Abstract

This essay describes the common concerns about the social reproduction of race found in the works of pioneering Afro-Latin American writers Maria de Fermina Reis, Irma Pedroso, Carolina Maria de Jesus and Daisy Rubiera Castillo. Each was the first African-descended woman in Brazil or Cuba to author a fictional novel or testimonial autobiography. Although separated by time and place, they were united in their projection of a black racial pride that transcended the racist marginalization inflicted upon them and their communities. Each was an unacknowledged theorist of race, who sought to minimize its most oppressive characteristics, while celebrating blackness in their own powerful ways. Recognizing them as organic intellectuals of race and racialized reproduction opens a new character in Latin American intellectual history.

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