The contributions of a number of First and Third World scholars to the development of the anthropology of the African diaspora in Latin America and the Caribbean have been elided from the core of the discipline as practiced in North America and Europe. As such, the anthropology of the African diaspora in the Americas can be traced to the paradigmatic debate on the origins of New World black cultures between Euro-American anthropologist Melville J. Herskovits and African American sociologist E. Franklin Frazier. The former argued for the existence of African cultural continuities, the latter for New World culture creations in the context of discrimination and deprivation characteristic of the experiences of peoples of African descent, in light of slavery, colonialism, and postcolonial contexts. As a result, subsequent positions have been defined by oppositions in every subdisciplinary specialization and area of interest. Creolization models try to obviate this bifurcation, and newer dialogical theoretical perspectives build upon such models by attempting to combine revisionist historiography with social/cultural constructionist approaches to identity, especially around the concept of blackness understood in the context of cultural identity politics.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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