Central Americans of African descent are in the margins on the histories of transmigrations and political movements in the isthmus and their diasporas. The absence of Black Central Americans in Latinx Studies and Central American Studies is an epistemological violence inherited from Latin American mestizaje. The insurgence of Afro-Latinx Studies is an intellectual and political response to the erasure and negation of Black people and Blackness in the field of Latinx Studies. In this essay, I map out the political urgency to call for a refashioning of Afrolatinidad that dismantles the dangerous allure of ethno-racial nationalism (i.e., Afro-[insert nation-state]) and mappability of Blackness into exclusionary geographies of Spanish-speaking Americas (i.e., “you must be Dominican, because you don’t look Guatemalan”). Drawing on oral history interviews, visual cultures, and social media analysis, I demonstrate how transgenerational Garifuna New Yorkers of Central American descent histories and politics of self-making, beginning in the late 1950s to the present, highlight their negotiations and contradictions as they perform their multiple subjectivities as Black, Indigenous, and AfroLatinx.

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