Does Whitening Happen?

This post is about planning writing and it is good on that, but I am interested in the article it cites as an example:

Golash-Boza, Tanya. 2010. “Does Whitening Happen? Distinguishing between Race and Color Labels in an African-Descended Community in Peru” Social Problems.

This article explores how race and color labels are used to describe people in an Afro-Peruvian community. This article is based on analyses of 88 interviews and eighteen months of fieldwork in an African-descended community in Peru. The analyses of these data reveal that, if we consider race and color to be conceptually distinct, there is no “mulatto escape hatch,” no social or cultural whitening, and no continuum of racial categories in the black Peruvian community under study. This article considers the implications of drawing a conceptual distinction between race and color for research on racial classifications in Latin America.

Suddenly I understand the drama of someone I know in real life: the problem is that despite whitening, whitening did not happen. There was a mixed race category and class, and it was for itself a step out of blackness, but from the white point of view it was not a step toward whiteness, and whitening, although promised and undertaken, did not happen.

These views are tentative.

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