Blackness in Mexico: Afro-Mexican Recognition and the Production of Citizenship in the Costa Chica


SKU: 9780813069661
Author: Jerry, Anthony Russell
Publication Date: 05/16/2023
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Binding: Hardcover
Media: Book
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An up-close
view of the movement to make “Afro-Mexican” an official cultural category

Through historical and ethnographic research, Blackness in Mexico delves
into the ongoing movement toward recognizing Black Mexicans as a cultural group
within a nation that has long viewed the non-Black Mestizo as the archetypal citizen. Anthony Jerry focuses on this process in Mexico’s
Costa Chica region in order to explore the relational aspects of citizenship
and the place of Black people in how modern citizenship is imagined.

Jerry’s study of the Costa Chica shows the political
stakes of the national project for Black recognition; the shared but competing
interests of the Mexican government, activists, and townspeople; and the ways
that the state and NGOs are working to make “Afro-Mexican” an official cultural
category. He argues that that the demand for recognition by Black communities calls
attention to how the Mestizo has become an intuitive point of reference
for identifying who qualifies as “other.” Jerry also demonstrates that while
official recognition can potentially empower African descendants, it can
simultaneously reproduce the same logics of difference that have brought about
their social and political exclusion.

One of few books to center Blackness within a
discussion of Mexico or to incorporate a focus on Mexico into Black studies,
this book ultimately argues that the official project for recognition is itself
a methodology of mestizaje, an opportunity for the government to continue to use Blackness to
define the national subject and to further the Mexican national project.

A volume in the series New World Diasporas, edited by Kevin
A. Yelvington

of this work made possible by a Sustaining the Humanities through the American
Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.