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Posts tagged ‘Interview’

Ynanna Djehuty’s Path to Identifying as an Afro-Latina

by Nicolle Morales Kern

The journey to self-discovery can be a long one, often involves exploring outside of the boundaries provided by family, and can lead to a new identity.

Such is the case for Afro-Dominican poet, writer, and birth doula Ynanna Djehuty (born Carmen Mojica). Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Djehuty didn’t start referring to herself as Afro-Dominican until she started researching her heritage at the State University of New York at New Paltz, where she studied Black Studies and Television/Radio Productions. On this journey, she realized that there was a part of herself that she hated.

“The community in U.S. doesn’t like to recognize African heritage. I can only guess that in the Dominican Republic it might be the same. In the U.S., there is a clear black and white line; our society doesn’t understand there is a mix of things and you have to define if you’re black or white, and when I was growing up I didn’t realize that was happening, and always saw white as better.”

During her last semester in college, Djehuty took a class on Women in the Caribbean, which not only focused the racial aspects, but on the entire experience of women and how colonization has impacted their lives. After reading the article Latinegras: Desired Women – Undesirable Mothers, Daughters, Sisters and Wives by Marta Cruz-Janzen, she recognized who she is and how she feels about herself. As a result, Djehuty wrote a 20-page paper on the Afro-Latina identity. One thing she discovered during her research is that there are not many voices contributing to the subject.

“I decided I wanted to add to the voices of Afro-Latinas, to share information with other Afro-Latinas who don’t have words for their experiences,” says Djehuty on her decision to write her first book Hija De Mi Madre (My Mother’s Daughter), published in October 2009. The book is “a combination of memoirs, poems and research material that explains the effects of race on identity from an academic standpoint. She shares her personal story as a metaphor to place a common cultural experience into context.” Read more

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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: 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