Yo Soy Negro
Blackness in Peru
Tanya Maria Golash-Boza
- Series: New World Diasporas
"Constitutes a much-needed addition to the literature on racial dynamics in Latin America. Through the words of her research subjects, Golash-Boza masterfully cautions the field against the facile equalization of color and race in Latin America. And, in a bold twist, she also warns against the reification of black culture and state officialization of race."--Stanley R. Bailey, author of Legacies of Race: Identities, Attitudes, and Politics in Brazil
Yo Soy Negro is the first book in English--in fact, the first book in any language in more than two decades--to address what it means to be black in Peru. Based on extensive ethnographic work in the country and informed by more than eighty interviews with Peruvians of African descent, this groundbreaking study explains how ideas of race, color, and mestizaje in Peru differ greatly from those held in other Latin American nations.
The conclusion that Tanya Maria Golash-Boza draws from her rigorous inquiry is that Peruvians of African descent give meaning to blackness without always referencing Africa, slavery, or black cultural forms. This represents a significant counterpoint to diaspora scholarship that points to the importance of slavery in defining blackness in Latin America as well as studies that place cultural and class differences at the center of racial discourses in the region.
Tanya Maria Golash-Boza, assistant professor of sociology and American studies at the University of Kansas, is the author of Immigration Nation?: Raids, Detentions and Deportations in Post-9/11 America.
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"This multitiered analysis of a group that lies adjacent to (but not within the indigenous-Spanish dynamic at the heart of the bulk of Latin American academic discourse on race and ethnicity leads the author to explore fundamental Latin American dilemmas of citizenship and nationality. She makes a case for full participation in Peruvian life at all levels for those of African descent."
"Filled with keen insights and surprising challenges for the literature on the African Diaspora, Latin American Studies, and the politics of multiculturalism in general."
"Contributes not only to a better understanding of contemporary Peru, where the question of blackness is often unexplored and Afro-descendent peoples are not easily included in the countries ethnic geography, but it also importantly interrogates the ways in which scholars and activists have constructed race."