By Michelle A. Gonzalez
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Additional resources for Afro-Cuban Theology: Religion, Race, Culture, and Identity
We must be especially Are We All Mestizos? / 33 careful not to deny the identity and humanity of some of our Latino/a brothers and sisters. Challenging the normativeness of Mexican-American experience within Latino/a theology can lead to an examination of the African elements in Latino/a culture. Hopefully, such examination will, in turn, open pathways of dialogue and collaboration between black and Latino/a theologians. Within black theology, the Afro-Latin is glaringly absent. Collaboration is vital to the exploration of this topic, and such exploration may very well force the transformation of understandings of black and Latino/a identities presently functioning within these theologies.
Latino/as’ involuntary complicity in a violent past serves as a reminder of their ambiguous identity and the impossibility of categorizing them within a dualistic framework of oppressor and oppressed. The blood of both flows through their veins. The subsuming of mulatez into the category of mestizaje is not present in the work of all Latino/a theologians. Ada María Isasi-Díaz and Fernando F. Segovia, both Cuban-Americans, attempt to maintain the distinctiveness of each category while demonstrating their shared value.
Womanist theology emerged in the mid-1980s as a black feminist theological movement that both draws from and critiques black and North American white feminist theologies. Womanists highlight the shortcomings of early black theologians regarding the category of gender in their work and also critique feminists for the racism prevalent throughout white feminist scholarship and social justice movements. Womanist theologians use a multidimensional analysis of race, class, and gender as their hermeneutical lens for the theological task.