New Book: The Afro-Latin@ Reader

The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States (Duke University Press, 2010) is a new collection edited by Miriam Jiménez Román and Juan Flores. The book addresses history, music, gender, class, and media representations in more than sixty selections, including scholarly essays, memoirs, newspaper and magazine articles, poetry, short stories, and interviews. While the selections cover centuries of Afro-Latin@ history, since the arrival of Spanish-speaking Africans in North America in the mid-sixteenth-century, most of them focus on the past fifty years.

Publisher’s description: “The presence of Afro-Latin@s in the United States (and throughout the Americas) belies the notion that Blacks and Latin@s are two distinct categories or cultures. Afro-Latin@s are uniquely situated to bridge the widening social divide between Latin@s and African Americans; at the same time, their experiences reveal pervasive racism among Latin@s and ethnocentrism among African Americans. Offering insight into Afro-Latin@ life and new ways to understand culture, ethnicity, nation, identity, and antiracist politics, The Afro-Latin@ Reader presents a kaleidoscopic view of Black Latin@s in the United States. [. . .] The central question of how Afro-Latin@s relate to and experience U.S. and Latin American racial ideologies is engaged throughout, in first-person accounts of growing up Afro-Latin@, a classic essay by a leader of the Young Lords, and analyses of U.S. census data on race and ethnicity, as well as in pieces on gender and sexuality, major-league baseball, and religion. The contributions that Afro-Latin@s have made to U.S. culture are highlighted in essays on the illustrious Afro-Puerto Rican bibliophile Arturo Alfonso Schomburg and music and dance genres from salsa to mambo, and from boogaloo to hip hop. Taken together, these and many more selections help to bring Afro-Latin@s in the United States into critical view.”

Miriam Jiménez Román is a scholar of Diaspora communities in the Americas, focusing on people of African descent. She has taught courses on race, ethnicity, and gender in Latin America and Caribbean at Binghamton, Brown, and Columbia universities. She is the former Managing Editor and Editor of Centro: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies. She worked as Assistant Director of the Scholars-in-Residence Program at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. She is the general coordinator for The Afro-Latino Project, a research and resource center focusing on Black Latinos in the United States.

Juan Flores is professor of Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies at Hunter College and of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center.  He is former director of CUNY’s Center for Puerto Rican Studies. Dr. Flores’ teaching, research, and publications center on Puerto Rican Studies, social and cultural theory, popular music, theory of Diaspora and transnational communities, and Afro-Latino culture. His many publications include The Diaspora Strikes Back: Caribeño Tales of Learning and Turning (2009), Cortijo’s Wake (2004), From Bomba to Hip-Hop: Puerto Rican Culture and Latino Identity (2000), and Divided Borders: Essays on Puerto Rican Identity (1993).

For full article and interview with Miriam Jiménez Román (in Spanish), see

For purchasing information, see

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