Volume 23, Issue 1, 2020
Strategies of Resistance
The Zapatista Revolution
Recognition, Redistribution, and the Limits of Identity Politics
This essay examines the poem “Angelitos Negros” as a description of social inequity underlain by Latin-American histories of colonialism. Following Nancy Fraser, I analyze the poem as an illustration of the perils of embracing “identity politics” separated from redistributive claims. As Fraser notices, contemporary critique is often content elevating identity struggles to the foreground while simultaneously pushing wealth redistribution to the background. In this light, the paper concludes proposing the Zapatista revolution as an example of a movement whereby claims of identity and redistribution have been successfully combined to produce social change in a manner that responds to the issues that “Angelitos Negros” evinces.