Race, Politics, and Afro-Latin Americans

Authored by: Ollie A. Johnson II

Routledge Handbook of Latin American Politics

Print publication date:  March  2012
Online publication date:  March  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415875226
eBook ISBN: 9780203860267
Adobe ISBN: 9781135280307


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This chapter explores race and politics in Latin America. Research has confirmed pervasive racial stratification throughout the region. Latin Americans of lighter skin complexions and more European features tend to be in better economic and political positions than Latin Americans of primarily indigenous and African ancestry. Widespread racial discrimination has sparked political organizing and activism which have resulted in legislation to combat racism and create more opportunities for social mobility among Latin America’s most vulnerable citizens. While indigenous social movements and political activism have received abundant attention (see chapter 19, this volume), African-descendant activism has been neglected by political scientists as well as news media. This chapter will highlight some of the most important activist, policy, and legislative initiatives relative to Afro-Latin Americans. 1

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