Friday, November 30, 2007

When it Rains it Pours...

And I forgot to add this as another update. Passed along to me courtesy of Robb Hernandez, Program Coordinator for the United States Latina/o Studies Initiative and Director of the Latina/o Studies Working Group, both based at the University of Maryland. For all those with an interest in Afrolatina/o Studies or Black Latinidad:

Black Behind the Ears: Dominican Racial Identity from Museums to Beauty Shops
Ginetta E. B. Candelario

Associate Professor of Sociology and Latin American and Latina/o Studies at Smith College

"Black behind the Ears is an innovative historical and ethnographic examination of Dominican identity formation in the Dominican Republic and the United States. For much of the Dominican Republic’s history, the national body has been defined as “not black,” even as black ancestry has been grudgingly acknowledged. Rejecting simplistic explanations, Ginetta E. B. Candelario suggests that it is not a desire for whiteness that guides Dominican identity discourses and displays. Instead, it is an ideal norm of what it means to be both indigenous to the Republic (indios) and “Hispanic.” Both indigeneity and Hispanicity have operated as vehicles for asserting Dominican sovereignty in the context of the historically triangulated dynamics of Spanish colonialism, Haitian unification efforts, and U.S. imperialism. Candelario shows how the legacy of that history is manifest in contemporary Dominican identity discourses and displays, whether in the national historiography, the national museum’s exhibits, or ideas about women’s beauty. Dominican beauty culture is crucial to efforts to identify as “indios” because, as an easily altered bodily feature, hair texture trumps skin color, facial features, and ancestry in defining Dominicans as indios." CLICK HERE

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