In Finding Afro-Mexico: Race and Nation after the Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2020) Theodore Cohen examines the ways in which different protagonists sought to incorporate Blackness into Mexican national identity. After the Revolution in 1910, a group of intellectuals, researchers, and cultural producers elaborated on the meanings of Blackness as an important component through which to unite Mexico as a democratic society. These figures focused on creating music, images, ethnographic accounts, and performances to render Blackness spatially, socially, culturally, and physically in the Mexican imagination. Yet, the book moves beyond national boundaries by tying Mexico to larger transnational networks of the African Diaspora. Overall, Finding Afro-Mexico moves beyond a narrative of Black disappearance or invisibility to illuminate the many figures who sought to unearth, articulate, and insist on the presence of Black people, history, and culture in Mexico and its national identity.
Theodore W. Cohen is an Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies at Southern Illinois University.
Reighan Gillam is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Southern California.
Reighan Gillam is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Southern California. Her research examines the ways in which Afro-Brazilian media producers foment anti-racist visual politics through their image creations.