This article considers the formation and representation of Washington, D.C.'s Dominican community in the Anacostia Museum's 1994 -1995 exhibit, Black Mosaic: Community, Race and Ethnicity Among Black Immigrants in D.C. The exhibit successfully pointed to the extensive historical presence of African Diaspora peoples in Latin America and explored the development of subsequent Diaspora from those communities into Washington, D.C. The case of Dominican immigrants to D.C., however, illustrates the continued privileging of a U.S.- or Anglo-centric ideation of African-American history and identity. I argue that a more accurate and politically useful formulation would call for an understanding that the African Diaspora first arrived in what would become Santo Domingo and was constitutive of Latin America several centuries before the arrival of Anglo colonizers and the formation of what would become the United States; that slavery was a polyfacetic institution that articulated with particular colonial and imperial systems and local economies in the Americas in ways that subsequently influenced racial orders and identities in multiple ways, both at home and in Diaspora; and that Dominicans' negotiations of the competing demands of blackness and Latinidad make these points especially salient.
Chicano, Ethnic, Hispanic, Latino, Mexican American
© National Council for Public History.
Candelario, Ginetta DR, ""Black behind the ears" — And Up Front Too? Dominicans in The Black Mosaic" (2001). Sociology: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.