Our Black América: Transnational Racial Identities in Twentieth-Century Cuba and Brazil

Guarnera, Anne, Spanish - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Pellón, Gustavo, Department of Spanish, University of Virginia

Since the early 2000s, renewed investigations into black internationalism have produced fresh insight into the formation and function of racial identities in a globalized world. However, the majority of this research has eschewed any extended consideration of black internationalism in the Luso-Hispanic world, resulting in an incomplete view of both the complexity and reach of black internationalism in the early to mid-twentieth century. This dissertation seeks to fill this gap in the scholarship by studying the introduction of black internationalism to Cuba and Brazil and its expression in the writings of Afro-Cuban authors Nicolás Guillén and Regino Pedroso and Afro-Brazilian writers Solano Trindade and Abdias do Nascimento. Combining historical research with literary analysis, it argues that Black Bolshevism was the primary route by which black internationalism was introduced to Latin America, and that Afro-Latin intellectuals employed socialist ideas to critique discourses of racial mixing, including mestizaje in Cuba and mestiçagem in Brazil. In demonstrating this, “Our Black América” reveals the power and relevance of black pride ideologies within the so-called “racial democracies” of Cuba and Brazil—provoking a re-consideration of the history of race relations in these two nations.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Black transnationalism, Afro-Latin , Socialism, Cuba, Brazil, Black internationalism , Mestizaje, Mestiçagem, Nicolás Guillén, Regino Pedroso, Abdias do Nascimento , Solano Trindade , Black Internationalism, Black Radicalism
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