This special issue explores ideas of race and racial hierarchy in Latin America in the twenty-first century. By examining the intersection between racialization and processes of identity formation, political struggle, as well as intimate social and economic relations, these essays question how and to what extent traditional racial ideologies continue to hold true. In so doing, we consider the implications of such ideologies for anti-racism struggles. This collection of articles provides a unique insight into the everyday lived experiences of racism, how racial inequalities are reproduced, and the rise of ethnic-based social movements in Latin America. The qualitative nature of the projects allows the authors to advance our understanding of how racial ideologies operate on the ground level. The geographic diversity of the articles – focusing on Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Costa Rica and Cuba – enables a greater understanding of the distinct ways that racial ideologies play out across different settings.