By Patricia D. Fox
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Extra resources for Being and Blackness in Latin America: Uprootedness and Improvisation
She always turned up wherever the earth was being plowed, planted and toiled, she helped those that labored and she helped the women wash dishes and clothes. ] Thus for peoples of African descent, landless and adrift in a politically reconfigured world, this juridical “liberation” did little more than reenergize the dynamics of uprootedness. This sentiment provides the central motif in Adalberto Ortiz’s Juyungo (1943). A picaresque novel with a healthy dose of romanticism, the comingof-age saga follows Lastre Ascensión who flees from a dysfunctional family to roam from one precarious, poverty-stricken situation to another until finally senselessly succumbing in the long-lived border dispute between Peru and Ecuador.
Padilla Pérez cites Enciclopedia Universal Sopena, which tellingly defines the cabildos in the following terms: “En Cuba, corporación de personas ineptas, reunión tumultuosa o desordenada” (137) [In Cuba, corporation of inept persons, a tumultuous and chaotic meeting]. In Brazil, Black religious Territoriality: Becoming Places / 37 fraternities sanctioned by the Catholic Church and Candomblé terreiros, who enjoyed no such blessing, offer examples of the inefficacy of state authority. 8 Analyzed in the context of a response to uprootedness, the tenacity and belligerence of these spaces becomes more readily understood.
Clearly, the reconfiguration of human territory plays a significant role in the construction of identity. Sheltered by neither status, wealth, nor privilege, peoples of African descent in the Americas found themselves in truly “the most precarious of all conditions”: O território nacional brasileiro pertence ao conquistador branco, já que os proprietários naturais, os índios (sem cultura, sem governo, sem religião) foram dizimados. Os negros não têm direitos sobre este território, desde quando não são nativos nem conquistadores.