Originally delivered as the Nathan I. Huggins Lectures at Harvard, this slim but provocative volume by George Reid Andrews provides both an engaging introduction to those less familiar with the history of Afro–Latin Americans and a dare to experts to contest existing paradigms. Chapters focus on aspects of the African and mixed-race experiences in the colony, on the politics of erasing and locating those of African descent in censuses, on historical variations in the mobilities of four Afro–Latin Americans, and on comparisons between processes that governed quests for equality in the Afro–Latin American and Afro-American worlds.

The leitmotifs linking these themes are the issues of visibility and invisibility. Particular attention attaches to the extent that postindependence establishments “edited” Afro–Latin Americans out “of official and semiofficial narratives of national history” (p. 4). Accounts trumpeting the existence of a racial democracy forwarded the false...

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