Discussion Questions on the Film Black in Latin America
Institution: Grossmont College
Location: El Cajon, CA
Participant: Carlos Contreras
- “Brazil’s Links for African Americans”
- “The Survival of African Religions in the Americas” by Frey & Wood, pp. 122-133 in Benjamin’s The Atlantic World in the Age of Empire
Take copious notes on these two very important films. Then, give thoughtful responses to the following questions for each film (Final exam questions are taken from here). For each question, bring in analysis from our readings, especially from Benjamin’s The Atlantic World.
From the film “Black in Latin America: Brazil, a Racial Paradise?”:
- Tell me about the numbers of Africans that were brought to Brazil and tell me how that contributes to Brazil’s racial/ethnic complexity:
- Tell me about the historical significance of Capoeira
- Tell me about the historical significance of Candomblé
- Tell me about Brazil’s complicated attitudes towards Blackness
- Tell me about the historical significance of Xica da Silva
- Tell me about the historical significance of Branqueamento
- Now relate this film to the article “Brazil’s Links for African Americans” (handout)
From the film “Black in Latin America: Haiti and the Dominican Republic” (begins with the Dominican Republic)
- Tell me about the significance of merengue
- Discuss the black brotherhoods of Villa Mella
- Discuss the Dominican Republic’s struggle for Independence (1844) and “Blackness”
- Discuss the US occupation of the Dominican Republic in the early 20th century, sugar plantations and their significance for Dominican ideas of “Blackness”
- Tell me about African slavery to the Dominican Republic and how that shaped attitudes towards Blackness there
- Rafael Trujillo: what is his significance when it comes to Blackness in the Dominican Republic?
- Tell me about the number of Africans brought to Haiti and the development of the economy there. Now tell me how that was different in the Dominican Republic.
- Discuss the fusion of African cultures in Haiti and the emergence of Creole culture
- Given the magnitude of the number of Africans brought to Haiti- how does this influence Haiti’s Black culture and Haiti’s national identity? How is that different from the Dominican Republic?
- Tell me about the historical significance of vodoun (also spelled vodun)
- Tell me about the Haitian Revolution and the significance of vodoun
- Now relate this film to the article: “The Survival of African Religions in the Americas” by Frey & Wood, pp. 122–33 in your Atlantic World reader. Be expansive. Show complexity.