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Midwest Book Review


Table of Contents

No Longer Invisible: A grass-roots call to consciousness

Pedro Pérez-Sarduy

Jean Stubbs

Pérez-Sarduy '97 - '98 Tour

Afro-Cuba: An Anthology

No Longer Invisible: Afro-Latin Americans Today
edited by Pedro Pérez-Sarduy & Jean Stubbs, 1995

Black Latin Americans of African ancestry have historically been an oppressed and neglected minority, denied access to power, influence and material progress. Their contribution to Latin American culture and society has gone largely unacknowledged. Today, black Latin Americans are challenging their oppression, voicing pride in their African heritage and working to defend and advance their rights.

Written by activists and scholars from Latin America, North America and Europe, "No Longer Invisible: Afro-Latin Americans Today" charts the hidden history of the black Latin American experience from slavery to contemporary times. Uniquely, the book shows the contrasts and similarities between countries across the region including Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico and Peru.

No Longer Invisible is recommended reading for all those interested in Latin American history, politics and culture, the African diaspora, Afro-American and black studies, racism and anti-racism.

432p, BLACK+ WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS, INDEX, BIBLIOGRAPHY published in 1995 by Minority Rights Group Publications: 379 Brixton Road, London SW9 7DE, UK

US distributor: Paul & Co. c/o PCS Data Processing, 360 W 31st St, New York, NY 10001. Tel: 212 564-3760, Fax: 212 971-7200

Midwest Book Review:

Afro-Latins today are revealed in No Longer Invisible, which focuses on the minority group and its influences. Many Afro-Latins have challenged their oppression and seen some of their culture absorbed into mainstream Latin American life, but most still struggle with cultural myths and social problems. No Longer Invisible examines their history and experiences from slavery to modern times: a unique, important examination.

Card Catalog Description

The distinct but extraordinary diverse ethnic and cultural identities of Afro-Latin Americans have received little official recognition. But today a growing movement is voicing pride in the Afro-Latin American heritage, asserting common identities and working to defend and advance collective rights. This fascinating book provides a major human-rights-focused survey that aims to reflect and be part of that process of rediscovery and renewal. Each chapter considers a particular country or subregion. The authors discuss the historical background, the legacy of resistance to oppression, how members of the minorities see themselves, their culture, the contemporary experience of discrimination, contrasting ethnic identities assumed by women and men, collective aspirations, the struggle for equality, and future prospects. The book also includes a wide-ranging general introduction, a final chapter that poses fundamental questions about comparative race relations in the Americas and beyond, a regional population map and black-and-white photographs.

No Longer Invisible:
A grass-roots call for a race-conscious movement

In their 1995 introduction to No Longer Invisible: Afro-Latin Americans Today, Sarduy and Stubbs begin by writing: "European colonial might did its utmost to strip [Africans] of their freedom, their dignity and their culture, but culture was perhaps the easiest of the three for peoples of African descent to continue to subvert." They draw attention to how, in the context of colonial and post-colonial society "partitioning off people, bettering or whitening of the race denoted upward social mobility, while blackening was equated with backwardness, poverty and underdevelopment." They note that the exceptions to racial hostility at the national level are pitifully thin, testifying to the stigma of a perverse legacy.

Prevailing currents of the region's history have been repeatedly dominated by an excluding sense of "Europeanness," undermining and denying an awareness of the African heritage, despite, and perhaps in part due to, periods of quasi-glorification of notions of mestizaje and the "cosmic race." Afro-Latin Americans are, therefore, constantly forced to rediscover their an cestry and culture and renew the struggle for their rights.

The book highlights, among other things, the need to bridge the gapb between the wealth of study and comparative knowledge on race in Latin America, often (though not exclusively) the work of white scholars, and the more localized knowledge-base, vision and self perception of Afro-Latin Americans themselves. The country chapters were written predominantly by nationals of each country, many of them black. The Brazil and Cuba chapters stand out in terms of frustration and anger expressed with the disempowerment that accompanied each of the nations' myths of "racial democracy" and the cry from their black authors for a race-conscious movement to redress this. This invites further study and comparison, especially in the context of variants of race relations in the Americas and black self-liberation.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements

List of Photographs

Map: Afro-Latin American population

1. Introduction By Pedro Perez Sarduy, Jean Stubbs

2. Brazil By Rosangela Maria Vieira

3. Colombia By Nina S. de Friedemann, Jaime Arocha

4. Cuba By Gayle McGarrity, Osvaldo Cardenas

5. The Dominican Republic By Silvio Torres-Saillant

6. Puerto Rico By Kelvin A. Santiago-Valles

7. Mexico and Central America

Mexico By Jameelah S. Muhammad

Nicaragua By Jane Freeland

Panama By Darien J. Davis

Costa Rica By Kathleen Sawyers Royal, Franklin Perry

Belize By Debbie Ewens

Honduras By Rachel Sieder

8. Venezuela By Eduardo Bermudez, Maria Matilde Suarez

9. Peru By Jose Luciano, Humberto Rodriguez Pastor

10. Ecuador By Norman E. Whitten, Jr., Diego Quiroga, P. Rafael Savoia

11. Bolivia and Uruguay By Alison Spedding, Alejandrina da Luz

12. Conclusions By Anani Dzidzienyo

Postscript By Darien J. Davis
Appendix: the UN Declaration on the Rights of Minorities
Notes on Contributors


Contacting Pedro Pérez Sarduy and Jean Stubbs

They may be contacted through this web site.

Obtaining their books

"Afro-Cuba" (1993) and "Afro-Cuban Voices" (spring '99) are both published by Ocean Press in Australia. See their pages ofr order info.

"No Longer Invisible" (1995) is published by Minority Rights Group Publications: 379 Brixton Road, London SW9 7DE, UK. The US distributor for "No Longer Invisible": Paul & Co. c/o PCS Data Processing, 360 W 31st St, New York, NY 10001. Tel: 212 564-3760, Fax: 212 971-7200   Order via ==>


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