Race/class/language: "El negro" speaks Cuban whiteness in the teatro bufo

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This essay focuses on the intersections between race, class, and language - hierarchical conceptions of "proper," yet "authentic," Cuban speech - in representations of pseudo-intellectual Afro-Cubans in 19 th-Century Cuban blackface theatre. The analysis of three key figures that emerge in the theatrical genres of the day (the negro bozal and two different versions of the negro catedrático) indicates that each one is part of the simultaneous appropriation and rejection of the Afro-Cuban, as well as the intertwined presence of the Cuban intellectual and the linguistic and cultural authority for which he (she) stands. Thus, whites carry out self-definition through the representation of blacks speaking different conceptions of "improper" language. The desired white, yet creole, Cuban identity is always intertwined with the Afro-Cuban, as well as with definitions of what constitutes "true" or "proper" Cuban language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-69+3
JournalLatin American Theatre Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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