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Memorias: Revista Digital de Historia y Arqueología desde el Caribe

On-line version ISSN 1794-8886


REITER, Bernd. Multiculturalism and Racialization in Latin America and the Caribbean . memorias [online]. 2013, n.19, pp.30-43. ISSN 1794-8886.

This article, which is based on a keynote address, delivered for the 2nd International Congress of Caribbean Studies, held at the Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia, in August of 2012, argues that Caribbean nations are in dire need to analyze and deconstruct the foundational myths upon which their national unities were constructed after achieving independence. This process is under way in such countries as Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia, but has not been carried out for most Caribbean nations, maybe with the exception of Cuba. Where such efforts have not been pursued vigorously, myths of racial harmony tend to prevail. These myths, while having served the initial purpose of undermining factionalism and potential secession, are now standing in the way of recognizing cultural diversity so that it can be addressed with meaningful public policies. Before a thorough dismantling of such foundational myths of racial harmony is achieved, multiculturalism, i.e. the equal recognition of different cultures living in one country, remains elusive.

Keywords : Racism; multiculturalism; Caribbean; racial harmony; nationalism.

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