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Posts from the ‘Q&A’ Category

Rosa Clemente: 1st Afro-Latina U.S. Vice Presidential Candidate Talks Politics and Purpose

by Nicolle Morales Kern

It may be three years until the next presidential election, but it’s never too early to explore politics and the people who focus on making a difference through our political system. For those of us who aren’t active in the day-to-day aspects of politics, from lobbying to campaigning, it can be hard to understand how much dedication politics requires. To get an idea of what politics is like behind the scenes, we interviewed Rosa Clemente, the first Afro-Latina Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate. During this interview, Rosa discusses her identity as an Afro-Latina, her experience during the 2008 election campaign, and the importance of political engagement.

Rosa Clemente is a community organizer, journalist, Hip Hop and political activist.  Five years ago, as the Vice Presidential Candidate for the Green Party, she and Cynthia McKinney, Green Party Presidential Candidate, formed the first women of color ticket.

The daughter of a mother from Ponce, and a father from Rio Pierdas, Rosa Clemente was born and raised in the Bronx. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Albany and her Masters of Professional Studies at Cornell University. She is currently in her second year of a doctoral program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and her dissertation focuses on the Black Latino, Hip Hop culture. Read more

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One-On-One with Afro-Rican Jazz Creator William Cepeda

Our April article for Being Latino features a Q&A with Afro-Rican Jazz Creator William Cepeda. This article was originally published on the Being Latino site

Since 1992, William Cepeda has been bringing Afro-Rican Jazz to the world. The music he shares with us is a combination of world music, progressive jazz, and traditional Afro-Puerto Rican roots and folk music and dance.

A Grammy-nominated artist and composer, and the protégé of John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespsie, William continuously advocates for research and documentation of Puerto Rico’s musical, dance, and cultural history. This dedication has won him numerous awards, grants, and recognition around the world, but is also a part of his family history. The Cepeda family was recently featured on an episode of CNN’s Inside Africa about Bomba dance.

Born and raised in Loiza, known as the heart of little Africa in Puerto Rico, he was always surrounded by music and dance. His love of music led him to seek formal education at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, the Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico, and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. He holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees (one in jazz composition and arranging and one in music education) and a master’s degree in jazz performance.

In 1997, William created his own record label, Casabe Records.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing him about his interest in music, why he decided to create his own label, and his latest project La Música de Puerto Rico: Raíces y Evolucíon (Races and Evolution). Read more

What it Means to be Afro-Latino in Philadelphia – A Conversation with Sandra Andino

As an Afro-Latina and Director of Education at Philadelphia’s Taller Puertorriqueño (Taller), Sandra Andino is always looking for ways to educate her community about being Afro-Latino.

In 2011, she developed a very successful photography exhibit, What Does It Mean To Be Afro-Latino in Philadelphia: Stories From El Barrio. For three months, from February – April 2011, poster-sized black and white photos stood tall in Taller’s Education Building, drawing large crowds and lots of buzz in Philadelphia, PA, the City of Brotherly Love.

Sandra Andino sat down with Los Afro-Latinos to talk about discovering her identity, what it means to be an Afro-Latina in Philadelphia and to talk about the next phase of her exhibition.

Emilio Tapia

Emilio Tapia: Puerto Rican, Bomba Percussionist and Youth Advocate/Educator.

Los Afro-Latinos: What did it mean to be Afro-Latino in Puerto Rico when you were growing up? What did you learn about being Puerto-Rican, of African descent while growing up in Puerto Rico?

Sandra Andino: I didn’t know what it meant. I knew I was Puerto Rican and I knew I was black, but I didn’t know what it meant to be Afro-Latino. I based my identity, for a long period of time, just on my nationality. My parents are from Puerto Rico and are Latino. So I didn’t think being black was an issue.

During my childhood was when I realized that being black and being Afro-Latino in Puerto Rico…there was something different about me. I just couldn’t clearly articulate it, until I was in high school and my first years of colleges. It wasn’t like I had this big awareness of what it meant to be Afro-Latino.

Read more

Roberto Custódio and Fight for Peace Pack Powerful Punch

The London Olympics ended a little over a week ago. And now that the torch has been extinguished, the athletes have returned home and venues are being repurposed, all eyes are on Brazil as Rio de Janeiro prepares to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Undoubtedly, Rio is stunning. Considered one of the world’s great playgrounds, it’s an incomparable city. Rio often seems postcard perfect – bathed in bright sunshine, blue skies and tropical rainforests. It’s home to the pulsating rhythms of samba and “beautiful people,” enjoying the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana. However, there is another side to Rio that’s less glamorous and often tragic – its favelas – the slums perched high above the city, often occupying prime Rio real estate. Favelas have become synonymous with violence; random, unpredictable and yet expected. Case in point, 23 year old Afro-Brazilian Roberto Custódio. Roberto grew up in Complexo do Maré one of the most dangerous favelas in Rio. When he was 13, he witnessed his father’s death by one of the favela gangs. The tragic death left him devastated. Read more

Clemencia & Francia: In Their Words

By Kim Haas

Part Two of Los Afro-Latinos La Toma Feature

Here we invite you to listen to the interview with Francia Márquez and Clemencia Carabali in Spanish.

Aquí les invitamos escuchar la entrevista con Clemencia Carabali y Francia Márquez en español.

Have you ever felt so committed to a cause that you were willing to risk your life defending it? For most of us, it’s hard to imagine being so strongly dedicated to an ideal, principle or mission. Read more

Q&A with Miriam Jiménez Román

In February, Latina magazine listed “6 Afro-Latinas Who Are Changing the World.” Naturally, Miriam Jiménez Román was second on the list.

Her work as a writer, professor and head of the Afro-Latin@ Forum has educated the world about the Afro-Latin experience and made her an authority on the subject. Her latest work, The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States, has been hailed for critics for its diverse portrait of Black Latinos in America.

Jiménez sat down to speak with Los Afro-Latinos about the book, Afro-Latinos in the media and bridging the gap between African Americans and Latinos. Read more

Afro-Peruvian Jazz & Cuisine Meet at Tutuma Social Club

If you’re ever wandering down Manhattan’s East 56th Street you may have noticed a little sign that reads “Tutuma Social Club.”

Blink and you’ll miss it. But tap down the staircase to what appears to be nothing more than a basement and you’ll be greeted with incredible Jazz music. It’s the Gabriel Alegría Afro-Peruvian Sextet playing jazz music, which transitions smoothly between sweltering and upbeat to slow, calming and intimate. Read more

Q&A with Global Links’ José Henríquez

As the Program Officer to Central and South America, José Henríquez works with Global Links to improve public health and strengthen regional healthcare in Latin America and the Caribbean. Recently, Global Links and Henríquez have focused on Honduras’ Garifuna communities –descendants of Carib, Arawak and West Africans — to provide health care.

Henríquez engaged in a Q&A with Los Afro-Latinos via email to speak about Global Links’ work, Garifuna communities and how we can help Global Links advance healthcare for those in need. Read more

Q&A with Author Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa

Update 9/19/13: Don’t miss the chance to meet Dahlma in person at our Afternoon with Dahla Llanos-Figueroa event. Join us Saturday, 9/28/13 at the Jersey City Free Public Library from 12 – 2 p.m. We hope to see you there. 

In Daughters of the Stone author Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa uses storytelling and spirituality to skillfully portray her childhood, what inspires her and life growing up as an Afro-Puerto Rican. [Click here for a synopsis of Daughters of the Stone] Read more

Q&A: An Interview with Cuban Musician Alejandro Mayor

Kim Haas sat down with Cuban musician Alejandro Mayor to talk about Cuban music, the African connection and his new CD “La Fusión” Read more