Despite their literary and cultural significance, Afro-Latino memoirs have been marginalized in both Latino and African American studies. Trent Masiki remedies this problem by bringing critical attention to the understudied African American influences in Afro-Latino memoirs published after the advent of the Black Arts movement. In The Afro-Latino Memoir: Race, Ethnicity and Literary Interculturalism (University of North Carolina Press, 2023) Masiki argues that these memoirs expand on the meaning of racial identity for both Latinos and African Americans.
Using interpretive strategies and historical methods from literary and cultural studies, Masiki shows how Afro-Latino memoir writers often turn to the African American experience as a model for articulating their Afro-Latinidad. African American literary production, expressive culture, political ideology, and religiosity shaped Afro-Latino subjectivity more profoundly than typically imagined between the post-war and post-soul eras. Masiki recovers this neglected history by exploring how and why Black nationalism shaped Afro-Latinidad in the United States.
Trent Masiki is assistant professor of Africana Studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Reighan Gillam is an Associate Professor in the Department of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies at Dartmouth College. Her research examines the ways in which Afro-Brazilian media producers foment anti-racist visual politics through their image creation. She is the author of Visualizing Black Lives: Ownership and Control in Afro-Brazilian Media (University of Illinois Press).