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Blackness in the White Nation

Afro-Uruguay, 1830-2010

George Reid Andrews

Publication Year: 2010

Andrews offers a comprehensive history of Afro-Uruguayans from the colonial period to the present. Showing how social and political mobilization is intertwined with candombe, he traces the development of Afro-Uruguayan racial discourse and argues that candombe's evolution as a central part of the nation's culture has not fundamentally helped the cause of racial equality. Incorporating descriptions of his own experiences as a member of a candombe drumming and performance group, Andrews connects the struggles of Afro-Uruguayans to the broader issues of race, culture, gender, and politics throughout Latin America and the African diaspora.

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

Cover Art

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p. 1-1


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pp. 2-7

Contents [Includes List of Illustrations and Tables]

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pp. 8-11

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pp. xi-xiii

This book has its origins in the energy and generosity of three individuals. In the year 2000, my then-student and now friend and colleague Jorge Nállim invited me to a conference he had helped organize in Buenos Aires. While there, I took advantage of the opportunity to cross the Río de la Plata to visit Montevideo. In Montevideo, I dropped by the ...

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pp. 1-20

A drum corps sixty strong, we march through the Montevideo night, pounding out the African rhythms of candombe (can-dome-bay). Racing winds blowing o√ the Río de la Plata drive thick banks of thunderclouds across the sky. Rain threatens; we will soon be drenched. But carried on surging waves of rhythm, and cheered by thousands of spectators who ...

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1 This Noble Race Has Glorious Aspirations, 1830–1920

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pp. 21-49

Seventy-one years later, in 1963, Toribia Petronila Pardo Larraura still remembered that night, down to the words she and a chorus of young women had sung on the stage of the Teatro San Felipe. As her interviewer pressed her for details, she broke into song: ...

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2 Remembering Africa: Comparsas and Candombe, 1870–1950

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pp. 50-84

Carnival, the citywide celebration that precedes the self-denial and asceticism of Lent, is one of the high points of Montevideo’s cultural calendar. From the early 1800s to the present, inhabitants of the city have donned their costumes and taken to the streets to celebrate the annual overturning and remaking of the everyday. Perhaps never do ...

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3 The New Negros, 1920–1960

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pp. 85-111

As the young woman slowly descended the steps from the airplane, she was met by a small crowd composed of ‘‘representatives from the black organizations in our city, and the public in general. . . . Visibly moved, Mrs. Sosa spoke in hesitant, faltering words, expressing her immense thanks to those who had intervened in the appeal that has been launched on her behalf and, at the same time, in defense of the fundamental ...

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4 Today Everyone Dances Candombe, 1950–2010

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pp. 112-140

It was a balmy summer night in late February 1956. Under a brilliant full moon, one hundred thousand spectators jammed the streets of the Barrio Sur and Palermo, awaiting the first-ever Llamadas, the parade of the comparsas de negros.1 By 1956 the comparsas had been marching through Montevideo for almost a century; but they had done so either individually ...

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5 Dictatorship and Democracy, 1960–2010

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pp. 141-174

The order came down on 1 December 1978: the Medio Mundo conventillo, built in 1885 and in 1975 declared a National Historical Monument, had been condemned and was to be evacuated immediately. Municipal trucks came four days later, on 5 December, to remove the 170 residents; those who could find no other place to go were housed at city expense in ...


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pp. 175-176


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pp. 177-214


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pp. 215-231


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pp. 233-241

E-ISBN-13: 9780807899601
E-ISBN-10: 0807899607
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807834176
Print-ISBN-10: 0807834173

Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 2 line drawings, 1 map
Publication Year: 2010