Introduction

Intersections on Global Blackness and Latinx Identity re-centers Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America in global history. By understanding how black and Latinx identity is shaped by traveling across borders, these courses explore the diversity within African and Latinx diasporas, but also how these diverse peoples impact their worlds.

Understanding the Impact

Rather than stable categories, the terms Black and Latinx are incredibly fluid, liquid, and mobile terms that move across the globe, informing local cultures, societies, economies, and politics. The Intersections on Global Black and Latinx Identity group seeks to better understand how the terms Black and Latinx are shaped by global racial hierarchies, intertwined with histories of racial violence and white supremacy, and also shape one the meaning of one another as they circulate through the Americas and around the globe.

Understanding the global impacts of Black and Latinx peoples involves understanding the relationship between identities and lived experiences. An individual’s identity – who they are, the way they understand themselves, and the way they are viewed by others – facilitates how they move through the world and narrates the experiences they have in the world. And the identities of black and Latinx people are constantly shifting. By examining intersections of global Black and Latinx identities to explore the relationships between these two groups specifically, we can also think more broadly about the ways in which identity travels and how our politics, economics, and cultures are shaped by Black and Latinx peoples.

Those that don't got it, can't show it. Those that got it, can't hide it.

Zora Neale Hurston

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

What does it mean to be Black? What does it mean to be Latinx? What does it mean to be Afro-Latinx? How are these both local and global categories that stretch across national boundaries and beyond traditional ideas of geographical belonging? Drawing on the fields of Africana Studies, African American Studies, Latinx Studies, Latin American Studies, Women’s Studies, history, sociology, literature, communications research, and cultural studies, the Intersection on Global Black and Latinx Identity course cluster delves deeper into these questions. In the Quest 1 course, we begin with theorizations of race, ethnicity, culture, gender, Blackness, and Latinidad. Then, the course turns to how Black identity changes as it moves from the Americas, focusing on the connections between Blackness and Latinidad in the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Across the course cluster, students will can study topics such as US Civil Rights Movements, Mexican farmworkers, Jamaican patois, the African diaspora, and global Black hip-hop.

By drawing on local authors and important historical sites, these courses will help students to understand what it means to be a global citizen who critically understands difference in the 21st century, and to bring their own life histories into the classroom.

In particular, as migration and telecommunication transform communities around the globe, these courses and activities will ask how artistic, musical, and cultural practices can connect Black and Latinx communities. Students are invited to participate in visits with guest speakers, participate in music and dance workshops, and get hands-on research experience creating the Haitian-American Dream exhibit and archive or collecting oral histories with African Americans or Latinx migrants. These experiences will prepare students to be culturally competent and global citizens who can work with diverse groups and travel the world responsibly. Moreover, these experiences prepare students to have informed conversations about race, and to learn from the powerful narratives of black and brown peoples to build their own lives in this world.

Upcoming Courses

  • AML4685 – Race and Ethnicity (Fall 2021)
  • IDH 2930 – How to be an Antiracist (Fall 2021)
  • RTV3411 – Race, Gender, Class, and Media (Fall 2021)
  • PHM3127 – Race and Philosophy (Fall 2021)
  • WST3415 – Transnational Feminism (Fall 2021) (GenEd-S/D)

Digital Humanities Projects

The Haitian American Dream Timeline: This digital project examines the events and the forgotten stories of Haitian immigrants in the United States. In so doing, it explains the reasons behind the different waves of Haitian migration, its ongoing impacts, and upheavals so that, as Michel-Rolph Trouillot states, the stories of “the actors who participate in the production of history or any of the sites where that production” transpired are told. Click here to access The Haitian American Dream Timeline. 

Faculty and Doctoral Students

Convener
Manoucheka Celeste
Assistant Professor, Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research and African American Studies Program
Co-Convener
Margarita Vargas-Betancourt
Librarian, Latin American and Caribbean Special Collections
Ben Hebblethwaite
Associate Professor, Languages, Literatures & Cultures
Jillian Hernandez
Assistant Professor, Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women's Studies Research
Della Mosley
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
Paul Ortiz
Associate Professor, History and Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Nick Vargas
Assistant Professor, Sociology and Criminology & Law and Center for Latin American Studies
Yewande Addie
Doctoral Student, Journalism and Communication