Globalization and Race

Transformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness

Globalization and Race

Book Pages: 424 Illustrations: 1 illustration Published: July 2006

African American Studies and Black Diaspora, Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Globalization and Neoliberalism

Kamari Maxine Clarke and Deborah A. Thomas argue that a firm grasp of globalization requires an understanding of how race has constituted, and been constituted by, global transformations. Focusing attention on race as an analytic category, this state-of-the-art collection of essays explores the changing meanings of blackness in the context of globalization. It illuminates the connections between contemporary global processes of racialization and transnational circulations set in motion by imperialism and slavery; between popular culture and global conceptions of blackness; and between the work of anthropologists, policymakers, religious revivalists, and activists and the solidification and globalization of racial categories.

A number of the essays bring to light the formative but not unproblematic influence of African American identity on other populations within the black diaspora. Among these are an examination of the impact of “black America” on racial identity and politics in mid-twentieth-century Liverpool and an inquiry into the distinctive experiences of blacks in Canada. Contributors investigate concepts of race and space in early-twenty-first century Harlem, the experiences of trafficked Nigerian sex workers in Italy, and the persistence of race in the purportedly non-racial language of the “New South Africa.” They highlight how blackness is consumed and expressed in Cuban timba music, in West Indian adolescent girls’ fascination with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and in the incorporation of American rap music into black London culture. Connecting race to ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nationality, and religion, these essays reveal how new class economies, ideologies of belonging, and constructions of social difference are emerging from ongoing global transformations.

Contributors. Robert L. Adams, Lee D. Baker, Jacqueline Nassy Brown, Tina M. Campt, Kamari Maxine Clarke, Raymond Codrington, Grant Farred, Kesha Fikes, Isar Godreau, Ariana Hernandez-Reguant, Jayne O. Ifekwunigwe, John L. Jackson Jr., Oneka LaBennett, Naomi Pabst, Lena Sawyer, Deborah A. Thomas


“An interesting and useful book that will undoubtedly appear on many reading lists, this volume is welcome for its explicit aim of paying close attention to global processes in the construction of race.” — Peter Wade, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“This volume is a must read for researchers, policymakers, and students interested in understanding how, as our authors remind us, contemporary transformations command us to think about racial formation, not as an end in itself, but as a process—one that articulates with other processes on a global scale.” — Yolanda T. Moses, Journal of African American History

“Through this book, I have come to realize the changing meanings and politics of blackness, and how the contemporary processes of globalization are both changing and being shaped by these changes. As a reader you are bound to realize the same.” — Olasunkanmi Sholarin, Leeds African Studies Bulletin

Globalization and Race will be an invaluable resource for courses on diaspora, anthropology, and cultural studies. The keen attention to subjectivities created through discourses and practices that figure race, gender, class, national, and continental differences in global contexts makes this volume distinctive.” — Paulla A. Ebron, author of Performing Africa

“Contrary to the glib forecasts of many academic and journalistic pundits, race is not going away; rather it is energetically reorganizing itself and working through new global divisions. Globalization and Race examines this new context by inquiring into the various ways that emerging global processes are fundamentally reshaping the way people of African descent experience and theorize racial identity.” — David Scott, author of Conscripts of Modernity: The Tragedy of Colonial Enlightenment

“Globalization and Race is an invaluable resource for anyone in the humanities or the social sciences who wants to understand how the contemporary politics of race is being re-conceptualized. The essays cover a wide range of topics and provide new theoretical vocabularies not only for understanding the globalizing forces of capital, labor, and technologies, but for the new hierarchies of racial ordering which emerge in their wake. This will quickly become the standard work in the field.” — Hazel V. Carby, author of Cultures in Babylon: Black Britain and African America


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Kamari Maxine Clarke is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Yale University. She is the author of Mapping Yorùbá Networks: Power and Agency in the Making of Transnational Communities, also published by Duke University Press.

Deborah A. Thomas is Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. She is the author of Modern Blackness: Nationalism, Globalization, and the Politics of Culture in Jamaica, also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: Globalization and the Transformations of Race / Deborah A. Thomas and Kamari Maxine Clarke 1

Part I. Diasporic Movements, Missions and Modernities

Missionary Positions / Lee D. Baker 37

History at the Crossroads: Vodu and the Modernization of the Dominican Borderlands / Robert L. Adams 55

Diaspora and Desire: Gendering “Black America” in Black Liverpool / Jacqueline Nassy Brown 73

Diaspora Space, Ethnographic Space: Writing History Between the Lines / Tina M. Campt 93

“Mama, I’m Walking to Canada”: Black Geopolitics and Invisible Empires / Naomi Pabst 112

Part II. Geograpies of Racial Belonging

Mapping Transnationality: Roots Tourism and the Institutionalization of Ethnic Heritage / Kamari Maxine Clarke 133

Emigration and the Spatial Production of Difference from Cape Verde / Kesha Fikes 154

Folkloric “Others”: Blanqueamiento and the Celebration of Blackness as an Exception in Puerto Rico / Isar P. Godreau 171

Gentrification, Globalization, and Georaciality / John L. Jackson Jr. 188

Recasting “Black Venus” in the “New” African Dispora / Jayne O. Ifekwunigwe 206

“Shooting the White Girl First”: Race in Post-aparteid South Africa / Grant Farred 226

Part III. Popular Blacknesses, “Authenticity,” and New Measures of Legitimacy

Havana’s Timba: A Macho Sound for Black Sex / Ariana Hernandez-Reguant 249

Reading Buffy and “Looking Proper”: Race, Gender, and Consumption among West Indian Girls in Brooklyn / Oneka Labennett 279

The Homegrown: Rap, Race, and Class in London / Raymond Codrington 299

Racialization, Gender, and the Negotiation of Power in Stockholm’s African Dance Courses / Lena Sawyer 316

Modern Blackness: Progress, “America,” and the Politics of Popular Culture in Jamaica / Deborah A. Thomas 335

Bibliography 355

Contributors 391

Index 395
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-3772-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-3759-1
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