ameliorated disparities of power and wealth within the white community.

To the dismay of elites, however, frequently severe weather and a cash-strapped economy made life insecure for the non-slaveholding majority. In Dallas, divisions developed along economic and regional lines, leading to outbursts of violence that disturbed elite confidence and security. When a fire destroyed downtown Dallas in 1860, elite suspicions settled on white abolitionists born outside the South. The violence of 1860 created the terrain on which postwar racial ideology developed. Elites labeled those opposed to their notions of race and class hierarchy as uncivilized and therefore not fully white. After Reconstruction, the city leadership embraced a more fluid concept of race in which white status could be gained or lost based on acceptance of elite social norms. This more flexible definition of whiteness, which held dissent in check, shaped Dallas politics for more than 130 years afterward.

The legal division of Texas into completely separate white and black boxes purportedly meant that all white people were created equal. The poorest white Texans were at least not black slaves and could claim higher social status than their servile neighbors. It was just that some white Texans were more equal than others. Dallas’ wealthiest pioneer Anglo families saw no contradiction in creating a community in which a few families rapidly accumulated great wealth while simultaneously praising the principles of democracy. Men such as Frank M. Cockrell, son of the city’s first business magnates, Alexander and Sarah Cockrell, divorced the concept of aristocracy from anything so crass as monetary wealth. Dallas, Frank Cockrell insisted, developed as a racial aristocracy, with a white ruling class atop a permanent black underclass.

From the perspective of the 1930s, Cockrell admired the culture of 1850s Dallas, where “[t]here were among the women the refined, cultured and accomplished. Socially all on an equality. Merit the only distinction.” Cockrell, however, emphasized another distinction: “the adaptability and self-government of the Anglo-Saxon race, characteristic of the Southern people,” which made the average pioneer in early Dallas “a very superior immigrant.” Cockrell’s words carried a particular sting in the 1930s after many non-Anglo-Saxons from Europe made America their home and faced mixed assessments of their whiteness by their contemporaries. Early on, elites like Cockrell portrayed Anglo-Saxons as the sole creators of civilization, a vital first element of the city’s Origin Myth. The Anglo-Saxon majority participated, at least theoretically, in what sociologist Howard Winant calls a herrenvolk democracy, a nominally free society in which political participation depends on skin color or ethnicity.

William H. Wharton, pleading with Americans to support the 1835-1836 Texas Revolution, declared that God would prevent Texas from becoming “a howling wilderness, trod only by savages, or that it should be permanently benighted by the ignorance and superstition, the anarchy and rapine of Mexican misrule . . . the wilderness of Texas has been redeemed by Anglo-American blood and enterprise.” The founders of Anglo Texas envisioned a race-based society in which Indians would be driven out, blacks exploited as slaves, and Mexicans reduced to the role of surplus labor. The state’s white leadership shuddered at the thought of miscegenation. “[A]malgamation of the white with the black race, inevitably leads to disease, decline and death,” Galveston State Representative and later Dallas mayor John Henry Brown warned in 1857. The Constitution of the Texas Republic adopted in 1836 specifically denied citizenship to “Africans, the descendents of Africans, and Indians.” Interracial sex, particularly if it involved slaves, threatened this racial order. In 1837 the Texas Congress criminalized marriage between persons of European ancestry and African ancestry, even free blacks. The law denied black consorts’ claims to white lovers’ estates and reduced mulatto children to illegitimacy.

Hoping to discourage miscegenation, the Texas Legislature in August 1856 defined the children of mixed-race unions as persons “of color.” By law, anyone with at least “one eighth African blood” would be excluded from whiteness and defined as a slave. Such mixed-race persons immediately suffered the same social and political disabilities as African Americans. Both slave and free African Americans could suffer the death penalty, according to a December 1837 state law, not just for murder but also for insurrection or inciting insurrection, assaulting a free white person, attempting to rape a white woman, burglary, and arson…

Read the entire Introduction here.

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Imagining Identity in New Spain: Race, Lineage, and the Colonial Body in Portraiture and Casta Paintings

Posted in Arts, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Law, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs, Religion on 2011-11-13 20:26Z by Steven

Imagining Identity in New Spain: Race, Lineage, and the Colonial Body in Portraiture and Casta Paintings

University of Texas Press
216 pages
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 in.
12 color and 60 b&w illus., 4 tables
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-292-71245-4

Magali M. Carrera, Professor of Art History
University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

Reacting to the rising numbers of mixed-blood (Spanish-Indian-Black African) people in its New Spain colony, the eighteenth-century Bourbon government of Spain attempted to categorize and control its colonial subjects through increasing social regulation of their bodies and the spaces they inhabited. The discourse of calidad (status) and raza (lineage) on which the regulations were based also found expression in the visual culture of New Spain, particularly in the unique genre of casta paintings, which purported to portray discrete categories of mixed-blood plebeians.

Using an interdisciplinary approach that also considers legal, literary, and religious documents of the period, Magali Carrera focuses on eighteenth-century portraiture and casta paintings to understand how the people and spaces of New Spain were conceptualized and visualized. She explains how these visual practices emphasized a seeming realism that constructed colonial bodies—elite and non-elite—as knowable and visible. At the same time, however, she argues that the chaotic specificity of the lives and lived conditions in eighteenth-century New Spain belied the illusion of social orderliness and totality narrated in its visual art. Ultimately, she concludes, the inherent ambiguity of the colonial body and its spaces brought chaos to all dreams of order.

Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Visual Practices in Late-Colonial Mexico
  • Chapter One: Identity by Appearance, Judgment, and Circumstances: Race as Lineage and Calidad
  • Chapter Two: The Faces and Bodies of Eighteenth-Century Metropolitan Mexico: An Overview of Social Context
  • Chapter Three: Envisioning the Colonial Body
  • Chapter Four: Regulating and Narrating the Colonial Body
  • Chapter Five: From Popolacho to Citizen: The Re-vision of the Colonial Body
  • Epilogue: Dreams of Order
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Bridging: How Gloria Anzaldúa’s Life and Work Transformed Our Own

Posted in Anthologies, Biography, Books, Gay & Lesbian, Identity Development/Psychology, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Women on 2011-11-13 19:15Z by Steven

Bridging: How Gloria Anzaldúa’s Life and Work Transformed Our Own

University of Texas Press
April 2011
292 pages
6 x 9 in., 6 b&w photos

Edited by:

AnaLouise Keating, Professor of Women’s Studies
Texas Woman’s University

Gloria González-López, Associate Professor of Sociology, and Faculty Associate
Center for Mexican American Studies
Center for Women’s and Gender Studies
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
University of Texas, Austin

The inspirational writings of cultural theorist and social justice activist Gloria Anzaldúa have empowered generations of women and men throughout the world. Charting the multiplicity of Anzaldúa’s impact within and beyond academic disciplines, community trenches, and international borders, Bridging presents more than thirty reflections on her work and her life, examining vibrant facets in surprising new ways and inviting readers to engage with these intimate, heartfelt contributions.

Bridging is divided into five sections: The New Mestizas: “transitions and transformations”; Exposing the Wounds: “You gave me permission to fly in the dark”; Border Crossings: Inner Struggles, Outer Change; Bridging Theories: Intellectual Activism with/in Borders; and “Todas somos nos/otras”: Toward a “politics of openness.” Contributors, who include Norma Elia Cantú, Elisa Facio, Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Aída Hurtado, Andrea Lunsford, Denise Segura, Gloria Steinem, and Mohammad Tamdgidi, represent a broad range of generations, professions, academic disciplines, and national backgrounds. Critically engaging with Anzaldúa’s theories and building on her work, they use virtual diaries, transformational theory, poetry, empirical research, autobiographical narrative, and other genres to creatively explore and boldly enact future directions for Anzaldúan studies.

A book whose form and content reflect Anzaldúa’s diverse audience, Bridging perpetuates Anzaldúa’s spirit through groundbreaking praxis and visionary insights into culture, gender, sexuality, religion, aesthetics, and politics. This is a collection whose span is as broad and dazzling as Anzaldúa herself.

Table of Conents

  • Con profunda gratitud
  • Building Bridges, Transforming Loss, Shaping New Dialogues: Anzaldúan Studies for the Twenty-First Century (AnaLouise Keating and Gloria González-López)
  • I. The New Mestizas: “transitions and transformations”
    • 1. Bridges of conocimiento: Una conversación con Gloria Anzaldúa (Lorena M. P. Gajardo)
    • 2. A Letter to Gloria Anzaldúa Written from 30, Feet and 25 Years after Her “Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to 3rd-World Women Writers” (ariel robello)
    • 3. Deconstructing the Immigrant Self: The Day I Discovered I Am a Latina (Anahí Viladrich)
    • 4. My Path of Conocimiento: How Graduate School Transformed Me into a Nepantlera (Jessica Heredia)
    • 5. Aprendiendo a Vivir/Aprendiendo a Morir (Norma Elia Cantú)
    • 6. Making Face, Rompiendo Barreras: The Activist Legacy of Gloria E. Anzaldúa (Aída Hurtado)
  • II. Exposing the Wounds: “You gave me permission to fly into the dark”
    • 7. Anzaldúa, Maestra (Sebastián José Colón-Otero)
    • 8. “May We Do Work That Matters”: Bridging Gloria Anzaldúa across Borders (Claire Joysmith)
    • 9. A Call to Action: Spiritual Activism . . . an Inevitable Unfolding (Karina L. Céspedes)
    • 10. Gloria Anzaldúa and the Meaning of Queer (Héctor Domínguez-Ruvalcaba)
    • 11. Breaking Our Chains: Achieving Nos/otras Consciousness (Lei Zhang)
    • 12. Conocimiento and Healing: Academic Wounds, Survival, and Tenure (Gloria González-López)
  • III. Border Crossings: Inner Struggles, Outer Change
    • 13. Letters from Nepantla: Writing through the Responsibilities and Implications of the Anzaldúan Legacy (Michelle Kleisath)
    • 14. Challenging Oppressive Educational Practices: Gloria Anzaldúa on My Mind, in My Spirit (Betsy Eudey)
    • 15. Living Transculturation: Confessions of a Santero Sociologist (Glenn Jacobs)
    • 16. Acercándose a Gloria Anzaldúa to Attempt Community (Paola Zaccaria)
    • 17. Learning to Live Together: Bridging Communities, Bridging Worlds (Shelley Fisher Fishkin)
    • 18. Risking the Vision, Transforming the Divides: Nepantlera Perspectives on Academic Boundaries, Identities, and Lives (AnaLouise Keating)
  • IV. Bridging Theories: Intellectual Activism with/in Borders
    • 19. “To live in the borderlands means you” (Mariana Ortega)
    • 20. A Modo de Testimoniar: Borderlands, Papeles, and U.S. Academia (Esther Cuesta)
    • 21. On Borderlands and Bridges: An Inquiry into Gloria Anzaldúa’s Methodology (Jorge Capetillo-Ponce)
    • 22. For Gloria, Para Mi (Mary Catherine Loving)
    • 23. Chicana Feminist Sociology in the Borderlands (Elisa Facio and Denise A. Segura)
    • 24. Embracing Borderlands: Gloria Anzaldúa and Writing Studies (Andrea A. Lunsford)
  • V. Todas Somos Nos/otras: Toward a “Politics of Openness”
    • 25. Hurting, Believing, and Changing the World: My Faith in Gloria Anzaldúa (Suzanne Bost)
    • 26. Feels Like “Carving Bone”: (Re)Creating the Activist-Self, (Re)Articulating Transnational Journeys, while Sifting through Anzaldúan Thought (Kavitha Koshy)
    • 27. Shifting (Kelli Zaytoun)
    • 28. “Darkness, My Night”: The Philosophical Challenge of Gloria Anzaldúa’s Aesthetics of the Shadow (María DeGuzmán)
    • 29. The Simultaneity of Self- and Global Transformations: Bridging with Anzaldúa’s Liberating Vision (Mohammad H. Tamdgidi)
    • 30. For Gloria Anzaldúa . . . Who Left Us Too Soon (Gloria Steinem)
    • 31. She Eagle: For Gloria Anzaldúa (Gloria Steinem)
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Works Cited
  • Published Writings by Gloria E. Anzaldúa
  • Contributors’ Biographies
  • Index
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Afro-Mexico: Dancing between Myth and Reality

Posted in Anthropology, Arts, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs on 2010-12-05 06:17Z by Steven

Afro-Mexico: Dancing between Myth and Reality

University of Texas Press
December 2010
183 pages
62 b&w illus, 14 color photos
7 x 10 in.
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-292-72324-5

Anita González, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Theatre Arts
State University of New York, New Paltz

Photographs by George O. Jackson and José Manuel Pellicer
Foreword by Ben Vinson III

While Africans and their descendants have lived in Mexico for centuries, many Afro-Mexicans do not consider themselves to be either black or African. For almost a century, Mexico has promoted an ideal of its citizens as having a combination of indigenous and European ancestry. This obscures the presence of African, Asian, and other populations that have contributed to the growth of the nation. However, performance studies—of dance, music, and theatrical events—reveal the influence of African people and their cultural productions on Mexican society.

In this work, Anita González articulates African ethnicity and artistry within the broader panorama of Mexican culture by featuring dance events that are performed either by Afro-Mexicans or by other ethnic Mexican groups about Afro-Mexicans. She illustrates how dance reflects upon social histories and relationships and documents how residents of some sectors of Mexico construct their histories through performance. Festival dances and, sometimes, professional staged dances point to a continuing negotiation among Native American, Spanish, African, and other ethnic identities within the evolving nation of Mexico. These performances embody the mobile histories of ethnic encounters because each dance includes a spectrum of characters based upon local situations and historical memories.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Ben Vinson III
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Framing African Performance in Mexico
  • Chapter 2: Masked Dances: Devils and Beasts of the Costa Chica
  • Chapter 3: Archetypes of Race: Performance Responses to Afro-Mexican Presence
  • Chapter 4: Becoming National: Chilena, Artesa, and Jarocho as Folkloric Dances
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index


Afro-Mexico: Dancing between Myth and Reality, as the title suggests, is a book about dancing. But more important, it is a book about how dance reflects on social histories and relationships. The photographs and text document how residents of some sectors of Mexico construct their histories through performance. The idea of Afro-Mexico is, in some ways, an enigma. While Africans and their descendants have lived in Mexico for centuries, many Afro-Mexicans do not consider themselves either black or African. Instead, members of this ethnic population blend into the national imagination of Mexico as a mixed-race country. For almost a century, Mexico has promoted an ideal of its citizens as a combination of indigenous and European ancestry. This construct obscures the presence of African, Asian, and other populations that have contributed to the growth of the nation. However, performance studies—dance, music, and theatrical events—reveal that African people and their cultural productions have consistently influenced Mexican society…

Race in the Americas

The concept of race is continually being redefined. “Race” troubles academic theorists and affects popular social conceptions about origins and nationality. Political events like the rise of Barack Obama challenge existing myths about race and bring to questions the realities of racial mixtures in the Americas. In both local and global communities public understandings about blackness greatly influence who African Diaspora people think they are. Clearly, those who reside in Mexico are Mexican. However, self-perceptions influence both self-esteem and the sense of belonging. Recently, I was traveling by airplane to Costa Chica and picked up a copy of the magazine Intro*, which services the Oaxacan coast. Inside was a story about a surfer named Angel Salinas, an Afro-Mexican from Mancuernas, Pinotepa Nacional. Salinas is a surfing star who has won national and international tournaments. But he wears a wrestler’s mask to cover his face when he appears in public. The article states that the surfer wears the mask as “a result of some advice that his mother gave him when he didn’t appear in magazines because of his dark skin; he decided to do something that would make him different and that would show a Mexican cultural icon. Now he is known as ‘the masked surfer.'” Angel Salinas feels the need to cover his face in order to feel Mexican. Although Mexico is a country where, at first glance, the races have mixed to become a “cosmic race,” there are still urgent social discrepancies that manifest as internalized or blatant racism. This discrepancy between public policy and daily practices influences the kinds of lives that contemporary Afro-Mexicans lead…

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