At the 2014 LASA congress last month, there was much excitement not only for Howard University history professor Ana Lucia Araujo’s two highly praised books, Public Memory of Slavery and Paths of the Atlantic Slave Trade, but also her series, Slavery: Past and Present, because the inaugural title Black Women as Custodians of History: Unsung Rebel (M)Others in African American and Afro-Cuban Women’s Writing was published just in time for LASA.
Even more exciting was the fact that both the author Paula Sanmartín and one of the writers discussed in the book, Nancy Morejón, were both at LASA. This book is much cause for celebration because until now there has been no book-length study concentrating on black women writers from the United States and the Spanish Caribbean. Books on women authors from the Caribbean and comparative studies of the Black Diaspora tend to focus on Anglophone writers, and scarce critical attention is given to black women authors in the field of Afro-Hispanic studies.
Dr. Sanmartín’s book notes that “the totalizing impulse of race in concepts such as ‘black womanhood’ masks real differences between black women from the United States and Cuba,” and shows how “the work of Afro-Cuban writer and literary critic Nancy Morejón demonstrates that one needs to acknowledge internal discursive fields such as negrismo, transculturación, mestizaje, and cubanismo when studying Afro-Cuban women’s writings.”
This book is an important addition for collections in African studies, Latin American studies, slavery studies, and women’s studies.
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This book is in the Slavery: Past and Present book series by Ana Lucia Araujo (Howard University).
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