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Theorizing Race in the Americas analyzes the accounts of race formulated by four key thinkers from the Americas: Sarmiento; the towering black intellectual W. Latin American thinkers are generally viewed as having formulated more flexible and complex notions of racial identity than those that emerged in the United States.
This has led to the claim that, because of their growing demographic presence, Latinos are di This has led to the claim that, because of their growing demographic presence, Latinos are dismantling or challenging US ideas about race, particularly the tendency to think in binary terms black-white and overlook the existence of mixture.
At the same time, African American thinkers such as Douglass and Du Bois are viewed as having been solely preoccupied with domestic problems of racial equality for African Americans in the United States.
This book disproves both of these claims by showing how US and Latin American thinkers, in both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, looked to political models in the "other" America to advance racial projects in their own countries. I argue that we should move beyond easy narratives about one region's superior approach to race to see that hemispheric comparison has been central to the formulation of both Latin American and US ideas about race.
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