Paulette Ramsay, senior lecturer in Afro-Hispanic literature and culture at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, presents in this book an original and well-researched thematic analysis of the oral literature and poetry of Afro-Mexican communities from the states of Oaxaca and Guerrero, in the south of the country. This allows her to analyze—through the lens of contemporary theories of genre, identity, and postcolonialism—the emergence of an Afro-descendant and Caribbean consciousness among Mexican blacks, in a clear break with the nationalist ideology of mestizaje and racial homogeneity that had kept them largely invisible.

Ramsay did fieldwork in Oaxaca and Guerrero and analyzed several compilations of oral literature by Mexican anthropologists. She also acknowledges an intense collaboration with Father Glyn Jemmott Nelson, who wrote the foreword, a Trinidadian Catholic priest active in the region studied by Ramsay for several decades. This book...

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