Finding Afro-Mexico is a nuanced and well-argued intellectual history about the many ways in which Afro-Mexican history and cultural expressions acquired a more diasporic register over the course of the twentieth century. One of the book's main arguments is that Mexico followed its own path toward the recognition of the Afro-descended population in 2015, a path that was a product of the specificities of Mexican history and that cannot, and indeed should not, be reduced to US racial understandings.

The book is divided in two main parts. The three chapters that comprise the first section put forth a powerful, and well-deserved, criticism of the fixation in literary scholarship and social science research on José Vasconcelos and the so-called erasure of Afro-Mexicans. In this first part Cohen offers a more historically precise contextualization of Vasconcelos's work and character. The book situates him as...

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