Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

African and African Diaspora Studies

First Advisor's Name

Jean Muteba Rahier

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

James Sweet

Third Advisor's Name

Tometro Hopkins

Date of Defense

6-19-2003

Abstract

The thesis contributed to the growing body of knowledge and discourse on the African presence in Mexico. Long underresearched, Afromexican studies today command the attention of some of Mexico's foremost historians and anthropologists. This thesis focused on some of their ideas and gave a general overview of the history of people of African descent in Mexico, particularly in the state of Veracruz, the port of entry for most of New Spain's African slaves. Drawing on the work of these Afromexicanista scholars, this thesis demonstrated how their ideas intersect, and sometimes differ with, traditional scholarship in this neglected area. The elusive question of defining blackness within the national discourse of mestizaje formed part of the discussion. Mestizaje traditionally refers to the racial mixture of Europeans and indigenous Americans. Recent efforts seek to broaden the concept of mestizaje to include the descendants of Africans. Finally, this thesis reported on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in two Afromexican towns in Veracruz, Yanga and El Coyolillo, which have widely divergent attitudes toward the concept of blackness.

Identifier

FI15101343

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