October 23, 2011


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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Anthropologist Sagrario Cruz-Carretero will give the talk, "African Heritage in Mexico: Evidences of Distortion and Invisibility," Monday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Social Science Colloquium series, "Shades of Black and Brown: Afro-Latino/a Interactions."

"The African presence in Mexico has been omitted and distorted in the historical records," said Cruz-Carretero.

"Using different historical sources like paintings, sculpture, literature, films and finally the contemporary Afro-Mexican testimonies, this lecture analyzes why in Mexico the Indigenous and Spanish roots have been highlighted while the African heritage is almost absent up to recent times when scholars, state cultural projects and grass roots movements started the revindication of our third root," she said.

An anthropology professor at the University of Veracruz, Mexico, Cruz-Carretero also is a researcher of the Institute of Anthropology. A lecturer in Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the United States, she has done research on the African population in Mexico under the supervision of Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán, the pioneer of Afro-Mexican studies.

In 1990 and 2008, she received the national award Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán for her historical and ethnographic studies on African descendants in Mexico. In 2006-07 she received a Fulbright scholarship to teach about the African presence in Mexico at the University of New Mexico.

She was the co-curator of the exhibition, "The African Presence in Mexico: from Yanga to the Present" exhibited from 2006 to 2011 in different museums in Mexico and the United States.

In addition to her talk, Cruz-Carretero will participate in a faculty/staff lunch colloquium on Nov. 8 which will examine images of Afro-Mexicans in the Mexican media.

International Year of People of African Descent
The series, which is held in recognition of the United Nation's declaration of 2011 as the International Year of People of African Descent, will examine the histories and contemporary experiences, identities and cultural products of Afro-Latino/as in Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States.

The colloquium also will explore the shared histories and collaborations between African Americans and Latin American and Latino communities in their struggles against racial oppression. The colloquium is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender, and the President's Office.

Other speakers in the series are: Monika Goskin who will discuss the use of Hip Hop as a tool for self-representation and resistance among Latino/as in the United States on Feb. 23; Eduardo Bonilla-Silva who will discus the Latin Americanization of race relations in the United States on March 22; and Patricia de Santana Pinho who will discuss blackness, whiteness and resistance to racism in Brazil on April 5.


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