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The Issue of Blackness and Mestizaje in Two Distinct Mexican Contexts: Veracruz and Costa Chica

Abstract : The construction of new nations in Latin America has triggered debate on the definition of national identity with a view to reconciling the reality of mestizaje with the attribution, inherited from Colonial times, of specific "characteristics" to groups and individuals ("Spanish", "Indian", "Black", "mulatto", etc). It was also confronted with racist connotations which, in the early 19th century, included the ideas of progress and modernity, hence the difficulty in legitimizing its own "brand of mestizaje." We will address these issues through empirical examination of two contexts in Mexico: the State and City of Veracruz, and Costa Chica on the Pacific coast of the States of Oaxaca and Guerrero. What these two case studies share is the issue of mestizaje, so strongly associated with that of Mexican national identity, from the standpoint of the African presence which, though considerable from the start of colonization, was not included in "classic" views of national mestizaje. This analysis helps reveal various ways in which populations of African origin were incorporated into the Nation. Thus, we can see how the local configuration articulates with the overall discourse to privilege one facet or dimension of (cultural, or social, or political) Afro identification over another.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 14, 2014 - 5:35:57 PM
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Odile Hoffmann, Christian Rinaudo. The Issue of Blackness and Mestizaje in Two Distinct Mexican Contexts: Veracruz and Costa Chica. Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2014, 9 (2), pp.138-155. ⟨halshs-01082619⟩



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