Chocolate and Corn Flour: History, Race, and Place in the Making of "Black" Mexico

By Ozobia, Nnenna M. | Americas Quarterly, Fall 2012 | Go to article overview

Chocolate and Corn Flour: History, Race, and Place in the Making of "Black" Mexico


Ozobia, Nnenna M., Americas Quarterly


Chocolate and Corn Flour: History, Race, and Place in the Making of "Black" Mexico Laura A. Lewis Duke University Press, 2012, Softcover, 370 pages

REVIEWED BY NNENNA M. OZOBIA

Mexico is not the first country that comes to mind when the issue of Afro-descendants in the Americas is discussed. Unlike the better-known cases of Brazil and Colombia-with 91 million and 15 million Afro-descendants, respectively- Mexico's national statistics agency recognizes only an estimated 500,000 citizens as Afro-descendant, less than 0.5 percent of the total population. However, the accuracy of that number has long been questioned.

But the lack of attention to Afro- Mexicans, concentrated largely in Oaxaca, Guerrero, Veracruz, and Chiapas states, is slowly being remedied. In September 2012, the National Forum on Afro-Descendant Populations in Mexico City explored the long-neglected heritage of the country's Afro-descendants. The forum built on the Mexican government's Nuestra Tercera Raíz program of the 1990s, though the results of both efforts have been mixed.

Laura A. Lewis, professor of anthropology at James Madison University, has made a significant effort to fill the void with Chocolate and Corn Flour: History, Race, and Place in the Making of "Black" Mexico. Based on over a decade of fieldwork in San Nicolás Tolentino, a predominantly Afro-descendant and Indigenous agricultural village in Guerrero state, the book attempts to unravel the complexities of race, ethnicity and identity in Mexico.

San Nicolás Tolentino is located in Mexico's Costa Chica-an area recognized for its Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities-and considered part of the "cradle of Afromestizo culture" in Mexico. In Chocolate and Corn Flour, Lewis challenges this label as an oversimplification. She places "Black" in quotation marks to argue that people in San Nicolás see themselves as morenos or "Black Indians," and not solely "Black." This is why "corn flour" is used in the title of the book: as the author discovered in conversation with a local friend, residents joke they are "all mixed up" like a chocolate atole, a traditional Mexican corn-based drink.

Chocolate and Corn Flour is the latest contribution to a body of literature focused on Afro-Mexicans. Perhaps the best known work is La población negra de México, by Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán in 1946, who later conducted the first ethnographic work in Cuajinicuilapa in the Costa Chica. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Chocolate and Corn Flour: History, Race, and Place in the Making of "Black" Mexico
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.