Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Gudmundson, Lowell and Justin Wolfe, Eds.: Blacks & Blackness in Central America: Between Race and Place

Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Gudmundson, Lowell and Justin Wolfe, Eds.: Blacks & Blackness in Central America: Between Race and Place

Article excerpt

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Gudmundson, Lowell and Justin Wolfe, eds. Blacks & Blackness in Central America: Between Race and Place. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010, pp.406. ISBN: 978-0-8223-4803-0.

This collection of essays begin to recover the forgotten and downplayed histories of people of African heritage in Central America, demonstrating the centrality of African people to the region's history from the earliest colonial times to the present. They reveal how modern nationalist attempts to define mixed-race majorities as "Indo-Hispanic," or as anything but African, clash with the historical record of the first region of the Americas in which African people not only gained the right to vote but repeatedly held high office, including the presidency, following independence from Spam in 1821. Hence, this work tells the story of how many of the earliest Africans to arrive in the Americas came to Central America with Spanish colonists in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and people of African descent constituted the majority of non-indigenous populations in the region long thereafter. Yet in the development of national identities and historical consciousness, Central American nations have often countenanced widespread practices of social, political, and regional exclusion of African people. …

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