Black and Green


Black and Green: Afro-Colombians, Development, and Nature in the Pacific Lowlands
Kiran Asher
2009, Duke University Press
247 pages

THIS BOOK makes an important contribution to the growing study of Afro-Latin America, taking as its focus the black population of Colombia and, in particular, its Pacific lowlands. As well as exploring the evolution of black consciousness in the country, and the parameters of the organizations that have emerged to channel this, it examines the interaction between cultural mobilization amid neoliberal development, thereby reconceptualizing the relationship between social movements and neoliberalism. Asher offers a nuanced understanding of this relationship on the basis of her study of the black social movements that emerged in Colombia’s Pacific lowlands in the 1990s after the passage of laws promising ethnic and cultural rights and collective land ownership to Afro-Colombian communities. She argues that development processes and social movements inform and shape each other, and that this is not a simple top-down process in which there are victors and vanquished. – GO’T

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