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Reconstructing Racial Identity and the African Past in the Dominican Republic$
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Kimberly Eison Simmons

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813036755

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813036755.001.0001

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Burying the African Past

(p.1) Introduction
Reconstructing Racial Identity and the African Past in the Dominican Republic

Kimberly Eison Simmons

University Press of Florida

This introductory chapter discusses how the African past has been buried in terms of historical memory in the Dominican Republic. Here, burying the African past is viewed as a socialization process, and to make this point, popular expressions about Africanness and blackness, representations of Africa in one of the cultural centers/museums in Santiago, and personal accounts are brought to bear. A distinction is made between black denial and blackness denied, and an argument is made that Dominicans have been denied their blackness by the state. In addition, the chapter includes an arrival story, and discusses similarities between Dominicans and African Americans in terms of history, experience, and identity within the context of the African Diaspora.

Keywords:   African American, African diaspora, African past, Afro-Dominican, arrival story, black denial, blackness denied, socialization

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