“Afro-descendant Territorialities in Latin America”

Assertions, Processes, and Dilemmas

Authored by: Alexander Huezo , Ulrich Oslender

Routledge Handbook of Afro-Latin American Studies

Print publication date:  November  2022
Online publication date:  November  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367691431
eBook ISBN: 9781003159247
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter reviews the literature on articulations of Afro-descendant identities and territorialities in the Americas. It begins with a brief overview on why “territoriality” is a more appropriate term than “territory” when discussing Afro-descendant land titles, claims, and aspirations. The second section of the chapter addresses assertions of Afro-descendant identities rooted in ancestral ties to (mostly) rural geographic spaces, ontologies of difference, and notions of environmental stewardship. The third section of the chapter examines the processes that facilitate the establishment of land titles. This section also highlights the registers of territorial legibility that emerge from such processes. What groups, institutions, and/or organizations recognize these land titles? What geographic scales are relevant to these forms of legibility? The chapter concludes with a section on some of the dilemmas that have materialized in the articulation of Afro-descendant territorialities. What external forces and internal pressures threaten the viability of Afro-descendant territorialities? What rights do Afro-descendant peoples have once they migrate or are displaced from collectively titled lands? How do Afro-descendant social movements resist displacement and articulate new forms of territoriality in urban contexts?

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