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Black and Indigenous: Garifuna Activism and Consumer Culture in Honduras

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Garifuna live in Central America, primarily Honduras, and the United States. Identified as Black by others and by themselves, they also claim indigenous status and rights in Latin America. Examining this set of paradoxes, Mark Anderson shows how, on the one hand, Garifuna embrace discourses of tradition, roots, and a paradigm of ethnic political struggle. On the other hand, Garifuna often affirm blackness through assertions of African roots and affiliations with Blacks elsewhere, drawing particularly on popular images of U.S. blackness embodied by hip-hop music and culture.

Black and Indigenous explores the politics of race and culture among Garifuna in Honduras as a window into the active relations among multiculturalism, consumption, and neoliberalism in the Americas. Based on ethnographic work, Anderson questions perspectives that view indigeneity and blackness, nativist attachments and diasporic affiliations, as mutually exclusive paradigms of representation, being, and belonging.

As Anderson reveals, within contemporary struggles of race, ethnicity, and culture, indigeneity serves as a normative model for collective rights, while blackness confers a status of subaltern cosmopolitanism. Indigeneity and blackness, he concludes, operate as unstable, often ambivalent, and sometimes overlapping modes through which people both represent themselves and negotiate oppression.


ISBN-13: 9780816661022

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press

Publication Date: 12-09-2009

Pages: 304

Product Dimensions: 8.40h x 5.40w x 0.70d

Mark Anderson is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.