© 2012

Silencing Race

Disentangling Blackness, Colonialism, and National Identities in Puerto Rico

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Introduction: Racial (Dis)Harmony in Puerto Rico

    1. Ileana M. Rodríguez-Silva
      Pages 1-19
  3. Slavery and the Multiracial, Racially Mixed Laboring Classes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 21-25
    2. Ileana M. Rodríguez-Silva
      Pages 27-57
    3. Ileana M. Rodríguez-Silva
      Pages 59-90
    4. Ileana M. Rodríguez-Silva
      Pages 91-128
  4. Changing Empires

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 129-134
    2. Ileana M. Rodríguez-Silva
      Pages 159-186
    3. Ileana M. Rodríguez-Silva
      Pages 187-220
  5. Conclusion The Heavy Weight

    1. Ileana M. Rodríguez-Silva
      Pages 221-226
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 227-320

About this book


Silencing Race provides a historical analysis of the construction of silences surrounding issues of racial inequality, violence, and discrimination in Puerto Rico. Examining the ongoing racialization of Puerto Rican workers, it explores the 'class-making' of race.


colonialism construction Empire equality slavery violence writing

About the authors

Ileana M. Rodríguez-Silva is an assistant professor of Latin American and Caribbean History at the University of Washington.

Bibliographic information


Winner of the 2014 Puerto Rican Studies Association's Frank Bonilla Book Award

"From former slaves' murmurs of discomfiture to the loquacious assertions of powerful men, this book listens hard to conversations about race. It resonates in multiple registers, forcing readers to pay attention not just to what people say, but to what they don't say. Rodriguez-Silva has transformed Puerto Rican history." - Alejandra Bronfman, University of British Columbia

"Ileana Rodríguez-Silva has produced a masterful account of racial formation in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Puerto Rico and its connections with slavery, emancipation, gender, and colonialism. Her multilayered analysis of the 'silences' surrounding everyday forms of racialization is original, fascinating, and persuasive." - Carlos Aguirre, University of Oregon