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Black Movements in Latin America, 1970-2000

George Reid Andrews, University of Pittsburgh

How many (North) Americans are aware that the heart of the New World African
diaspora lies not north of the border, in the United States, but south? During the period of
slavery, ten times as many Africans came to Spanish and Portuguese America (5.7 million) as
to the United States (560,000). By the end of the 1900s, Afro-Latin Americans outnumbered
Afro-North Americans by three to one (110 million and 35 million, respectively), and formed,
on average, almost twice as large a proportion of their respective national societies (22 percent
in Latin America, 12 percent in the United States).1
As a result, race and blackness have been even more salient in Latin American
history, and in present-day Latin American societies, than in the United States In an effort to
defuse the conflicts produced by the regions racial past, beginning in the mid-1800s, Latin
American intellectuals and policymakers constructed images of their nations as racial
democracies. They envisioned integrated, harmonious societies in which whites, blacks,
Indians, and racially mixed browns lived on terms of racial convivencia (friendly coexistence) and equality. In fact, during and after the independence struggles of the early
1800s (or, in Cuba, late 1800s), Latin American nations had indeed overturned the central
features of the colonial racial order slavery and the slave trade, and caste laws that spelled
out the legal and social inferiority of free nonwhites producing new republican societies
formally pledged to racial equality.
Nevertheless, the colonial heritage of white supremacy and racial hierarchy died hard.
Forms of black social and political organization created under Spanish and Portuguese rule
racially segregated Catholic religious brotherhoods, African-based religions, racially segregated
militias survived intact into the 1800s; and by the late 1800s and early 1900s, upwardly
mobile blacks and mulattoes denied admission to national middle classes had created whole
new categories of racially defined organizations: black social and athletic clubs, civic
organizations, newspapers, and (in Brazil, Cuba, and Uruguay) black political parties.2
These organizations were most active during the early 1900s and then declined
somewhat during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. The reason for that decline was the rise of new
labor-based populist movements e.g., trabalhismo in Brazil, left Liberalism in Colombia,
Accin Democrtica in Venezuela that took national power at that time. These mass-based
movements proclaimed themselves to be democratic in every sense socially, politically, and
racially and undertook policies aimed at serving their working- and middle-class
constituencies: in particular, the promotion of economic growth and national
industrialization, and greatly expanded spending on health, education, and other social goods.
As we will see, these policies and programs opened unprecedented opportunities for black
social and economic advancement. Yet despite or more precisely, because of those
opportunities, a new wave of black political mobilization swept the region in the 1970s, and
has lasted to the present. Why? And with what effects for national politics?


The New Black Movements

The new black movements are most visible and widespread in Brazil, where a directory
prepared in the late 1980s listed 343 such organizations, most of them in the states of So
Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, and Bahia. Many of these were samba schools (groups
that parade in Carnaval), Capoeira (an Afro-Brazilian martial art) academies, and other
African-based cultural organizations that had decided to adopt a more politicized "black"
identity. Others were explicitly political groups created specifically to take part in the struggle
for black civil rights. These included the Movimento Negro Unificado, founded in 1978; the
"black groups" or "black commissions" associated with the major political parties; the Grupo
de Conscincia e Unio Negra, a national organization associated with the left wing of the
Catholic Church; cultural and educational institutions such as the Centro de Cultura e Arte
Negra in So Paulo, or the Instituto de Pesquisa das Culturas Negras in Rio de Janeiro; and
the blocos afros of Salvador, new Carnaval organizations that combine music and
merrymaking with a message of community uplift, self-reliance, and rededication to
promoting African and Afro-Brazilian culture.3
The second-most important case of black mobilization, in terms both of numbers and
political impact, was Colombia. Here the new organizations included the Centro para la
Investigacin y Desarrollo de la Cultura Negra, founded in the 1970s in Bogot; Cimarrn,
which began as a study group of black students in the small inland city of Pereira; the Centro
de Estudios e Investigaciones Frantz Fann, also in Bogot; and others. During the 1980s,
these urban-based entities were joined by regional and community associations representing
Afro-Colombian peasants and forest -dwellers along the Pacific coast. While the urban
movements were primarily oriented toward issues of discrimination and inequality, black
ruralites sought to establish their property rights to rainforest lands that they had occupied for
generations but to which they generally did not hold formal title. As a result of lobbying by
these organizations, the Colombian Constitution of 1991 contained provisions specifically
aimed at preserving and protecting black land rights and the territorial and cultural integrity
of black peasant communities.4
In Panama, black mobilization began in the mid-1960s with the creation of the
Movimiento Afro-Panameo. In 1968, Afro-Panamanian professionals created organizations
in Coln and Panama City, the Unin Afro-Panamea and the Asociacin Afro-Panamea,
respectively. By the early 1970s, all three organizations had expired, to be replaced by the
Asociacin Reivindicadora del Negro Panameo (ARENEP) and the Asociacin de
Profesionales, Obreros y Dirigentes de Ascendencia Negra (APODAN). Both entities were
supported and encouraged by the Torrijos regime and played an important role in mobilizing
black support both for Torrijos and for the Panama Canal Treaties of 1977. They then fell
victim to internal disputes and divisions, and were largely defunct by the time of Torrijos's
death in 1981. New organizations created during the Noriega regime in the 1980s the
Centro de Estudios Afro-Panameos, the Museo Afro-Antillano, and the three National
Congresses of Panamanian Blacks tended to focus on cultural rather than political
questions; but with the return to electoral democracy in the 1990s, these organizations turned
their attention again to thorny issues of racial discrimination and the role of antillanos
(Antilleans third- and fourth-generation descendants of the West Indians who had come to
Panama in the early 1900s to build the Canal) in the Panamanian national community.5


Even in countries with relatively small black populations, the 1970s and 80s were a
period of racial ferment and agitation. In Peru, the Asociacin Cultural de la Juventud Negra,
the Instituto de Investigaciones Afro-Peruano, and the Movimiento Negro Francisco Congo
sponsored research, lectures, courses, and public discussions concerning Peru's black
population; and that work continued in the 1990s with the Agrupacin Palenque and the
Asociacin Pro-Derechos Humanos del Negro.6 In Uruguay, the principal black organization
of the 1940s and 50s, the Asociacin Cultural y Social Uruguay, remained active through the
1970s and 80s, joined in 1989 by the more politically oriented Mundo Afro.7 And in Costa
Rica, university students and professionals in San Jos organized several black study groups
during the mid-1970s, and in 1978 a National Seminar on the Situation of Blacks in Costa
Rica, where scholars, intellectuals, politicians, and even President Daniel Oduber, gathered to
discuss the condition of the nation's black population. Several black consciousness groups
were formed following the event; and the national teachers union successfully lobbied the
Ministry of Education to create an annual Black Costa Rican Day, on which Afro-Costa Rican
culture and history would be taught in the nation's schools.8
Finally, black activ ists and organizers have reached across national borders to talk with
each other and compare notes on their respective struggles. At a series of international
meetings and congresses held in Colombia in 1977, Panama in 1980, Brazil in 1982 and
1995, Ecuador in 1984, and Uruguay in 1994, representatives of black organizations met to
explore commonalities and differences in the obstacles that they faced, and tactics and
strategies to overcome those obstacles.9
What accounts for this upsurge of racially defined mobilization in the late 1900s?
Several sets of factors were in play, some internal (i.e., specific to Latin America), and others
external, originating outside the region.
Within Latin America, the black movements were the (completely unintended)
product of the political, economic, and social advances that took place in the region from the
1940s through the 1970s. Owing in part to international economic trends, in part to the
development policies of the populist governments, most of Latin America experienced
significant growth in national industrialization, in the size of the urban working and middle
classes, and in state-provided social services.10 These developments in turn provided major
opportunities for Afro-Latin Americans to improve their social and economic position.
Those improvements began with increased access to education. As of 1950 in Brazil,
out of a total black and mulatto population of almost 20 million, only 51,000 (one-quarter of
one percent) had graduated from high school, and 4,000 from college. By 1991, those
numbers had exploded to 3.3 million and 600,000, respectively, out of a total Afro-Brazilian
population of 70 million. Another 1.5 million Afro-Brazilians were enrolled in high school
and college, promising more graduates in the near future.11
Mid-century rates of black high-school and college graduation are not available for
Uruguay; but by the early 1950s, the nation's largest university, the Universidad de la
Repblica, had produced only five black graduates in its entire history, and a mere handful of
Afro-Uruguayans worked as college-trained professionals. By 1996, 7.5 percent of Afro-


Uruguayans had graduated from high school, and 2 percent from college rates considerably
higher than those registered in Brazil, and undoubtedly well above those of the 1940s and
50s. 12
Statistics on enrollment and graduation rates by race are not available for other Latin
American countries. But anecdotal data make clear the substantial increases in black
educational achievement during this period. In Costa Rica, second- and third-generation
West Indians began to enroll at the national university in San Jos during the 1950s and 60s.
By the 1970s they were a sufficiently large presence at the university to organize, in 1978, the
previously mentioned National Seminar on the Situation of Blacks.13 In Venezuela, observers
described the massive entry of black and brown students into the state universities during the
1970s and 1980s; anthropologist Angelina Pollak-Eltz estimated in 1993 that the student body
at the country's largest public university, the Universidad Central de Venezuela, was majority
As a result of these educational advances, Afro-Latin Americans were now positioned
to join the regions burgeoning middle class. By 1987, one million Afro-Brazilians were
working in white-collar professional or technical jobs, and almost two million in
administrative positions (a broad census category that includes executives, managers, and
office workers). One out of nine (11.2 percent) Afro-Brazilian wage-earners were white-collar
workers; and those black white-collar workers constituted almost one-quarter (23.5 percent) of
the total white-collar labor force.15
In Uruguay, by the late 1990s 9 percent of black wage-earners were working in
professional, technical, or administrative positions, and another 9 percent as white-collar
office workers. A 1973 analysis of the racial and class structure of Cartagena, Colombia,
found that the majority of the city's middle class (which accounted for more than a quarter of
the city's population) was black and mulatto. And in Costa Rica, observers in the 1970s
noted the rise of a "new generation of black professionals" based in San Jos and Limn.16
As they made their way into the regions middle classes, however, Afro-Latin
Americans found themselves confronting continuing barriers of prejudice and discrimination.
The survival into present-day Latin America of anti-black stereotypes and prejudices has been
amply documented in survey research throughout the region.17 Researchers studying wage
and salary data in Brazil have concluded that racial discrimination in the workplace roughly
doubled between 1960 and 1980; and in country after country, studies of hiring patterns have
found employers very reluctant to hire nonwhites for managerial, professional, or technical
positions, for white-collar clerical jobs, or even for low-level jobs in retail commerce and
By the 1970s and 1980s, upwardly mobile blacks and mulattoes had become
increasingly exasperated by these racial barriers, and increasingly disposed to take collective
action against them.19 At this point a second set of internal factors became relevant: the
political transitions or openings taking place in a number of Latin American countries. In
Brazil, the ending of the military dictatorship and the gradual return to civilian rule during
the late 1970s and early 1980s sparked the mobilization of a wide variety of oppositional
movements in civil society, including the black civil rights movement. The same was true in
Uruguay, which ended its military dictatorship and returned to civilian rule in 1985. In
Panama, military populist Omar Torrijos, who took power in 1969, openly recruited political


support among Afro-Panamanians and supported racially defined black organizations. In

Colombia, efforts to negotiate peace with the country's warring guerrilla factions in the 1980s
and to then negotiate a restructured system of governance, embodied in the Constitution of
1991, opened opportunities for Afro-Colombian groups to insert themselves in those national
discussions. And in Venezuela, the collapse of that countrys two-party system in the 1990s,
and the resulting search for new political alternatives, closely coincided with the first-ever
Congress of Afro-Venezuelan Communities in 1994.
At the same time that internal conditions were conducive to the rise of new black
movements in the region, external conditions promoted those movements in two additional
ways. One was through the example of successful black liberation movements in other
countries; the other was through international financial and political support for black
organizations in the region.
Beginning in the late 1800s, educated and politically active Afro-Latin Americans have
tended to pay close attention to the state of racial politics in the United States. Thus when
African-American civil rights organizations began to dismantle segregation in the 1950s and
60s, and then went on to obtain the enactment of equal opportunity and affirmative action
programs in the 1970s, Afro-Latin Americans seeking ways to combat discrimination and
racism took careful note. This was especially the case among English-speaking Afro-Costa
Ricans and Panamanians who went to study or work in the United States during the 1960s
and 70s, and who came into direct contact with the civil rights and Black Power movements
at the high point of those movements' power and influence. In Panama, that contact was
further reinforced by the presence of thousands of African-American soldiers in the Canal
Zone, who introduced Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and the Black Panthers into the local
political lexicon.20
Even in countries such as Brazil or Colombia, where people of color had much less
direct contact with the United States, the civil rights and Black Power movements were
followed with great interest by local activists and served as models for the creation of black
political organizations during the 1970s.21 And a second such model was provided by black
liberation movements in Portuguese Africa and South Africa. The struggle against Portuguese
colonialism in Angola, Guinea-Bissau, and Mozambique had particular resonance in Brazil,
where activists confronted the long-term racial legacies of an earlier experience of Portuguese
rule; and black activists throughout Latin America identified closely with the decades-long
campaign against apartheid, and rejoiced at Nelson Mandelas release from prison in 1990
and his subsequent election as president.
A second set of external influences on Latin Americas black movements were
international foundations, NGOs, and other organizations that supported the black activists
financially and politically. US and European foundations committed to social and racial
justice, and the Inter-American Development Bank as part of its mission of promoting social
inclusion, provided grants and loans for black advocacy, cultural, and community
development organizations.22 Seeking closer ties with its black and mulatto members, and
responding to internal pressure from its liberationist left wing, the Catholic Church created
Pastorales Negros (roughly translatable as black missions) throughout the region, which
worked closely with local black organizations.


Regional black movements also aligned themselves closely with the anti-racism policies
of the United Nations, and used those policies to pressure their home governments. A 1996
report by the UN Commission on Human Rights on racial discrimination and inequality in
Brazil gave black groups powerful leverage to use against President Fernando Henrique
Cardoso, who in 1996 agreed to add affirmative action provisions to his National Human
Rights Program (see below). A similar UN finding against Uruguay in 1999 led the Battle
administration to officially acknowledge the existence of discrimination in that country and,
as in Brazil, to propose affirmative action measures to combat it. The 2001 UN Conference
against Racism, held in South Africa, greatly energized black organizations around the region
and placed additional pressure on national governments. In the months following the
conference, the Cardoso administration created a new National Council to Combat
Discrimination and enacted affirmative action programs in the Ministries of Agrarian
Development, Justice, and Foreign Relations; in Panama, Congress passed a federal antidiscrimination statute.23
These governmental proposals and concessions mark the beginnings of a genuine, and
hugely important, "paradigm shift" in how Latin Americans think about race. In Brazil,
Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama, black activists succeeded in forcing their national
societies to acknowledge the realities of anti-black racism and discrimination, and to at least
start to take action against these social ills. This process is most advanced in Brazil, as became
apparent during the commemorations marking the centennial of abolition in 1988. To a
degree unprecedented in Brazilian (or Latin American) history, state officials, universities, the
national press, and the Catholic Church, all acknowledged the existence of gaping racial
inequities in Brazilian society and called for measures to bring the Afro-Brazilian population
up to the same socio-economic level as the white population. A greatly strengthened antidiscrimination law was incorporated into the Constitution of 1988, and additional such laws
were passed in Rio de Janeiro, So Paulo, Salvador, and other states and municipalities. A
new federal agency, the Palmares Foundation, was created to channel federal resources to the
black population, and similar entities were created in several states and municipalities. In
1996, as part of his National Human Rights Program, President Cardoso proposed the
enactment of "compensatory policies to promote the social and economic advancement of the
black community," including "positive discrimination" and "affirmative action" aimed at
increasing black access to education and employment. Though those proposals have not been
acted on by Congress, by 2001, individual government agencies, universities, and private firms
were announcing plans to institute their own affirmative action programs by reserving
positions for black appointees, students, and employees. 24
Yet if Brazil constitutes the most impressive case of attempted redress of racial
grievances, it simultaneously shows the limitations of those efforts. The anti-discrimination
law of 1988 generated a wave of court cases, but, as of 1995, convictions under the law could
be "counted on the fingers of one hand," according to the Brazilian press.25 The budgets and
staffs provided to the Palmares Foundation and other state and municipal agencies for black
affairs have proven inadequate for them to carry out their responsibilities; and while President


Cardoso's proposals for "compensatory policies" are being widely discussed and debated in
Brazilian society, and even adopted in piecemeal form, public opinion remains strongly
divided on this issue, among both whites and black s.26
If this is the case in Brazil, the site of the largest and most important of the Afro-Latin
American movements, what then of the other countries, where black movements have been
weaker and less successful? As several Afro-Costa Ricans commented when I asked them
about the aftermath of the 1978 national conference, what good does it do to have a Black
Costa Rican Day when black history and culture are still ignored on the other 364 days of the
year? In Colombia, black activists take pride in the achie vement of constitutional protections
of black-owned lands (as well as federally mandated research and teaching on black history
and culture) but fear that, as economic development comes to the rainforests along the Pacific
coast, the laws will not be adequately enforced, and black families will lose the lands on which
they have hunted, mined, and farmed for generations.27 And in Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru,
and other countries, activists cannot even point to laws or programs comparable to those
enacted in Brazil and Colombia.
Though the black civil rights movements of the late 1900s did succeed in recasting the
terms of racial thought and debate in the region, for the most part they failed to achieve the
policy outcomes they sought; nor were they able to significantly reduce the inequality,
prejudice, and discrimination that they arose to combat. These failures were in turn traceable
to the movements' inability to mobilize the black and brown constituencies that they claimed
to represent; and that inability is in turn traceable to divisions of gender, race, and perhaps
most important, class, within those constituencies.
Though the black movements included and welcomed women in their ranks, their
leadership was overwhelmingly male. Women were seldom admitted to positions of authority
or influence; nor, charged many female activists, did the movements seriously address issues of
most immediate concern to black women: gender inequalities and power relations within
black families; the pressing needs of single mothers and their children; women's health issues;
and, most importantly, the devastating "triple discrimination" class, gender, and race faced
by almost all women of color. Increasingly frustrated over the failure of the male-dominated
organizations to confront these issues, over the course of the 1980s and 90s many women
either withdrew from the black movements entirely or created their own separate
organizations: Geleds, Casa Dandara, Nzinga, and Criola in Brazil, the Unin de Mujeres
Negras de Venezuela, the Fundacin Socio-Cultural Afrocostarricense, the Encuentro de
Mujeres Negras in Panama, and others. Paralleling the regional congresses of the maledominated black organizations, these organizations held international Encuentros de la Mujer
Negra in the Dominican Republic in 1992 and in Venezuela in 1993.28
Race itself was a second obstacle preventing the black movements from reaching their
intended audience. Joining a black organization required members to reject the longstanding
goal of "whitening," and instead embrace a scorned and degraded social and racial identity.
Ever since colonial slavery, to be black in Latin America has meant to be lazy, ignorant, stupid,
criminal, and so on in a long list of negative attributes. Racially mixed "brown" identities
arose in part as a means of escape from the stigma of blackness, and over time most Afro-Latin
Americans have actively pursued this opportunity to identify themselves as brown, or even
white, rather than black. Afro-Latin American activists insist that this escape from blackness is


purely illusory, however, and that browns are just as subject as blacks to racial prejudice and
discrimination a conclusion borne out, in the case of Brazil, by statistical research showing
that browns are only slightly less vulnerable than blacks to racial inequality in earnings,
vocational achievement, life expectancy, and other social indicators.29 Activists therefore
called on all people of color to reject the lures of brownness (and whiteness) and "assume," to
use the Brazilian term, their "true" identity as negros.
Thousands of people of color proved willing to take this leap and to join in the work
of the black movements. Tens of millions more, however, did not. To join the black
movements required a decision to embrace the often painful condition of being black; and to
agitate for civil rights and racial equality required one to confront and question the stillpowerful ideology of racial democracy, which insisted that such equality already existed.
Indeed, charged the black movements' critics, it was not white employers and elites who were
guilty of racism; rather, by insisting on the primacy of racial identities and by stirring up
antagonisms and resentments between blacks and whites, it was the black activists themselves
who were the true racists.
The final obstacle obstructing the black movements' work was the class divisions
between the activists and those whom they sought to mobilize. Throughout Afro-Latin
America, the black activists tended to be either of middle-class background themselves or
upwardly mobile individuals who had acquired high-school and, in some cases, university
education, and were thus poised to move upward from working-class to middle-class status.
But while the activists were middle-class in composition and orientation, their target
constituencies were overwhelmingly poor and working-class. The prejudice and
discrimination that middle-class activists felt on an almost daily basis were much less salient in
the lives of lower-class blacks and browns, for whom immediate issues of survival food,
work, medical care, crime, transportation, housing, water and electricity were far more
pressing. Abstract talk about the need to combat racism by embracing their black identitie s
was of little use or interest to poor blacks. They needed assistance with the immediate issues
in their lives, and had learned over time that the most likely sources of such assistance were
not weak, counter-hegemonic movements, but rather strong, established authorities local
elites, parties and politicians, the Catholic Church, labor unions who would provide the
concrete benefits of patronage in return for loyalty and support.30 The black movements
could provide no support or benefits comparable to those offered by powerful individuals or
institutions; if anything, by possibly jeopardizing their ties to powerful clients, joining or
supporting the black movements had the potential of actually worsening poor blacks' situation
rather than improving it.
For these various reasons, the black organizations' target audience of poor and
working-class blacks and mulattoes for the most part declined to join or support the black
movements. Rather, people of color continued to rely, as in centuries past, on individual or
family-based strategies of survival and upward mobility. When they acted collectively, through
larger movements or associations, those associations were more likely to be class-based (labor
unions, or political parties), or geographically based (neighborhood or regional associations),
or faith-based (religious organizations and movements), than racially based.
Nevertheless, despite these multiple problems and limitations, the present-day black
movements have performed an essential and much-needed service by pressing Latin American


societies to make good on their promises of racial democracy. In most of the countries of the
region this process of questioning and coming to grips with the racial past and present is only
just beginning.31 As Afro-Latin Americans continue to advance into the region's middle
classes and to confront the discrimination and prejudice that pervades middle-class life,
racially defined movements will play a necessary role for years and decades to come. Racial
politics, so much a part of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, will be with us well into
the twenty-first century. Would that it did not have to be so.

Figures on slave trade from Herbert S. Klein, The Atlantic Slave Trade (New York, 1999), 210-11; for
current population figures, see George Reid Andrews, Afro-Latin America, 1800-2000 (New York, forthcoming
2003), table 6.2.
Andrews, Afro-Latin America, chap. 5.
Caetana Damasceno et al., Catlogo de entidades de movimento negro no Brasil (Rio de Janeiro,
1988); see also Shawn Lindsey, The Afro-Brazilian Organization Directory: A Reference Guide to Black
Organizations in Brazil (Parkland, Fla., 1999).
Peter Wade, "The Cultural Politics of Blanquees in Colombia," American Ethnologist 22, 2 (1995),
341-57; Jaime Arocha, "Los negros y la nueva constitucin colombiana de 1991," Amrica Negra 3 (1992), 39-54.
For a listing of almost 90 Afro-Colombian organizations, see Peter Wade, "Lista de organizaciones comunitarias
de gente negra en Colombia: Marzo 1993," Amrica Negra 5 (1993), 193-203.
Kaysha L. Corinealdi, Black Organizing in 20th-Century Panama: Combating Internal and External
Challenges (BA honors thesis, Swarthmore College, 2002); Gerardo Maloney, "El movimento negro en
Panam," La Repblica (Panama, 10 and 17 Aug. 1980), 2 -F; Michael Conniff, Black Labor on a White Canal:
Panama, 1904-1981 (Pittsburgh, 1985), 165-69; Primer Congreso del Negro Panameo: Memorias (Panama,
1982); "Los 500 aos y los negros panameos," La Prensa (Panama, 9 Oct. 1992), 6A.
Jos Luciano and Humberto Rodrguez Pastor, "Peru," in Minority Rights Group, No Longer Invisible:
Afro-Latin Americans Today (London, 1995), 281-82.
Mundo Afro, Informe: 'Situacin de discriminacin y racismo en el Uruguay' (Montevideo, 1999), 7-9.
"Centros educativos darn a conocer cultura del negro," La Nacin (San Jos, 27 October 1980), 8A;
"Da del negro costarricense," La Repblica (San Jos, 31 Aug. 1983); Trevor Purcell, Banana Fallout: Class,
Color, and Cultura among West Indians in Costa Rica (Los Angeles, 1993), 162. In 2000 Panama enacted a
similar Da de la Etna Negra, celebrated on May 31. Corinealdi, Black Organizing in 20th-Century Panama,
Darin J. Davis, "Postscript," in Minority Rights Group, No Longer Invisible, 362-69.
Rosemary Thorp, Progress, Poverty and Exclusion: An Economic History of Latin America in the
20th Century (Baltimore, 1998), 127-58; Enrique Crdenas, Jos Antonio Ocampo and Rosemary Thorp, eds.,
Industrialization and the State in Latin America: Postwar Years (Basingstoke and New York, 2000).
Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatstica (hereafter IBGE), Brasil: Censo demogrfico [1950] (Rio
de Janeiro, 1956), vol. 1, 24; Fundao IBGE, Censo demogrfico 1991: Caractersticas gerais da populao e
instruo (Rio de Janeiro, 1996), 209-10, 215-16.
Ildefonso Pereda Valds, El negro en el Uruguay pasado y presente (Montevideo, 1965), 190; Instituto
Nacional de Estadstica (hereafter INE), Encuesta Continua de Hogares: Mdulo de Raza (Montevideo, 1998), 15.
Purcell, Banana Fallout, 96-97, 162.
Angelina Pollak-Eltz, "Hay o no hay racismo en Venezuela?", Encuentros 7, 17 (Caracas, 1993), 9 -10;
Winthrop Wright, Caf con leche: Race, Class, and National Image in Venezuela (Austin, 1990), 131. Judging
on the basis of a week spent at the university in 1994, I am skeptical that the student body is majority black and
mulatto; but students of color do constitute at the very least a substantial minority.
IBGE, Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domiclios 1987. Cor da populao (hereafter PNAD
1987) (Rio de Janeiro, 1990), vol. 1, 18.
INE, Encuesta Continua de Hogares, 12; Mauricio Solan and Sidney Kronus, Discrimination


Without Violence: Miscegenation and Racial Conflict in Latin America (New York, 1973), 105-06; "Negros
avanzan en su incorporacin al pas," La Nacin (San Jos, 3 Sept. 1977); Purcell, Banana Fallout, 64; see also 5758, 89. On middle-class employment among Afro-Colombians, see Peter Wade, Blackness and Race Mixture:
The Dynamics of Racial Identity in Colombia (Baltimore, 1993), 199-200; Constanza Martnez Buenda, "Negro,
ni el Cadillac," Cromos (Bogot, 9 Oct. 1984), 38.
On Costa Rica and Panama, Mara Teresa Ruiz, Racismo: Algo ms que discriminacin (San Jos,
1989); on Cuba, Rafael Duharte Jimnez and Elsa Santos Garca, El fantasma de la esclavitud: Prejuicios raciales
en Cuba y Amrica Latina (Bielefeld, 1997), and special issue of Amrica Negra 15 (1998), edited by Alejandro de
la Fuente; on Peru, Rosina Valcrcel C., Universitarios y prejuicio tnico: Un estudio del prejuicio hacia el negro
en los universitarios de Lima (Lima, 1974); on Brazil, Cleusa Turra and Gustavo Venturi, eds., Racismo cordial:
A mais completa anlise sobre preconceito de cor no Brasil (So Paulo, 1995); on Uruguay, Paulo de CarvalhoNeto, Estudios afros: Brasil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador (Caracas, 1971), 208-24; on Venezuela, Luis Britto
Garca, "Racismo, inmigracin y prejuicio en Venezuela: Una leyenda dorada," Encuentros 7, 17 (1993), 27-33.
Nelson Valle do Silva, "Updating the Cost of Not Being White in Brazil," in Pierre-Michel Fontaine,
ed., Race, Class and Power in Brazil (Los Angeles, 1985), 42-55; Edward Telles, "Industrialization and Racial
Inequality in Employment: The Brazilian Example," American Sociological Review 59 (1994), 46-63; Peggy A.
Lovell and Charles Wood, "Skin Color, Racial Identity, and Life Chances in Brazil, Latin American Perspectives
25, 2 (1998), 90-109; Yajaira Rodrguez D. and Alicia Viscua L., "Discriminacin racial en la seleccin de
personal" (tesis de grado [de licenciatura], Universidad Central de Venezuela, 1988); Enos Gordon Dawkings,
"Condiciones laborales del negro en la industria del rea metropolitana" (tesis de grado [de licenciatura],
Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, 1984); George Reid Andrews, Blacks and Whites in So Paulo, Brazil, 18881988 (Madison, 1991), 166-71; Ulises Graceras et al., "Informe preliminar sobre la situacin de la comunidad
negra en el Uruguay (Montevideo, 1980);" 23-25; Francisco M. Merino, El negro en la sociedad montevideana
(Montevideo, 1982), 60-66.
For works by Afro-Latin American activists, see Joel Rufino dos Santos, O que o racismo (So Paulo,
1980); Abdias do Nasicmento, O genocdio do negro brasileiro: Processo de uma racismo mascarado (Rio de
Janeiro, 1978); Clvis Moura, De bom escravo a mau cidado? (Rio de Janeiro, 1977) and Dialtica radical do
negro brasileiro (So Paulo, 1994); Amir Smith-Crdoba, Cultura negra y avasallamiento cultural (Bogot, 1980);
Juan de Dios Mosquera, Las comunidades negras de Colombia (Medelln, 1985); Ligia J. Montaez, El racismo
oculto en una sociedad no racista (Caracas, 1993); Quince Duncan and Lorein Powell, Teora y prctica del
racismo (San Jos, 1988); Alberto Barrow, No me pidas una foto: Develando el racismo en Panam (Panama,
2001); Romero Rodrguez, Historia de los afrouruguayos (Montevideo, forthcoming).
Interview with Quince Duncan (Heredia, Costa Rica, 7 July 1994); Maloney, "El movimiento negro
en Panam"; Conniff, Black Labor on a White Canal, 165; "Los 500 aos.
21. Wade, "Cultural Politics of Blackness; Michael George Hanchard, Orpheus and Power: The Movimento
Negro of Rio de Janeiro and So Paulo, 1945-1988 (Princeton, 1994), 88-91.
Needless to say, such support has been controversial. In 1978 the Brazilian dictatorship banned the
Inter-American Foundation from the country after it made grants to several black organizations. For a recent
attack on US foundations for their work in this area, see Pierre Bourdieu and Loc Wacquant, On the Cunning
of Imperialist Reason, Theory, Culture and Society 16, 1 (1999), 41-58. For a thoughtful reply, see Edward
Telles, As fundaes norte-americanas e o debate racial no Brasil, Estudos Afro-Asiticos 24, 1 (2002), 141-65.
ONU denuncia discriminao racial no pas, Correio da Bahia (30 April 1996); Comit de la
ONU seala omisiones del gobierno uruguayo, Brecha (1 Oct. 1999); Mundo Afro, Racismo: Consenso de
labios nios (Montevideo, 2001), 10; (16 Oct. 2002); Corinealdi,
Black Organizing in 20th-Century Panama, 108, 112.
Andrews, Blacks and Whites, 218-33; Presidncia da Repblica, Programa Nacional de Direitos
Humanos (Braslia, 1996), 29-31; Ministrio de Justia cria cotas para negro, mulher e deficiente, Folha de S.
Paulo (20 Dec. 2001), C6; Garotinho sanciona lei que reserva vagas para negros em universidades, Folha de S.
Paulo (13 Nov. 2001), C3; and documents available at (16 Oct.
"Racismo no v a cor da condenao," Tribuna da Bahia (19 Oct. 1995); "'A populao negra precisa
ser indenizada'," Tribuna da Bahia (2 Aug. 1995).



Edward Telles and Stan Bailey, Polticas contra o racismo e opinio pblica: Comparaes entre
Brasil e Estados Unidos, Opinio Pblica 8, 1 (2001), 30-39.
Arturo Escobar and Alvaro Pedrosa, eds., Pacfico: Desarrollo o diversidad? Estado, capital y
movimientos sociales en el Pacfico colombiano (Bogot, 1996).
Sueli Carneiro, "Black Women's Identity in Brazil," in Rebecca Reichmann, ed., Race in
Contemporary Brazil: From Indifference to Inequality (University Park, Penn., 1999), 217-28; Casa Dandara, O
triunfo da ideologia do embranquecimento: O homem negro e a rejeio da mulher negra (Belo Horizonte,
1992); Yrene Ugueto, "La identidad cultural de la mujer afrovenezolana en la Venezuela neoliberal," Encuentros
7, 17 (1993), 25-26; "En busca de identidad cultural," Panorama Internacional (Panama, 3 August 1992), 32-33;
Jeannette Rojas, "Las mujeres en movimiento: Crnicas de otras miradas," in Escobar and Pedrosa, Pacfico:
Desarrollo o diversidad?, 205-19; Diagnostico socioeconmico y cultural.
See for example Nelson do Valle Silva, "Black-White Income Differentials: Brazil, 1960" (Ph.D.
dissertation, University of Michigan, 1978); Silva, "Updating the Cost of Not Being White"; George Reid
Andrews, "Racial Inequality in Brazil and the United States: A Statistical Comparison," Journal of Social History
26, 2 (1992), 229-63; Lovell and Wood, "Skin Color, Racial Identity."
On the central importance of client-patronage relations for poor and working-class blacks, see Nancy
Scheper-Hughes, Death without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil (Berkeley, 1993), 108-27;
Norman Whitten, Black Frontiersmen: A South American Case (New York, 1974), 163-66; Yara Altez, La
participacin popular y la reproduccin de la desigualdad (Caracas, 1996), 51-59.
Note, for example, the tentative, gingerly tone of such titles as "Racismo en Venezuela?", El Nacional
(Caracas, 20 Sept. 1998); "Hay racismo en Colombia?", El Espectador (Bogot, 17 Oct. 1997); "Racismo en
Colombia?", El Espectador (Bogot, 23 Dec. 1998); "Racismo por omisin?", La Nacin (San Jos, 5 Jan. 1998).
More assertive in its conclusions is "Discriminacin en Uruguay," El Pas (Montevideo, 11 Oct. 1998).