This collection of essays offers a comprehensive overview of colonial legacies of racial and social inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean. Rich in theoretical framework and close textual analysis, these essays offer new paradigms and approaches to both reading and resolving the opposing forces of race, class, and the power of states.The contributors are drawn from a variety of fields, including literary criticism, anthropology, politics, and sociology. The contributors to this book abandon the traditional approaches that study racialized oppression in Latin America only from the standpoint of its impact on either Indians or people of African descent. Instead they examine colonialism's domination and legacy in terms of both the political power it wielded and the symbolic instruments of that oppression.The volume's scope extends from the Southern Cone to the Andean region, Mexico, and the Hispanophone and Francophone Caribbean. It contests many of the traditional givens about Latin America, including governance and the nation state, the effects of globalization, the legacy of the region's criollo philosophers and men of letters, and postulations of harmonious race relations. As dictatorships give way to democracies in a variety of unprecedented ways, this book offers a necessary and needed examination of the social transformations in the region.