Afro-Latinos and the Black-Hispanic Identity: Evaluating the Potential for Group Conflict and Cohesion

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National Political Science Review





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With ethnic and racial minorities projected to comprise a majority of the U.S. population by 2042, current trends in political science scholarship have begun to assess the ways in which intra-group diversity can create opportunities for cooperation, but also contribute to conflict within the context of domestic politics and policy preferences. Research on the diversity of the Latino population in the United States has been predominate. Thus, it is widely regarded that the Latin American identity is not monolithic, and as a consequence, neither is Latino political behavior, as evidenced by the divergent political trajectories of Mexican Americans and Cuban Americans in U.S. politics (Desipio 1996; Claassen 2004; Newton 2000; de la Garza and Yetim 2003). Yet, despite the existing research, which highlights the diversity of the Latino ethnic identity, contemporary societal norms have led to the erroneous conflation of race and ethnicity, resulting in the explicit racialization of the Hispanic-Latino ethnic identity. As a result, Afro-Latinos are either forced to choose between their two member groups or identify themselves according to ambiguous alternatives, which, has resulted in Afro-Latino invisibility, and the subsequent underreporting of this group in national statistics.1 It is this orientation that provides the framework for this study, which indicates that in comparison to other Latin origin groups, Afro-Latinos face unique challenges with respect to the formation of their personal and social identity given the demarcations of race and ethnicity in the United States. The findings of this research explore the political implications of this dynamic.


Afro-Latino; Black-Hispanic; Identity; Politics; Group Conflict


African American Studies | American Politics | Latina/o Studies

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