“Black Legend: The Many Lives of Raúl Grigera and the Power of Racial Storytelling in Argentina”

Paulina L. Alberto, Ph.D., professor of history, and African and African American Studies, Harvard University, is a historian of Afro-Latin American lives, thought and politics as they unfolded in the aftermath of slavery, particularly in Brazil and Argentina. Her work explores the intersections of ideas of race and nation in Latin America, with a focus on how Afro-Latin Americans have shaped and contested the region's ideologies of racial inclusiveness in their ongoing struggles for recognition and equality. "Black Legend" is the haunting story of an Afro-Argentine, Raúl Grigera ('el negro Raúl'), who in the early 1900s audaciously fashioned himself into an alluring Black icon of Buenos Aires' bohemian nightlife, only to have defamatory storytellers unmake him. In this gripping history, Paulina Alberto exposes the destructive power of racial storytelling and narrates a new history of Black Argentina and Argentine Blackness across two centuries. With the extraordinary Raúl Grigera at its center, "Black Legend" opens new windows into lived experiences of Blackness in a "white" nation, and illuminates how Raúl's experience of celebrity was not far removed from more ordinary experiences of racial stories in the flesh.

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To Register: http://go.niu.edu/PaulinaAlberto

Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

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