Race in Latin America

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Race in Latin America by Mind Map: Race in Latin America

1. Brazil and the Myth of Racial Democarcy.

1.1. In the 1950's, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) developed a series of sponsored studies exploring Brazil's racial democracy and ideologies. Researchers explored the "whitening" movement of the 1940's, and concluded that it was time for a racial "Revisionism".

1.1.1. A racial "revisionism" consists of examining the dynamics of a race, and the history of relationships between cultures.

1.1.2. After being examined during the "Revisionism" researchers found that it was skeptical to call Brazil a racial democracy. They found that the elite upper class embraced this term to reinforce oppression in the lower class. Prior to the 1950's, Sociologist, Gilbert Freyre stated that the close slave and master relationship, and open miscegenation were the influence for Democracy. His theories received much criticism when researchers revisited the history, and concluded that Brazil did not escape racism as a country.

1.2. UNESCO's findings gave fundamental understanding to race relations between the Brazilian population. However, they built their theoretical findings on the assumption that race was interpreted in terms of class.

1.3. The Racial Formation Theory dealt with of Brazilian racial dynamics through considering race to be socially constructed, and a phenomena contested throughout social interaction.

1.3.1. Winant's argument on the Racial Formation Theory is stable because it examines race as being multidimensional. Race does not naturally occur, so it must be examined with influences from different cultures.

1.4. The reappearance of the black movement occurred as a joint effort for democracy. The upsurge was a combination of a new civil society and radical identities. As the black population became more involved in politics, they obtained skills, awareness, and became activists for their own rights.

1.4.1. Blacks formed groups to advocate for education, female rights, ethical working conditions, and other positive social movements. These events challenged the traditional racial stereotype, helping to eliminate stigma of Blacks, for example the youth oriented current: "black souls".

2. Cultural Politics of Blackness in Columbia

2.1. Development of black organizations in Columbia meant creating linkage to the new global economy, and developing a political reform.

2.1.1. Linking the global economy involved a development process which caused conflict between the races and cultures. Ultimately, the indigenous and the black formed an alliance, putting themselves in a position to help stimulate the economy.

2.1.2. The Political Reforms in Columbia aimed to create a more positive social system by alleviating poverty, decreasing violence, etc. Though all issues that directly affected ethnic minorities were not immediately confronted, a forum was created for them to be discussed.

2.1.3. Compared to Brazilian Reforms, Columbian reforms did not pay as much emphasis to the "race being socially constructed" phenomena. This theory for Brazil, was a turning point because it changed the outlook on society and race. This could be because there was less accessible information due to lack of academic institutions, and they were wrongfully informed. The Reformations are similar, because they both attempted to provide opportunities for education, land, etc.

2.2. Constitutional Race Reform influenced race relations by spreading public awareness throughout the community. This involved developing educational films, and playing cultural music. It also gave rights to black communities to own their own land (with restrictions) to help promote independence.

2.2.1. In hopes of making Blacks "less invisible" reformation attempted to validate their culture by giving them rights. However, they still struggled culturally in hopes of overcoming oppression.

2.2.2. On an individual level, some communities took the reform personally, and farming conflicts would rise between white and black workers.

2.2.3. There were many hierarchal dilemmas that created an unbalanced society. Mobilized races had more access to opportunities, where as blacks were told to "resist their blackness". This created a dynamic where black culture was difficult to embrace.

2.3. The Political economy as a cultural struggle, refers to the identities that are ascribed to different racial groups, which thus define their mobility in society.

2.3.1. After much protest, the state opened up more spaces for ethnic minorities, this raised the question: who is black? The answer to this becomes especially difficult when one considers blackness to be defined outside of geographical identification.

2.3.2. It is politically essential that blacks and non blacks understand why race relations exists as they do. History defines why different races have diverse political advantages

2.4. Blackness in Columbia and Brazil represented a marginalized group of individuals who were led to believe they had no part in developing future civilization. Though they were envisioned different by each state, blackness represented people who were defined "black" by either society or geography.

2.4.1. These beliefs stemmed from Darwin's theories of evolution and natural selection, which were later embraced by some Latin American countries. This led to being ignored by white, superior elites as one's "blackness" determined their national central identity.

3. Indigenous Communities

3.1. The Guarani indigenous community live throughout South America with their families in a close community. They are constantly threatened by Ranch Farmers and Industrializers who are entering onto their land. The Ranchers are violent with the Guarani, and often will beat male leaders,women and children to demonstrate their power. Children are left hungry as the community continues to search for "The Land with no Evil" Though these events are occurring today, they draw striking parallels to hundreds of years ago when White men came to South America to industrialize and oppressed a race on their own land.

3.2. The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) began it's first movement after the Mexican government failed to represent the indigenous Mayan communities in 1994. EZLN then continued to advocate for indigenous people when the government favored capitalist gains over the peasant communities. The group takes it's name from the leader of the Mexican Revolution, Emiliano Zapata.

3.2.1. Though EZLN's initial goal was to revolutionize all of Mexico, there were many counter attacks that led to destruction. Now, EZLN practices civil resistance, and advocating equal rights for marginalized individuals.

3.2.2. EZLN gives a voice to those silenced by capitalism on native sacred land. They consistently fight for: democratic elections, autonomy of indigenous people, women's rights, and other social reforms that give indigenous people a power.

4. Asian Immigration to Latin America

4.1. The first Asian colony appeared in the America during the sixteenth century. It was a product of a labor trade system that linked Japan and China to Europe through Peru. This helped stimulate the economy, by creating small communities of different cultures.

4.2. Asian Immigrants began to migrate to Latin America during the mid nineteenth century. The move was inspired by the need of inexpensive labor for a growing economy.

4.2.1. Chinese "Coolies" became another term for labor workers who helped build railroads and harvest plantations. Though their was a distinction between Coolies and Slaves, Coolies shared similar treatment and working conditions as slaves. Throughout history, the "coolies" made up a significant portion of the slave population in Sugar plantations throughout Peru.

4.2.2. "Coolies" grew older, and their work skills decreased with age. Without a younger generation to follow them, they were replaced by Peruvian slaves or independent small farmers.

4.3. After the Chinese Exclusion Act in the United States, many Asian immigrants voluntarily moved to Mexico. They entered positions as commercial sales people, as the labor jobs were already taken by local Mexicans. Within a few decade, the Chinese controlled the grocery market, and sold abundant amounts of clothing, shoes, and artisan goods. These immigrants were mostly male, and the population fluctuated throughout the years. In Sonora, many businessmen flourished economically and controlled large sums of money within businesses.

4.3.1. Define actions as necessary

4.4. In the 1990's, Korean store owners opened up shop in some of Mexico City's oldest Barrios. They immigrated when their counterparts moved to cities like Los Angeles, or New York. However, Mexico City was not as affluent of city, and had much stricter immigration laws. Now, many Korean business people have shops that stimulate the economy, and employ local Mexicans to make clothing from Korean fabrics. Local Tepintenos see Koreans as "just another force" from the outside trying to rid the community of it's Barrio culture. However, this social event is an illustration of how a race (such as Koreans) can utilize another race (Mexicans) for economic gain in their own industry.

5. African Presence in Mexico

5.1. An Interracial and multicultural nation was built between 1519 and 1810 when thousands of black slaves were brought to Mexico. These individuals would later be known as "Afro Mexican". They helped create Mexican culture, and established rich historic roots in the land. However, after Mexico's independence from Spain, Afro Mexicans were pushed out of the community and often live in poverty . Now, many Afro Mexicans are standing up for their rights, and recognition as a separate ethnic culture. They are advocating for a higher quality of life with better education for their children etc.

5.2. Oppression of Afro Mexicans in Mexico is an example of a reoccurring theme seen throughout history. They were brought here against their own will, as slaves in shackles and handcuffs. Now, decades later, they have little options to further themselves as individuals, and are constantly bound by a lacking social system.