Negritude and Post-Africanism
Curatorship: Carlos A. Gadea
The photographs of the “Negritude and Post-Africanism” exhibition were taken at the Big Night in Little Haiti, in Miami, and are the product of a research conducted during a postdoctoral traineeship at the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Miami. The research is part of a modernized debate on ethnic-racial identities, a critique to the association (widely legitimized in discussions about racial relations) between the notions of Negritude and Africanity. Using examples from surveys conducted in the city of Miami (“Haitian diaspora”, “Dominican migrants” and “Afro-Americans”) as well as in Brazil, the basic line of reasoning materializes the need to consider that ethnic-racial identifications and black identity can no longer be seen from political and pedagogical points-of-view that restrict Negritude to the discourse of Africanity. We see this proposition – based on theoretical discussions and empirical examples – as being inserted within an up-to-date discussion about race relations in Brazil, and we endeavor to contribute to new analytical developments on the subject. The task to “deconstruct” the association between Negritude and Africanity, redefining the ongoing phenomenon of “post-Africanism”, leads us to what may be viewed as an “analytical framework” for the assessment of other identity phenomena. We believe it possible that this research will disturb actors from social organizations that address issues such as racism, black identity and social rights, as well as an academic community that appears to not have deeply questioned the nexus between discourses on Negritude and Africanity. And we ask: how does the community, neighborhood, “social circles” and “groups of belonging” manifest among the black population today? Is the “black” signifier an element for social agglutination in the Negritude space? Does the Africanity discourse currently have some valued receptiveness? The research brings forward interconnected issues: the “racialization of society”, the community, the politicization of racial identities, the contemporary processes of individualization and social differentiation, the social interaction in various spaces, and the conflict situations lived by young black people.
On the third Friday of each month, the “Haitian community” in Miami gathers for cultural exchanges at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, in the heart of the large district known as Little Haiti. Music, art, gastronomy and dancing happen simultaneously and, for 4 hours, capture the attention of a public made up majorly of Haitian migrants. It is an opportunity for the “national culture” to be recreated at the rhythm of typical Haitian ballads sang with Creole accents, in typical foods and art exhibitions of clear educational interest for the children and youngsters of new generations. In the warm nights of Miami we feel that Haiti is alive in the imaginary world of many of the “dark skinned” people that roam the city.
(Fragment from the book “Negritude e Pós-africanidade. Crítica das relações raciais contemporâneas” [“Negritude and post-Africanism. A critique of contemporary racial relations”], Sulina, 2013).