By Michelle A. Gonzalez
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Additional resources for Afro-Cuban Theology: Religion, Race, Culture, and Identity
While Isasi-Díaz wants to maintain the distinctiveness of each category as historical and contemporary markers of identity, she transforms the nature of both terms to incorporate the contemporary Latino/a condition. 37 Mestizaje/mulatez function together to designate the mixed reality of Latino/a peoples. The term can also be transformed to describe Latino/a hybridity in Are We All Mestizos? / 27 general. ”38 This new conceptualization of mestizaje/ mulatez, Isasi-Díaz argues, opens avenues for discussions with other marginalized groups and grounds an understanding of difference which is not exclusive or oppositional.
50 Goizueta’s Caminemos con Jesús centers on the predominantly Mexican-American community of San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, Texas, emphasizing mestizaje and Guadalupe. The privileging of Mexican-American experience is also found in the manner in which sources are taken from particular Latino/a groups and applied to the broader Latino/a community. Within Latina feminist theology, the particularity of a writer’s national context and its indigenous sources are, in some authors, imposed on the broader discourse of Latina theology.
He notes, however, that while within Latino/a theology mestizaje has come to signify hybridity, it actually refers to an Iberian/indigenous mixture. In the spirit of Segovia and Isasi-Díaz, Valentín prefers to use mestizaje/mulatez side by side. 47 On one hand, a homogenous depiction of Latino/a communities ignores the racism, colorism, classism, sexism, and homophobia extant among us. On the other, a heavy emphasis on the particularity of Latino/a identity impedes the efforts of coalitions to flourish with other marginalized groups.