Publication Date


First Advisor

Regis Fox


The transcendence of Black Ecuadorian literature has the power to rewrite narratives that have constructed them as hypersexual or invisible. By telling their own stories, Black Ecuadorian writers not only place Blackness into the Ecuadorian national narrative. They make their existence the center of everything. In Drums Under My Skin, Luz Argentina Chiriboga writes of Rebeca, a mulata teenager struggling to accept her Blackness while spilt between the ideological spaces of Quito and Esmeraldas. Chiriboga confronts racism in Ecuador based around mestizaje by making Blackness the sole narrative voice and rejects ideas that Blackness doesn’t belong in Ecuador. Concurrently, she allows for Rebeca’s sexual exploration despite the Ecuadorian narrative of the hypersexual Black woman. I contend that although Rebeca suffers sexual and racial abuse from white Ecuadorian people, she ultimately rejects Ecuadorian racist sexism by accepting her body as a historical memory of Black resistance.