In the United States, Latino youth are developing a consciousness of their Afro-Latino identity as unique and separate from the strictly Black, White, and Latino labels that define the United States’ racial system.
The AfroLatin@ Forum will screen a series of short films representing various perspectives on AfroDescendants across Latin America, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.
These films span a variety of themes and topics but are united in highlighting and celebrating aspects of Afro-Latin@ histories, cultures, and traditions.
The AfroLatin@ Forum welcomes submission of abstracts for our upcoming conference Afro-Latin@s Now! Race Counts scheduled for October 23-25, 2014. We are looking for papers for the following panel: "Where Are the AfroLatin@s in the Classroom?". This panel will create an engaging dialogue centered on strategies to help identify, manage, and contribute to the number of Afro-Latin@s in classrooms across the United States. For more information on the panel, read below.
Individual abstracts should be 250 words or less and must relate to the issue of Education as stated in the panel description below. Abstracts should be submitted by Monday, April 14, 2014.
Please submit papers here
The Afro-Latin@ Forum will host Afro-Latin@s Now!: Race Counts, a three-day international conference in 2014 focusing on Afro-Latino communities in the United States and transnational relations between Afro-descendant communities in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Building on our immensely successful 2011 conference (“Afro-Latin@s Now!: Strategies for Visibility and Action”), the Forum will bring together activists, cultural workers, community members, academics and other stakeholders representing the vast, diverse Afro-Latino population to consolidate networks, advance common educational and advocacy projects, and chart out a strategy for future collaborative work. The conference, co-sponsored by local and national organizations and institutions with whom we have long-standing collaborative relations, will occur on October 23-25, 2014, at three New York City venues: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The CUNY Graduate Center, and El Museo del Barrio.
The theme of the Afro-Latin@s Now!: Race Counts conference is the critical importance of quantifying the U.S. Afro-Latino population, which is subject to endemic and systemic “invisibility” in the United States census, the media, and public and political discourse on raceand ethnicity domestically and internationally. Because of this lack of visibility and pervasive confusion about race and ethnicity stemming from the legacy of ideological and structural racism, “Black” and “Latino” are overwhelmingly represented as mutually exclusive. The reality is, however, they are often one and the same. African descendants are one-third of Latin America’s population, and for the millions of Latinos of African descent in the U.S., gathering data about this demographic will have an impact on health and access to healthcare, education, housing, employment, and political representation.
This conference will provide an extraordinary opportunity to examine and contextualize these core issues of Afro-Latino identity, visibility and representation.
Preceding Afro-Latin@s Now! Race Counts will be a series of preparatory public programs. These activities, as well as the conference and possible post-conference programs, will expose participants to successful community building and social change actions employed throughout the hemisphere, and generate new strategies specific to our national and regional contexts.
On September 23, 2013, the Constitutional Court in the Dominican Republic issued a ruling that effectively targeted and revoked the citizenship of descendants of Haitians born in the Dominican…
"The second part of my family’s narrative around race is that historically it hasn’t been enforced… finding your native grandmother or your black grandfather is not something that you are looking for right, you’re looking for whiteness you’re looking for some kind of way to alleviate your own oppression and often that means a history of whiteness, that’s just the way that Latin Americans work…because what does that mean… it means better job opportunities, it means that… ‘you’re not supposed to be here,’ you’re not supposed to be poor… you were once in Europe and you were once someone who had status… Racism is a hell of a drug and I shouldn’t just say racism, but white supremacy let’s be more specific. I think that people throw around the word ‘racism’ and they don’t know what it means, but white supremacist values in Latin America are very strong. They’re very strong."
Ecuadorian-American, Blanca E. Vega discusses her journey in uncovering her racial identity. From growing up as a “zambita,” to discovering the AfroAmerindian maroon republic in Ecuador, to seeing herself in an AfroEcuadorian enslaved woman who fought for her freedom through the legal system, Blanca was searching for racial completeness beyond pervasive whiteness. Read her blog on the topic:
Anonymous asked: Is Afro-latin@ used when someone looks black but is latin@? Or have some black yet mainly latin@?
AfroLatin@ is a person from or of Latin American descent that is of African ancestry. There are 150 million+ Afrodescendants in Latin America, about a third of the population.
'Black' and 'Afrodescendant' ie-AfroColombian, AfroDominican, AfroPeruvian is an identity that is personal and may be political, for visibility and human rights purposes. African ancestry is a fact. In so much of my research, it varies. One may proudly identify as say, AfroPeruvian but reject the term 'Black' because it was [still is, depending on context] used as a tool of subjugation and dehumanization. Some have said 'Black' does not signify a country or origin but rather colonialism.
Also important to point out, you do not have to “look” like you have African ancestry to have it. 95% of enslaved Africans went to Latin America and the Caribbean. Africans have been in Latin America for hundreds of years, same as Europeans, and there has been generations of mixing. Very multi-layered topic.
The AfroLatin@ Forum is a good resource to learn more:
Why make the distinction between Latin@s and AfroLatin@s? Aren’t we all just Latin@s?Identification as an “AfroLatin@” acknowledges the racial diversity among Latin Americans, Caribbeans and Latin@s and the historical, political, and social particularities that characterize the experiences of people of African descent throughout the Americas. By self-consciously identifying as AfroLatin@ we assert our cultural/ethnic origins AND our membership in the African diasporic community. “Black” and “Latin@” are not mutually exclusive identities - AfroLatin@s belong to both groups.
Desired Women—Undesired Mothers, Daughters, Sisters and Wives
by Marta I. Cruz-Janzen, pgs 282-295, The AfroLatin@ Reader
Join us on for a Conversation with Roberto Zurbano on his journey towards social activism.
Roberto Zurbano is the Fall 2013 Scholar/Writer in residence of the Connecticut College Center for Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity. Zurbano’s career began in the field of literary criticism and from there he went on to support the Cuban Hip Hop movement and proceeded to his current focus, antiracists social activism in Cuba. Zurbano informs us that “…new paths are now opened for Cuban society, but that these do not open on their own and a new active force is the phenomena with which Blacks in Cuba defend their right to a place in society, one free of marginalization and racism.”
The event is free and open to the public. Photo ID required to enter building.
Co-Sponsored by: afrolatin@ forum, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Department of Africana Studies and the Department of Latino Studies at New York University and the African Diaspora Forum
Wednesday, October 30th, 2013, 6:00 p.m
Location: King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center (KJCC) Auditorium
53 Washington Square South
New York University, New York NY 10012