Black Latinx Studies is a collaborative blog project that combines academic work on Afro-Latinxs with personal narratives, creative writing, and musings on current events and pop culture. Contributions to the blog bridge work that is intended for the “ivory tower” with the personal, cultural, and artistic. It is our belief, as contributors, that academic work should not exist in isolation from the “real” world. We also believe that research should contribute to our understanding of the world in efforts to achieve justice and equity.
This project grew out of the course U.S. Afro-Latinidades at Williams College, led by Professor Shantee Rosado. While the blog grew out of a collaboration with undergraduate students at Williams College, it is meant to be an ongoing project that welcomes contributions from all those interested in Black Latinx Studies.
For those interested in collaborating and/or contributing their work, please read our “submissions” page and email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Note on Terms
Why “Black” and not “Afro?”
The title from this blog puts discourse on Afro-Latinxs in conversation with a long history of Black political thought and resistance in Latin America, North America, and the African Diaspora as a whole. The use of the term “Black” is deliberate. There have been attempts, by some, to dilute the study of African contributions in Latin America by using the prefix “Afro-” and refraining from studying political matters as they relate to this history. The term “Black” rejects these broader attempts to “pacify” and depoliticize discourse on the African presence in Latin America. Blackness is not only culture and folklore. It is lived daily by the over 150 million Afro-descendants in Latin America and their counterparts outside of the region. While posts on this site might use Afro-Latinx, and might even use it and Black Latinx interchangeably, the title of the blog is intended to center this political engagement with Blackness in Latin America and beyond. Thus, in advocating for the dissemination of research on Black Latinxs, we hope that this work engages with and expands the literature on Black resistance, Black political thought, and the radical Black imagination.
What does the “x” at the end of Latinx mean?
The “x” at the end of “Latinx” is a recent attempt to make the term gender-inclusive. Given “Latino” pertains to male-identifying people and “Latina” to female-identifying people, “Latinx” is meant to include both groups as well as people who do not identify with either of these genders or who otherwise do not conform to the gender binary.
Why “Latinx” and not “Hispanic?”
The term Latinx (and its variant, Latino) refers to people who live in, or have ancestry from, the region known as Latin America. In contrast, the term Hispanic (usually) refers to those live in or have ancestry from Spanish-speaking countries, including Spain. This blog is interested in the Latin American region and its diaspora, including regions where Spanish is not the dominant language. That said, given the preferences of the contributing authors, these terms may be used interchangeably throughout the blog.
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*Beliefs expressed throughout this page are not sanctioned by Williams College or any other institution, and belong solely to the authors of each piece.