Ginetta E. B. Candelario is Associate Professor of Sociology and Latin American and Latina/o Studies at Smith College has granted Pelo! Pelo! an interview. This is fabulous news! Her insight, studies and knowledge will contribute to keeping our film authentic. Ginetta wrote the text book Black Behind the Ears: Dominican Racial Identity from Museums to Beauty Shops. Black behind the Ears is an innovative historical and ethnographic examination of Dominican identity formation in the Dominican Republic and the United States. For much of the Dominican Republic’s history, the national body has been defined as “not black,” even as black ancestry has been grudgingly acknowledged. Rejecting simplistic explanations, Ginetta E. B. Candelario suggests that it is not a desire for whiteness that guides Dominican identity discourses and displays. Instead, it is an ideal norm of what it means to be both indigenous to the Republic (indios) and “Hispanic.” Candelario draws on her participant observation in a Dominican beauty shop in Washington Heights, a New York City neighborhood with the oldest and largest Dominican community outside the Republic, and on interviews with Dominicans in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Santo Domingo. She also analyzes museum archives and displays in the Museo del Hombre Dominicano and the Smithsonian Institution as well as nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century European and American travel narratives.
For more information about the project, visit www.pelopelothefilm.com