Latin America: An Institutional and Cultural Survey

Pan-Africanism, Negritude, and the Currency of Blackness- Darién Davis and Judith Williams

Socio-historical Context

Anti-Black Racism is  Everywhere in the Americas by Jomaira Salas

Darién Davis is a professor of history and  Latin American Studies. His areas of research are twentieth-century Brazilian social and cultural history and the African diaspora in Latin America.

Judith Williams is a professor, filmmaker, and theater director.  Her research emphasizes Black theater in Brazil and Latin America.


Pan Africanism

A Political and cultural project motivated by the belief that the people of the African diaspora had endured a similar set of social experiences resulting from the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Pan Africanist aimed to provide a forum for conversation and action among people of African descent across cultures.


In the 1920s Negrismo was born in Puerto Rico and Cuba. The unofficial-movement celebrates black-music, rhythm, folklore, avant-garde literature, and art. Negrismo focuses on the physical body and performance -of women for the most part- but it also brought forth a way to introduce black music, dance, instruments, and food, languages, religions, myths, and beliefs in Caribbean literature.  They promoted the unity of the Antillas by referring to the common African root. Negrismo represented the Afro-Caribbean culture rising -moving from exoticism to social critique- and becoming an integral part of the Caribbean identity.


Davis and Williams (153)


Négritude was an international movement that held the promise of universal emancipation for Black people. The struggles for Black liberation were linked to the universal freedom of workers and colonized people worldwide.  Négritude created a bigger identity than the one previously available through kinship and ethnicity.

Davis and Williams (Pages 148-9)

Recommended Reading


. “I have always striven to create a new language, one capable of communicating the African heritage.” (83)

.On the negro question: “I maintained that the political question could not do away with our condition as  Negroes. We are Negroes, with a great number of historical peculiarities.” (85)

. On négritude: “… if what we want is to establish this [black] identity, then we must have a concrete consciousness of what we are- that is, of the first fact of our lives: that we are black; that we are black and have a history, a history that contains  cultural elements of great value; and that Negroes were not… born yesterday because there have been beautiful and important black civilizations.” (91-2)

Oral/Slide Presentations



Mejia,Marjhory R

Lee,Kristin Brianna


Davis and Williams (Page 164)