This essay weighs the uses and limitations of sovereignty and citizenship for the 7.3 million people who live in contemporary US colonies (i.e., reservations and “unincorporated territories”), where residents continue to be deprived of both political equality and the right to self-determination. It brings to light a series of little-known critiques written by two early twentieth-century Puerto Rican antiracist activist intellectuals, Tomás Carrión Maduro and Luis Felipe Dessus. By excavating the original ways in which these thinkers dispelled the notion that either full annexation or full separation from the United States would bring about substantive decolonization for race and class subalterns in the island, this piece aims to provoke those of us who today continue to grapple with the impasses of contemporary US colonialisms to chart alternative decolonial approaches by possibly “sidestepping” sovereignty and citizenship as the primary rallying banners of our struggles.


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pp. 161-169
Launched on MUSE
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