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This chapter critically examines the strategies and achievements of Afro-Colombian social movements from the late 1980s to 2000. Informed by Gramsci’s insights about the relationship between the state and civil society and postcolonial feminist scholarship, the chapter’s analysis steers clear of binary explanations of power and resistance. It finds that the outcomes of black organizing are contradictory and contingent on different factors. Afro-Colombians have gained remarkable national and global visibility partly because of Colombia’s official multiculturalism, and of Law 70 of 1993, which grants ethnic, territorial, and socioeconomic rights to black communities. But even as several tenets of Law 70 are implemented, black communities have been caught in the crossfire of the accelerated armed conflict in the region and are specific targets of violence, death, and displacement. Afro-Colombian struggles continue in the face of renewed forms of social exclusion and exacerbation in existing inequalities.

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