ABSTRACT

This article offers the first step in an ongoing project of revisiting the foundations of latinidad and lo latinoamericano by focusing on the exclusions enacted by the history of these concepts and the cultural and political identity that comes with them. In conversation with Susana Nuccetelli and Omar Rivera, the author focuses on two emblematic authors in the history of Latin American philosophy (Simón Bolívar and José de Vasconcelos) that are usually read as offering a novel, liberatory conception of the Latin American reality/identity, categorically different from European and Anglo-American conceptions. This common reading of some of the foundational texts on Latin American identity, however, conceals not only the active, textual removal of Blackness in the construction of this identity, but also the literal subtraction of Black bodies, lives, and histories from the Latin American nations and communities. Both of these elements are an explicit part of the philosophical programs of Bolívar and Vasconcelos. The article shows how the thought and political practice of these two authors, celebrated in different ways as foundational of what we understand as Latin America today, exemplify the exclusionary historical demarcation of latinidad.

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