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Thesis or dissertation

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This paper was part of the 2014-2015 Penn Humanities Forum on Color. Find out more at


Nicaragua, along with most—if not all—Central American nations, is seldom considered to have a Black or Afro-Latino population. Despite the legacies of colonial Black erasure that bleed into the present day, however, Nicaragua’s Southern Atlantic Coast in particular has been home to Afro-descendants since the early 17th century. Part of Nicaragua’s historical narrative of Black erasure has to do with the white supremacist mestizo nationalism that has plagued the nation since before independence in 1821. Through an exploration of Atlantic Coast history, Creole ethno-genesis, and the racist mestizo nationalist practices of the Nicaraguan state, this project highlights the emerging social movement of Creole Black diasporic politics and argues that Creoles are not solely operating under Gramscian “common sense,” as has been previously theorized. Instead, they are also imagining what a “larger freedom” might look like outside national, legal, and political boundaries.



Date Posted: 18 November 2016