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Scripts of BlacknessRace, Cultural Nationalism, and U.S. Colonialism in Puerto Rico$
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Isar P. Godreau

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038907

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038907.001.0001

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Place, Race, and the Housing Debate

Place, Race, and the Housing Debate

(p.31) Chapter 1 Place, Race, and the Housing Debate
Scripts of Blackness

Isar P. Godreau

University of Illinois Press

This chapter provides a detailed ethnographic account of the housing controversy in San Antón. It places particular emphasis on the racial and spatial coordinates that informed debate over its implementation, pointing to the problematic and contested deployment of scripts of nostalgia, homogeneity, matrifocality, harmony, and unchanging traditions that marked San Antón as an exceptional place of racialized difference. The controversy over housing showed the inadequacy of an approach that romanticized the community without considering the social relationships of power that shaped it and, more importantly, without discussing its transformations with residents. Moreover, the housing project failed to recognize San Antón residents' everyday practices and desires as modern, casting them instead as bearers of unchanging traditions.

Keywords:   housing controversy, San Antón, racialized difference, unchanging tradition

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