Pilar Barrios

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Pilar Barrios (1889 – 1974) was an important poet of the black community of Uruguay. He¹ demonstrated in his poetry an understanding of the class-based racism in his society, and expressed hope that this could be overturned by the development of a racial consciousness (awareness of negritud) and renovation of education. He was optimistic in regards to this project, because he believed in the fundamental equality of people and races, as he expressed in his poems. One of his means of expression was the journal Nuestra Raza, which he founded in 1917. By the publishing of Piel Negra in 1947, he became one of only two black Uruguayan poets to be published in book form (the other was Virginia Brindis de Salas). As one of the most notable black intellectuals in the country, he was in contact with the larger world of black intellectual activity, corresponding with, for example, Langston Hughes.

¹Note on gender: Although "Pilar" is generally a feminine name in Spanish, and the Spanish source below implies that Barrios is a woman, a number of English sources suggested that Barrios was a man. This should perhaps be cleared up by an expert.


  • Jackson, Richard. "The shared vision of Langston Hughes and black Hispanic writers" Black American Literature Forum Vol 15 No 3 pp 89-92

  • Roberts, Nicole. "Añoranzas negras: la poesía negra uruguaya del siglo XX" Politica y Cultura Autumn 2004 No 22 pp 183-195

Pilar Barrios was definitely a...
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