In African Mexicans and the Discourse on Modern Nation, author Marco Polo Hernandez Cuevas explores how the Africaness of Mexican mestizaje was erased from the national memory and identity and how national African ethnic contributions were plagiarized by the criollo elite in modern Mexico. The book cites the concept of a Caucasian standard of beauty prevalent in narrative, film, and popular culture in the period between 1920 and 1968, which the author dubs as the "cultural phase of the Mexican Revolution." The author also delves into how criollo elite disenfranchised non-white Mexicans as a whole by institutionalizing a Eurocentric myth whereby Mexicans learned to negate part of their ethnic makeup. During this time period, wherever African Mexicans, visibly black or not, are mentioned, they appear as "mestizo," many of them oblivious of their African heritage, and others part of a willing movement toward becoming "white." This analysis adopts as a critical foundation Richard Jackson's ideas about black phobia and the white aesthetic, as well as James Snead's coding of blacks.
Marco Polo Hernandez Cuevas is Assistant Professor of Spanish at Emporia State University, Kansas. He holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Chapter 1 Foreword Chapter 2 Preface Chapter 3 Acknowledgments Chapter 4 Introduction Chapter 5 The Revolution and Invisibility: African Mexicans and the Ideology of Mestizaje in La raza cosmica Chapter 6 The Erased Africaness of Mexican Icons Chapter 7 La vida inutil de Pito Perez: Tracking the African Contribution to the Mexican Picaresque Sense of Humor Chapter 8 Angelitos negros, a Film from the "Golden Age" of Mexican Cinema: Coding Visibly Black Mestizos By and Through a Far-Reaching Medium Chapter 9 Modern National Discourse and La muerte de Artemio Cruz: The Illusory "Death" of African Mexican Lineage Chapter 10 Conclusion Chapter 11 Bibliography Chapter 12 Index