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The Company They Kept

Author: Lara Putnam
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807862230
Size: 79.41 MB
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In the late nineteenth century, migrants from Jamaica, Colombia, Barbados, and beyond poured into Caribbean Central America, building railroads, digging canals, selling meals, and farming homesteads. On the rain-forested shores of Costa Rica, U.S. entrepreneurs and others established vast banana plantations. Over the next half-century, short-lived export booms drew tens of thousands of migrants to the region. In Port Limon, birthplace of the United Fruit Company, a single building might house a Russian seamstress, a Martinican madam, a Cuban doctor, and a Chinese barkeep--together with stevedores, laundresses, and laborers from across the Caribbean. Tracing the changing contours of gender, kinship, and community in Costa Rica's plantation region, Lara Putnam explores new questions about the work of caring for children and men and how it fit into the export economy, the role of kinship as well as cash in structuring labor, the social networks that shaped migrants' lives, and the impact of ideas about race and sex on the exercise of power. Based on sources that range from handwritten autobiographies to judicial transcripts and addressing topics from intimacy between prostitutes to insults between neighbors, the book illuminates the connections between political economy, popular culture, and everyday life.

Blacks And Blackness In Central America

Author: Lowell Gudmundson
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822393131
Size: 12.73 MB
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Many of the earliest Africans to arrive in the Americas came to Central America with Spanish colonists in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and people of African descent constituted the majority of nonindigenous populations in the region long thereafter. Yet in the development of national identities and historical consciousness, Central American nations have often countenanced widespread practices of social, political, and regional exclusion of blacks. The postcolonial development of mestizo or mixed-race ideologies of national identity have systematically downplayed African ancestry and social and political involvement in favor of Spanish and Indian heritage and contributions. In addition, a powerful sense of place and belonging has led many peoples of African descent in Central America to identify themselves as something other than African American, reinforcing the tendency of local and foreign scholars to see Central America as peripheral to the African diaspora in the Americas. The essays in this collection begin to recover the forgotten and downplayed histories of blacks in Central America, demonstrating the centrality of African Americans to the region’s history from the earliest colonial times to the present. They reveal how modern nationalist attempts to define mixed-race majorities as “Indo-Hispanic,” or as anything but African American, clash with the historical record of the first region of the Americas in which African Americans not only gained the right to vote but repeatedly held high office, including the presidency, following independence from Spain in 1821. Contributors. Rina Cáceres Gómez, Lowell Gudmundson, Ronald Harpelle, Juliet Hooker, Catherine Komisaruk, Russell Lohse, Paul Lokken, Mauricio Meléndez Obando, Karl H. Offen, Lara Putnam, Justin Wolfe

The History Of Costa Rica

Author: Monica A. Rankin
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 0313379440
Size: 12.96 MB
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Concise yet thorough, this engaging book provides an overview of the unique history of an increasingly important Central American nation. * A chronology of important events from the pre-Columbian era to the present * Biographical entries of important personalities * A glossary of important terms * A bibliographic essay of contemporary works on Costa Rica

Female Prostitution In Costa Rica

Author: Anne Hayes
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135525757
Size: 15.18 MB
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This book analyzes the development of female prostitution in the Pacific port of Puntarenas, Costa Rica during the advanced stage of the coffee exporting economy (1880-1930), at the height of the consolidation of the liberal state. Hayes argues that prostitution in the port differed from that of the coffee producing highlands due to differential economic, social, and political development. In the periphery of Puntarenas, the development of prostitution reflected a less stigmatized view of sexual commerce than that of the highlands, where prostitution, although legal, threatened the tenets of liberal nationalism based on racial homogeneity and family values. Women of the highlands were encouraged to reproduce the nation's "more European" stock of workers and to ensure the legal transference of property through legal church marriages - both part of a design to stabilize the coffee exporting project. By contrast, prostitutes and other working women of Puntarenas, many immigrants from the "less European" populations of neighboring regions and most in concubinage, were freer to do what the law prescribed - register as prostitutes in legitimate trade. Such regional disparities reveal weaknesses in traditional explanations of Costa Rican exceptionalism, which have rested on the premise of cultural homogeneity and have reflected the realities of only one region of the country. The book advances an alternative explanation for the development of the nation's more democratic institutions, situating Costa Rican exceptionalism in the nation's free labor system, of which the labor prostitute in Puntarenas provides an example.

Radical Moves

Author: Lara Putnam
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 0807838136
Size: 80.94 MB
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In the generations after emancipation, hundreds of thousands of African-descended working-class men and women left their homes in the British Caribbean to seek opportunity abroad: in the goldfields of Venezuela and the cane fields of Cuba, the canal construction in Panama, and the bustling city streets of Brooklyn. But in the 1920s and 1930s, racist nativism and a brutal cascade of antiblack immigration laws swept the hemisphere. Facing borders and barriers as never before, Afro-Caribbean migrants rethought allegiances of race, class, and empire. In Radical Moves, Lara Putnam takes readers from tin-roof tropical dancehalls to the elegant black-owned ballrooms of Jazz Age Harlem to trace the roots of the black-internationalist and anticolonial movements that would remake the twentieth century. From Trinidad to 136th Street, these were years of great dreams and righteous demands. Praying or "jazzing," writing letters to the editor or letters home, Caribbean men and women tried on new ideas about the collective. The popular culture of black internationalism they created--from Marcus Garvey's UNIA to "regge" dances, Rastafarianism, and Joe Louis's worldwide fandom--still echoes in the present.

Chinese Cubans

Author: Kathleen M. López
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 146960714X
Size: 76.70 MB
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In the mid-nineteenth century, Cuba's infamous "coolie" trade brought well over 100,000 Chinese indentured laborers to its shores. Though subjected to abominable conditions, they were followed during subsequent decades by smaller numbers of merchants, craftsmen, and free migrants searching for better lives far from home. In a comprehensive, vibrant history that draws deeply on Chinese- and Spanish-language sources in both China and Cuba, Kathleen Lopez explores the transition of the Chinese from indentured to free migrants, the formation of transnational communities, and the eventual incorporation of the Chinese into the Cuban citizenry during the first half of the twentieth century. Chinese Cubans shows how Chinese migration, intermarriage, and assimilation are central to Cuban history and national identity during a key period of transition from slave to wage labor and from colony to nation. On a broader level, Lopez draws out implications for issues of race, national identity, and transnational migration, especially along the Pacific rim.

Honor Status And Law In Modern Latin America

Author: Sueann Caulfield
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822386476
Size: 77.59 MB
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This collection brings together recent scholarship that examines how understandings of honor changed in Latin America between political independence in the early nineteenth century and the rise of nationalist challenges to liberalism in the 1930s. These rich historical case studies reveal the uneven processes through which ideas of honor and status came to depend more on achievements such as education and employment and less on the birthright privileges that were the mainstays of honor during the colonial period. Whether considering court battles over lost virginity or police conflicts with prostitutes, vagrants, and the poor over public decorum, the contributors illuminate shifting ideas about public and private spheres, changing conceptions of race, the growing intervention of the state in defining and arbitrating individual reputations, and the enduring role of patriarchy in apportioning both honor and legal rights. Each essay examines honor in the context of specific historical processes, including early republican nation-building in Peru; the transformation in Mexican villages of the cargo system, by which men rose in rank through service to the community; the abolition of slavery in Rio de Janeiro; the growth of local commerce and shifts in women’s status in highland Bolivia; the formation of a multiethnic society on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast; and the development of nationalist cultural responses to U.S. colonialism in Puerto Rico. By connecting liberal projects that aimed to modernize law and society with popular understandings of honor and status, this volume sheds new light on broad changes and continuities in Latin America over the course of the long nineteenth century. Contributors. José Amador de Jesus, Rossana Barragán, Sueann Caulfield, Sidney Chalhoub, Sarah C. Chambers, Eileen J. Findley, Brodwyn Fischer, Olívia Maria Gomes da Cunha, Laura Gotkowitz, Keila Grinberg, Peter Guardino, Cristiana Schettini Pereira, Lara Elizabeth Putnam

Beyond Fragmentation

Author: Juanita De Barros
Publisher: Markus Wiener Pub
ISBN: 9781558763579
Size: 49.55 MB
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This is the first reader that goes beyond the fragmentation between Spanish, British, Dutch, and French Caribbean history to explain slavery, emancipation, colonization and decolonization in the region. The contributors to this pan-Caribbean approach are leading scholars in the field, including Franklin Knight and Luis Martinez-Fernandez.David Trotman, York University, is the author of Crime in Trinidad and other titles. Juanita de Barros, Western Michigan University, is the author of Order and Place in a Colonial Society.

Black Labor Migration In Caribbean Guatemala 1882 1923

Author: Frederick Douglass Opie
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 20.95 MB
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"A significant contribution that enriches historical narratives. This is a wonderful case study that complicates Latin American history, and particularly labor history in that region, by emphasizing the positive role played by black migrants in labor mobilization in Guatemala.--Jean Muteba Rahier, Florida International University In the late nineteenth century, many Central American governments and countries sought to fill low-paying jobs and develop their economies by recruiting black American and West Indian laborers. Frederick Opie offers a revisionist interpretation of these workers, who were often depicted as simple victims with little, if any, enduring legacy. The Guatemalan government sought to build an extensive railroad system in the 1880s, and actively recruited foreign labor. For poor workers of African descent, immigrating to Guatemala was seen as an opportunity to improve their lives and escape from the racism of the Jim Crow U.S. South and the French and British colonial Caribbean. Using primary and secondary sources as well as ethnographic data, Opie details the struggles of these workers who were ultimately inspired to organize by the ideas of Marcus Garvey. Regularly suffering class- and race-based attacks and persecution, black laborers frequently met such attacks with resistance. Their leverage--being able to shut down the railroad--was crucially important to the revolutionary movements in 1897 and 1920.