There are approximately 150 million people of African descent in Latin America yet Afro-descendants have been consistently marginalized as undesirable elements of the society. Latin America has nevertheless long prided itself on its absence of U.S.-styled state-mandated Jim Crow racial segregation laws. This book disrupts the traditional narrative of Latin America's legally benign racial past by comprehensively examining the existence of customary laws of racial regulation and the historic complicity of Latin American states in erecting and sustaining racial hierarchies. Tanya Katerí Hernández is
the first author to consider the salience of the customary law of race regulation for the contemporary development of racial equality laws across the region. Therefore, the book has a particular relevance for the contemporary U.S. racial context in which Jim Crow laws have long been abolished and a "post-racial" rhetoric undermines the commitment to racial equality laws and policies amidst a backdrop of continued inequality.
Book Excerpt Available at: http://www.cambridge.org/us/knowledge/isbn/item6865338/?site_locale=en_US
Table of Contents
1. Racial innocence and the customary law of race regulation
2. Spanish America whitening the race – the un(written) laws of
"blanqueamiento" and "mestizaje"
3. Brazilian "Jim Crow": the immigration law whitening project and the
customary law of racial segregation – a case study
4. The social exclusion of afro-descendants in Latin America today
5. Afro-descendant social justice movements and the new antidiscrimination laws
6. Brazil: at the forefront of Latin American race-based affirmative
action policies and census racial data collection
7. Conclusion: the United States – Latin America connections
Professor Tanya Kateri Hernandez
"A hard-hitting, tightly argued examination of present-day racial
inequality in Latin America, the roots of that
inequality in 19th- and 20th-century state policies, and current efforts to
overcome that historical legacy. Hernández definitively lays to rest the notion
that Latin American states played no role in the construction and maintenance
of white racial privilege."
Tanya Kateri Hernandez traces the "myth of racial innocence" in which Latin America shrouds itself, and then she shatters it. This book is a crucial corrective for anyone interested in race in Latin America. Or in the United States, which increasingly proclaims its own mythical innocence.
Ian Haney Lopez
John H. Boalt Professor of Law
University of California, Berkeley
Finally we have a serious, comprehensive, and accessible book on
Professor of Sociology
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Edward E. Telles
Professor of SociologyPrinceton University