Afro-diasporic mobility between the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean has forced ethnic groups conventionally considered separate in the US, African-American and Latino, to reckon with questions around Afrolatinidad. Although continental and maritime migration of Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Caribbeans to the US is not a phenomenon particular to our times, since it traces back to the colonial era, nowadays Afro-Latinx identity has gained renewed attention in public discourse (Andrews 2004, Román and Flores 2010).
Being an Afro-descendant Chicano (via Veracruz) has exposed me to prejudicial attitudes regarding race and national identity that compel me to combat racist ideas which actively subdue the myriad forms of black identity across the diaspora. My research will contribute to African and African Diaspora Studies, which has been primarily English-language focused, by connecting Afro-Latinx perspectives en español into this intellectual tradition.
I focus, in part, on literary history of migration from black Cubans, Dominicans, Haitians, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans in the US to analyze the role of language and culture in forming racial solidarities and political mobilization in the African diaspora. I also study how Afro-Latinx black print culture shapes and maintains transnational community while negotiating various regional ideologies of the political and ethical valences of mestizaje.
In addition to my concrete experiences of Afrolatinidad, the seminars that helped me develop these ideas are Afro-Latin@s: Memory, Performance and Politics with Professor Jossianna Arroyo, Afro-Latin American Political Thought with Professor Juliet Hooker, and Orígenes in Context with Professor César Salgado.