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For Afro-Chileans, First Step Is Getting Counted

How Chile’s Afro-descendant rights groups are pushing for inclusion in the national census.

Seventeen years ago, a group of Latin American and Caribbean NGOs, government agencies and regional bodies officially adopted the term “Afro-descendant” to refer to the region’s approximately 150 million citizens of African origin. The occasion was the Latin American Regional Conference Against Racism in Santiago, and the host was the government of Chile.

Ironically, nearly two decades later and Chile is one of just a handful of countries in Latin America that do not explicitly include an Afro-descendant category on their official census forms. Despite a push from Chile’s Afro-descendant community, that absence will continue in a condensed census set to take place on April 19.

“Afro-descendant people’s fight for inclusion in Chile’s national statistics started in 2005 … There is a vicious cycle of the state denying the existence of Afro-descendants,” said Cristian Báez, director of the Afro-Chilean NGO Lumbanga.

The National Institute of Statistics’ (INE) decision not to incorporate the category “Afro-descendant/Black” in a question about inclusion in indigenous and ethnic groups in this year’s census came as a surprise to some activists. They say that a 2013 regional pilot project by the INE, which identified approximately 8,415 Afro-descendant people in Arica and Parinacota in northern Chile, was supposed to be a precursor to a reference in future censuses.

Read entire article at Americas Quarterly: http://americasquarterly.org/content/afro-chileans-first-step-getting-counted

Philadelphia’s Afro Latino Compilations by Sandra Andino, Ph.D

By Donte Kirby

Along the walls of the Du Bois College house, a dormitory at The University of Pennsylvania, a photo gallery created by Sandra Andino, Ph.D., illustrates through audio storytelling and black and white portraits experiences of Afro Latinos living in Philadelphia. Highlighting the importance and beauty of being Afro Latino is a focus and personal mission of Andino.

Andino’s gallery at the University of Pennsylvania showcased ten individuals.  For those who missed the exhibit (November 11, 2016 to December 12, 2016), the interviews can be heard and portraits viewed at Andino’s Negraluz site. It is a blog dedicated to showcasing visuals of Latinos of African descent, their heritage, and positive aspects of their ancestry as well as their contributions as change agents throughout the world.

Last December, the University of Pennsylvania was the third stop for the photo exhibit, “The Afro-Latinx Experience: Philadelphia Stories,” curated at North Philadelphia’s Taller Puertorriqueño and South Philadelphia’s Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial. Attendees walked through and listened to the audio interviews through their phones hosted at Andino’s Negraluz site. As portrait subjects speak their stories, attendees gaze at snapshots, possibly imagining the thoughts and experiences of each subject.

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The project was originally inspired by a conversation with Andino’s good friend, who is also a subject in the exhibit, Evelyne Laurent-Perrault.   As the two shared their experiences as Afro Latinas, Andino realized her story wasn’t unique. From that seed, she interviewed more of her friends about their experiences as Afro Latinos in an effort to highlight the similarities and complexities among Afro Latinos in Philadelphia.

According to Pew research a quarter of Hispanics in the U.S. identify as Afro Latino. Of the 1.5 million people living in Philadelphia 14% are Hispanic according to the U.S. Census. That means there are close to 53 thousand Afro Latinos experiences, providing Andino with a vast pool of untold stories to showcase, which are likely not to be told elsewhere.

By claiming and highlighting being Afro Latino, Andino hopes to break some of the stereotypes and people’s preconceived notions about not only Afro Latinos but also of the humanity of the entire African Diaspora, especially in the Americas (a number totaling 165 million with Latin America, North America and the Caribbean according to the World Bank projections.)

_dsc0488Andino speaks with optimism and authority,

When people see the exhibit she wants them to appreciate and understand the breath of the Afro Latino experience. “There are so many different aspects about being Afro Latino. Each one of these stories has something different to say about culture, about being identified as black in the U.S, and also identifying as Latino. I think that’s a great feeling when you feel like part of what you’ve gone through in your life is validated because you see there are others that think or feel the same way.

“I felt like [The Afro-Latinx Experience: Philadelphia Stories] was important because it also validated my story and the story of being Afro Latina in Latin America, the Caribbean, and also here in the U.S. It’s about trying to find the commonality, through the exhibit. In this case the commonality is our African heritage, ancestry and claiming that ancestry.”

 

Want to be a part of an important research study involving Latinos/as’ social experiences?

By: Andrew Guzman, M.A.

Want to be a part of an important research study involving Latinos/as’ social experiences?

  • Are you 18 or older?
  • Are you Afro-Latino/a? Afro-Latin American? Afro-Boricua? Afro-Dominican? Afro Cuban? Or member of another Afro-Latino/a group?
  • Are you a Latino/a of color?

If you answered yes to these questions, you may be able to participate in a study involving Afro-Latinos/as and other Latinos/as of color. Your participation may help future generations of Latinos/as navigate social experiences and may also help identify potential factors that may reduce the harm of negative social experiences.

If you wish to participate, you will be asked to read and sign an informed consent form and then complete a series of questionnaires that should take approximately 20 to 25 minutes to complete. Participants who complete the study will have the opportunity to be entered for a chance to win 1 of 4 Visa gift cards ($30.00 each).

All participation is confidential and voluntary, and you have the right to withdraw at any time, without penalty, if you choose. This study is being conducted by Andrew Guzman, M.A. under the direction of Dr. Diana Montague, of La Salle University.

If you would like to participate, you may complete the questionnaires online in English or Spanish! Please go to the following website:

English: http://lasalle.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6o27xARe0FP1zEN

Español: http://lasalle.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9GmD0ZMz6DO3cxv

If you have any questions, please contact the principal investigator: Andrew Guzman, M.A. (guzmana1@student.lasalle.edu) 609-214-4428 . Or the faculty advisor: Dr. Diana Montague (montague@lasalle.edu) Department of Psychology

La Salle University 1900 W. Olney Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

 

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) of La Salle University has reviewed and approved this study, IRB # 16-06-030, on 9-14-16

 

 

¿Quiere formar parte de un estudio de investigación en relación a las experiencias sociales de latinos/as?

By: Andrew Guzman

¿Quiere formar parte de un estudio de investigación en relación a las experiencias sociales de latinos/as?

  • ¿Es usted mayor de 18 años?
  • ¿Es usted afrolatino/a? ¿afrolatinoamericano/a? ¿afroaboricua? ¿afrodominicano/a? ¿afrocubano/a? ¿O miembro de otro grupo afrolatino/a?
  • ¿Es usted un latino/a de color?

Si ha respondido «sí» a estas preguntas, ¡es posible que pueda participar en un estudio sobre personas afrolatinos/as o personas latinos/as de color!

Puede que su participación ayude a futuras generaciones latinas a navegar las experiencias sociales y también a identificar los posibles factores que reduzcan el daño que causa experiencias sociales negativas.

Si desea participar, se le pedirá que lea y firme un formulario de consentimiento informado y luego, que conteste una serie de cuestionarios que deberían tomar de 20 a 25 minutos.  Los participantes que terminen el estudio tendrán la oportunidad de ganar una de cuatro tarjetas de regalo Visa valoradas en $30 dólares.

La participación es confidencial y voluntaria, y tiene el derecho de retirarse en cualquier momento si así lo desea sin que haya consecuencias.  Este estudio lo realiza Andrew Guzman, M.A. bajo la guía de la Dra. Diana Montague de la Universidad de La Salle.

Si  usted quiere participar, puede contestar los cuestionarios en línea, en inglés o español.  Visite el siguiente sitio web:

Español: http://lasalle.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9GmD0ZMz6DO3cxv

Inglés:      http://lasalle.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6o27xARe0FP1zEN

Si tiene alguna pregunta, comuníquese con el investigador principal: Andrew Guzman, M.A. (guzmana1@student.lasalle.edu) 609-214-4428 o la

Dra. Diana Montague (montague@lasalle.edu)Department of Psychology

La Salle University 1900 W. Olney Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19141.

La Junta de Revisión Institucional de La Salle University ha evaluado y aprobado esta investigación, IRB# # 16-06-030, on 9-14-16

 

 

Soup Joumou: Historic Haitian Dish Flavors the New Year

By Tina Machele Brown

A Soup with a Strong Symbol

As 2017 quickly approaches, many people are preparing for lavish parties, family gatherings, and setting new goals. Yet if you know your Haitian history like Chef Elle Philippe, you are shopping for fresh ingredients for Soup Joumou, a Haitian tradition. Kim Haas, founder of Los Afro-Latinos, had the honor of observing this culinary artist prepare a soup with a strong symbol.

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Greeted with a smile from Chef Philippe, Kim’s senses were immediately aroused.  This food connoisseur had already seasoned the meat and the aroma filled the room. Kim was honored to be in the elegant New Jersey home of Chef Philippe as she created this soup with knives, spoons, pots, pans, and passion. Seamlessly moving from station to station, cutting vegetables, tossing them here and there, Kim was eager to discuss the history of the soup which consists of a striking array of colorful vegetables including the main ingredient – pumpkin.

Roots from the garden are very robust and the natural ingredients in Soup Joumou aid in its symbol of strength among Haitians. Joumou is a delicious, sweet-smelling pumpkin that was a delicacy for white French masters. As slaves, Haitians were not allowed to drink Soup Joumou. However, on January 1, 1804, Haitians regained their freedom from the French after a twelve-year battle and the soup symbolized liberation and the world’s first and only successful slave revolt resulting in an independent nation. The celebration of preparing, sharing, and eating Soup Joumou, became an annual tradition. Now, every year, on New Year’s Day (Haitian Independence Day), Haitians celebrate with this tasty soup.

haiti-mapBorn in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Chef Philippe knows first-hand the Haitian history of Soup Joumou. While slicing onions, potatoes, leeks and other vegetables, she spoke of partaking in this once forbidden treat as a child.  Though far away, Chef Philippe is forever connected to Haiti. Sharing the history of this soup ensures that the roots will continue to stay grounded in the people and the New Year’s tradition will carry on. Chef Philippe is passionate about cooking and as a master chef, she has a natural instinct for paring the perfect seasonings and ingredients for flavor, color, smell, and taste.

 

As the pumpkin was cooking, Chef Philippe mixed the other ingredients such as garlic, celery, parsley, and the bouquet of smells filled the air. She mixed in the cooked vegetables and other ingredients to perfection, she then ladled up a scoop for a taste-test. Kim’s taste buds began to tingle with excitement.

After more than 200 years, Haitians continue to celebrate their freedom every year on New Year’s day with Soup Joumou. A soup that is made with many ingredients from the earth, rooted in the knowledge that together we are stronger.

Chef Philippe’s Soup Joumou

Start With: 2 lbs of pumpkin squash–kaboucha, substitute: butternut squash and lots more good stuff Preparation time: marinate meat overnight, 45 minutes-prep time, cooking time-1 hr 30 minutes.

Marinate the meat the Night before
2 lbs of beef marinated overnight with
3 cloves of crushed garlic, 1 tsp of thyme
1 tsp of fresh black pepper
1 medium shallot
1/4 tsp scotch bonnet
3 scallions
juice of 2 lime
1 tbsp of kosher salt
1 tbsp chopped parsley

Ahead of Time:
Soup Stock:
beef leg bones: 2-3 lbs, cut into 2” pieces
1 onion
2 carrots
2 stalks of celery
parsley, salt, and pepper to taste
Boil for 1 hour, add enough water for 12 cups of stock or substitute store-bought, sodium-free stock.

Vegetables
2 lbs of pumpkin squash–kaboucha, substitute: butternut squash
4 big carrots, medium slices
3 celery stalks, cut in medium cubes
2 medium leeks, cut lengthwise, in 2 pieces, half or third the length
2 medium turnips, peel, cut in medium cubes
3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut in medium cubes
1 lb cabbage, sliced & cut in med. sizes
12 cups of beef stock or store-bought sodium-free stock
2 tbsp of olive oil

  1. Prepare your mise-en-place, clean, and peel all your vegetables.
  2. In a large pot, add marinated beef with the olive oil,
    add 2 cups of cold water, cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.
  3. Cut squash into 3-4” wedges. While the meat is cooking in a medium pot in 6 cups of slightly salted cold water. Cook pumpkin for about 30 minutes on medium heat, covered. Drain, remove pumpkin from peel, puree and set aside.
  4. Add pumpkin puree, simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Note: The soup broth should not be thick, after adding the Joumou puree you can always add more beef stock.
  6. Adjust seasoning, salt and fresh black pepper to taste.

 

We hope you season your new year with a taste of history. Enjoy!

 

Meet Odin/Udini, the Rapper

udini-1By Donte Kirby

 

Odin Palacio better known as “ Udini La Voz,” the bilingual (English/Spanish) rapper represents Panama everywhere he goes, using his music to bridge the cultural divide between those who speak Spanish and English. Before there was an 808 (drum machine, associated with hip hop) and a mic, there was a ball and a court.

Panama

Basketball brought Palacio from San Miguel, in the heart of Panama, to Homestead, Florida, when he was 16. In 2000, Palacio,(sharing the same name as his father), an only child, left La Magnolia, housing development area , where he lived with his mother, Graciela Arancibia , the woman who shaped him into the person he is today. His mother was scared for her son, after the murder of his best friend. Palacio’s pain brought him to the point where, in front of his mother, he screamed, “I’m going to kill whoever did that to my best friend.”

udini-2“The night before I left Panama it was really hard to sleep. I couldn’t believe that I’m 16 years’ old and I’m going to leave it all behind to start a new life by myself.”

USA-Florida

In Florida, Berkshire High School was a melting pot of cultures, overflowing with international students. Palacio had to navigate not only the cultural barriers but also the language barrier.

“It was very uncomfortable not being able to speak the language. I would feel left out a lot of times. When people were laughing and I didn’t understand what they were laughing for, I would feel like they were laughing at me, even though they weren’t.”

Palacio’s life revolved around basketball for years, hopping from high school to high school trying to find the right program, then junior colleges to finally a few four-year universities. A big change came when, Palacio was in a car accident that left him with three fractures in his neck and skull. This experience distanced him from his beloved basketball. Yet, basketball still guided Palacio to his next passion that drives his life today – music and rapping.

One day, a teammate who would often freestyle and wrote down rhymes in a notebook sat Palacio down and explained the process of writing down lyrics and bars on paper.

USAPennsylvania

Years later, Palacio’s goal for his first album, “Me and My Musika,” was to break down cultural barriers. Palacio and his producers Anis Taylor (AT Soundz) and Travis Ruscil (Dappolis) together create a sound that thematically and rhythmically incorporates their diversity.

“No matter whose under one roof they’re all going to move to the same sound. They’re not going to feel left out.”

“…. I used to download instrumentals and just practice over that. I used to write in all Spanish because I couldn’t rap in English back then.”

 

Working together on tracks for, “Me and My Musika” was the birth of the label and production house, Higher Than 7. Palacio, Taylor and Ruscil vowed to never release a track they all didn’t agree rated higher than seven.

“Our thing is, if we’re going to do something why not keep everything in house,” said Taylor about why they decided to build a label and production company with Higher Than 7. “We can create our own opportunities.”

Activist/Rapper

In order to create more opportunities Palacio became more active in the tri-state, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Latino community. He became a host for PhillyCAM’s Atrévete, a board member of the Panama International Tri-State Alliance, and a frequent public speaker at high schools in the tri-state area. As board member, Palacio, along with Judy Winter, President of the Alliance, they supported the Panamanian flag being raised at Philadelphia’s City Hall, Nov 4, 2016.

Winter had this to say about Palacio, “He is more in touch with the people. So he can help the Alliance find more Panamanians and direct them to the Alliance.”

As an artist, Palacio’s music is a bridge he uses to connect with others. As an independent musician, his connection to his audience and community is paramount to his success.

udini-3The Journey

“I’ve been knocking on doors. I’ve been asking people for opportunities. I don’t do that anymore.

“I just work hard and those doors I knocked on before, today they’re opening on their own.”

Omar Sosa’s Quarteto AfroCubano Playing at the Blue Note Jazz Club NYC

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The Blue Note Jazz Club in NYC is proud to present the music of Omar Sosa’s Quarteto AfroCubano from March 31st until April 3rd each night beginning at 8pm.  Be sure to buy tickets to this wonderful event by clicking here.

Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

We’re giving away two tickets to Havana Rakatan; Thursday February 19th at 7:30pm at the Manhattan Theatre Club. All you have to do to win is name a popular dance inspired by Afro-Latinos – You can send us the answer on our Facebook Page (inbox us) or Twitter DM us @losafrolatinos. You’ll be notified Tuesday if you’re the winner; if you win we just ask that you send us a selfie from the show. Good luck all!

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For more details visit NY City Center:

http://www.nycitycenter.org/tickets/productionNew.aspx?performanceNumber=8673#.VNuhKcaYmt8

Scholar, Historian, Activist and Collector Arturo Alfonzo Schomburg

Los-Afro Latinos

Presents

Scholar, Historian, Activist and Collector

Arturo Alfonzo Schomburg

Lorena Ramirez

During January Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated in the United States. It’s a time set aside to commemorate his life, and most importantly, to remember his contributions to the African-American Civil Rights Movement (1960s). King, in a civil disobedient manner, fought hard to demonstrate that the rights of African-Americans mattered, just as much as those of white people.

One of the individuals who labored, enhancing the commentary and activism upon which Dr. King pursued his life’s mission was Arturo A. Schomburg (1874-1938), Father of Black History. While Schomburg’s endeavors took place more than 120 years ago, they were instrumental and created a legacy for the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement.

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BEFORE Martin Luther King …Arturo A. Schomburg

Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, January 24, 1874, Schomburg’s mother was a black woman originally from St. Croix, and his father was a Puerto Rican of German heritage. He attended San Juan’s Instituto Popular, where he learned commercial printing, and St. Thomas College in the Virgin Islands, where he studied Negro Literature.

Schomburg was a self-proclaimed Afro-Borinqueño (black Puerto Rican) whose fervent pursuit of African history was attributed to a teacher who told him, “Negroes have no history, no heroes, or great moments.” That auspicious moment set Schomburg on a path to invalidate those comments. He deliberately dedicated his life to the black liberation movement, collecting, documents and artifacts as well as speaking about the absent yet rich history of the African Diaspora.

From Puerto Rico to New York

In 1891 Schomburg migrated to New York City, specifically Harlem, where he became involved in the Harlem Renaissance, the independence movements for Cuba and Puerto Rica. He was a member of the Revolutionary Committee of Puerto Rico, a group of Cubans and Puerto Ricans, who sought independence from Spain. He was secretary of Las Dos Antillas, an organization that worked for the independence of both Cuba and Puerto Rico. A year later he became a Mason with El Sol de Cuba #38, a Spanish-speaking lodge comprised of Cuban and Puerto Rican immigrants and there are conflicting dates regarding when he become the Master of El Sol de Cuba #38 (1911/1918/1922). Disillusion by the lack of progress towards and independent Cuba and Puerto Rico, Schomburg changed the Masonic group’s name to Prince Hall Lodge, honoring the first US black freemason (Prince Hall).

Schomburg took on a variety of jobs, while living in New York. In 1896 he began teaching Spanish (1901 to 1906) and continued his interest in studying the role blacks played in Spanish history; he also served as a messenger and clerk for Pryor, Mellis and Harris (law firm) and in 1906 he worked for the Bankers Trust Company.

Family

He married Elizabeth Hatcher of Staunton, Virginia, June 30, 1895, with whom he had three sons, Maximo Gomez, Arthur Alfonso Jr. and Kingsley Guarionex. Hatcher died in 1900 and Schomburg married Elizabeth Morrow Taylor of Williamsburg, North Carolina, Mar. 17, 1902, with whom he had two children, Reginald Stanton and Nathaniel Jose Schomburg.

Scholar, Historian and Activist

During 1904 Schomburg’s first known article, ‘Is Hayti Decadent?’ was published in The Unique Advertiser. In 1912 he co-edited (Daniel A. Payne Murray) “Encyclopedia of the Colored Race. A year later, 1913, speaking to a group of black educators at Cheyney University, Schomburg promoted the inclusion of black history throughout the U.S.’s educational system. He was a contributing writer for Crisis Magazine (official publication of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), co-founded the Negro Society for Historical Research with John Edward Bruce and was president of the American Negro Academy.

In 1924 the African American registry described Schomburg as dedicated to revealing and reinterpreting the African Diaspora. He studied the history of Africans in the Indies (Caribbean Islands). While in Europe, he researched the priceless treasures of African history,   meticulously collecting data about enslaved Africans (Negro Brotherhood) in Seville, Spain.

Collector

Schomburg had a vast collection of African history that totaled more than 10,000 documents. His collection included more than 5,000 books; 3,000 manuscripts; 2,000 etchings, paintings, play bills and several thousand pamphlets. The Carnegie Corporation purchased Schomburg’s extensive collection for $10,000 and it was added to the New York Public Library (NYPL) – 135th Street branch in 1926. With the money he received, he traveled around the world in search of more information. His collection was added to the Division of Negro Literature, History and Prints, where he became curator of the special division from 1932 until his death on June 8, 1938. In 1940, the division was renamed to the Schomburg Collection of Negro Literature, History and Prints.

Legacy

His documents can be found at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, which “is recognized as one of the leading institutions focusing exclusively on African-American, African Diaspora, and African experiences,” says the NYPL website.

Schomburg is one of the world’s most renowned scholars of African history. He worked tirelessly to restore Africa’s presence in the human commentary, replacing what slavery (enslavement) took away.

Born 141 years ago, Arturo A. Schomburg …amazingly courageous, dedicated advanced the equality of persons of Africans descent. His legacy lives on…

 

 

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

We wanted to take this time, just about halfway through Hispanic Heritage Month, and send a thank you to all our contributors, fans, friends and family. We are so thankful for the support and contributions we’ve received — YOU are the reason our culture stays strong.

 

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