Rethinking Afro-Latino Culture in Mexico, the U.S. Southwest, and Brazil

Dr. Doris Careaga (Chicana & Chicano Studies), Dr. Paulo “MC” Dutra (Spanish & Portuguese), and Dr. Kathy McKnight (Spanish & Portuguese)

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 | 02:00 pm



Join the LAII for a presentation with Dr. Doris Careaga from Chicana & Chicano Studies and Dr. Paulo “MC” Dutra and Dr. Kathy McKnight from Spanish & Portuguese to discuss Rethinking Afro-Latino Culture in Mexico, the US Southwest, and Brazil.

What do the Mexican census, the Spanish empire, and Hip-hop have in common? They all invite us to rethink how cultural expressions that trace roots to Africa shape Latinx cultures in the Americas. Three UNM faculty friends share their teaching and research around these interconnections.

Doris Careaga considers a new question on the 2020 Mexican census: Por sus antepasados y de acuerdo con sus costumbres y tradiciones, ¿Usted se considera Afromexicana(o), negra(o), o Afrodescendiente? After more than 25 years of strident activism, this question has finally appeared in Mexico's census. This is the first accounting of people of African descent in Mexico in more than a century. Will the newly "discovered" African presence in Mexico force a reexamination of the countours of Chicana and Chicano communities?

Kathy McKnight explores the arrival of the Black Moor Estebanico to New Mexico in the early 1500s. How do we rethink Black history in the US Southwest by studying the appearance and disappearance, the writing and rewriting of Estebanico in Spanish, Latino, and Anglo cultures?

Paulo “MC” Dutra briefly compares Brazilian group Racionais MC’s’s and American rapper Ice Cube’s lyrics to show how they symbolically (re)dimension contemporary “Blackness” as a result of the constant physical and symbolic clashes that started back in the regime of slavery.


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