Chambacu as Text and Space in Colombia's (Black) History

Ligia S. Aldana


In the 1990s, constitutional reform marked a shift towards the inclusion of Afrodescendants and their place in the Colombian nation. In spite of strides already made, Colombia is still reluctant to move towards inhabiting its place in the African Diaspora to fully recognize the reach of its African heritage and the contributions of African descended peoples to the country's race for political and economic modernity. Only by recovering and reconstructing a New History, rooted in the histories of the Diaspora, and by recreating an inclusive literary canon, will Colombia's goals of embracing participatory citizenship and national inclusiveness be reached. This paper aims to aid this process by addressing the history of the legendary space of Chambacú, a Black urban settlement that existed from the eighteen century through the 1980s in Cartagena, Colombia, and its literary representation, to seal Colombia's place in the African Diaspora, and to reconstruct a national imaginary long purged of its African roots.

Key words:  Chambacú, Colombian Afrodescendants, Afrocolombians, Cartagena

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