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Azucar!! Bridging the Gap

Ask any American citizen what a Latino looks like to them, and most will automatically picture someone that looks like J. Lo, Shakira, Ricky Martin, George Lopez or Selma Hayek. A person with light bronze skin and long flowing hair; the women having the best of both worlds according to many. European features such as the loose locks but the “spicy” attitude and the body that can equal the voluptuousness of a Black woman. I blame our education system and stereotypes that keeps being reasserted throughout our media. When Brazil or Mexico is depicted in movies, shows and commercials, the people are portrayed as the stereotypical Latino and it does not deviate. Even the celebrities that are Black Latino such as Kid Cudi, Shar Jackson, Kelis, Miguel and Stacey Dash are seen as only Black and not Latin descent in American society.   The one celebrity that I came to know who unabashedly took the entertainment industry by storm, singing for the most part in Spanish and known as the Queen of Salsa is Celia Cruz. Fact; I heard about Celia Cruz, but did not realize that she was an Afro Latina until I watched a video of her remake of Guantananmera with Wyclef. After seeing Celia donning elaborate outfits complete with eye popping headdresses in every scene, speaking her native language and hearing her battle cry of Azucar, I had to know more about her. I had to know about the Afro Latino people of South America and the islands off the coast of the United States. Digging into the history of Celia Cruz, I stumbled upon a... read more

The #BlackWomynMatter Manifesto for the Black Latina

For centuries Black womyn have been at the forefront of carrying, protecting, securing and fighting for the security, liberation and equality of our people. From the countless queens and village priestesses of the Continent to Harriet Tubman, Angela Davis, Sister Souljah and Bree Newsome, doing it all, doing it well and often doing it alone is nothing new to us. We naturally respond to the injustices that we ourselves and that other members of our respective communities face with fearless determination. We hold a legacy of undeniable greatness and perseverance. We are said to make it look so easy it seems like magic; Black Girl Magic. But few truly know what we must endure, how it affects our personal growth and despite that trauma, from where we must muster the courage and hope to not only survive but THRIVE.   This legacy exposes our natural instinct to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of the greater mission, The revolution, The movement etc… But in today’s world of black genocide masked as “police brutality in a post-racial society”  we have been given (or have demanded) a unique opportunity to examine how effective this sacrifice really is and at what cost.  is it reciprocal? is it credited? is it in vain? is it worth it? what about us? what about our mental health? what about our LGBTQ community? and from these and many more questions birth the several movements of black womanhood identity that we see today, predominantly the “Black Women Matter” movement.   In attempts to respond to injustice and numerous other threats to our livelihoods we sometimes lose ourselves, lose... read more

Bridging The Gap

BLM’s Flora-Morena Catches up with Les Nubians at the 3rd Annual Afro-Latino Festival of NYC 2015 and talks connecting African Continent with African Diaspora through the arts. When one thinks of Latin America and the Caribbean one thinks of various elements of culture. The richness in sound, scent and sight throughout the many cultures of the African diaspora are a direct result of the contributions of our African ancestors whom are often discredited. The mission of reclaiming the accreditation and showcasing all that Africans have produced and contributed throughout the Americas and the world has become a movement in itself. One of the most imperative elements in rebuilding our global community is bridging the gap between the continent and the diaspora by re-educating the world of the lost and stolen pieces of our history. This year the United Nations declared 2015- 2025 the Decade for people of African descent inspiring thousands of celebrations globally, The Afro-Latino Festival of NYC 2015 being one of them. The key ingredient to successfully presenting these missing elements is being able to do so in a manner which can transcend the hearts of all people. From food and adornment to  dance and Music, the greatest fuel to drive this cultural caravan to its destination of global recognition is the universal language of the Arts. The Afro-Latino Festival of NYC brought together all the elements of the community at large from activists, entrepreneurs, scholars and community leaders to local and international artists. Using said fuel to brew a special elixir of African excellency to display for the masses. The festival, now in it’s 3rd year... read more

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