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Critical Dialogues in Latinx StudiesA Reader$
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Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas and Mérida M. Rúa

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781479805198

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479805198.001.0001

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Blackness, Latinidad, and Minority Linked Fate

Blackness, Latinidad, and Minority Linked Fate

(p.425) 32 Blackness, Latinidad, and Minority Linked Fate
Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies

Jennifer A. Jones

NYU Press

Scholars have conceived of Latinidad as a racial paradox. While initially conceived as part of a political project that highlights broad panethnic connections to Latin America, it is racialized, but not a racial category. As a result, the meaning of Latinidad is contested. In this essay, I show how this two-pronged problematic of Latinidad—in which it both excludes blackness and is constructed as proximate to whiteness—produces two fundamental problems. The first is that this conception upholds white supremacy and creates space for within-group anti-blackness to dominate. The second is that it misses the lived experiences of many Afro-Latinx and mestizo Latinx people who increasingly experience and understand Latinidad differently. In light of these critiques, I consider what it would mean to think of Latinidad as proximate to and/or inclusive of blackness. Throughout, I consider the advantages of this reconstruction, theoretically, empirically, and politically. I then illustrate this through two case studies, Afro-Mexicans in Mexico and Latinx immigrants in North Carolina. I concluded by considering the implications of these findings for political projects, including the possibility of what I call minority linked fate.

Keywords:   Blackness, Latinidad, Afro-Latinidad, immigrants, Afro-Mexico, race, minority linked fate

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