News, views and events detailing the Black presence in the Americas.
This website is designed to keep you up to date on Life in the Black Americas.
AFRO-PERUVIAN 'CAJON' TO BE INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED
By Karen Juanita Carrillo
Special to the NNPA from
the New York Amsterdam News
The country of Peru has slowly come to recognize a treasure in its midst.
The “cajon,” the traditional wooden box drum of Afro-Peruvians, was only recognized as a Peruvian national
instrument by that nation’s federal government in 2001, and this was only because SpanishFlamenco musicians had begun using the instrument and praised its numerous rhythmic abilities.
The instrument is a wooden
box or drawer that drummers straddle while tapping with an open
palm or fingertips.
There are numerous theories about the origin of the cajon. Enslaved Africans in Peru are believed
to have used old shipping crates and turned them into drums because there was a ban on African music, Spaniards believing
it might help slaves organize uprisings. Another theory holds that the cajon is actually similar to boxlike instruments that
were traditionally used in Angola.
The instrument was, for most of its history, solely relegated to the realms of Afro-Peruvian music.
But today, with its national recognition, Peru promotes use and knowledge about the cajon in its schools and museums and through
On Nov. 1, the regional Organization of American States gave the cajon international recognition during a gala ceremony
in Washington, D.C. Theceremony also payed homage to recently deceased actor and musician Rafael Santa Cruz, as well as to
singer Jose Escajadillo, who has written over 600 waltzes.
Santa Cruz died suddenly of a heart attack at age 53, just this
past August. The author of “El Cajon Afroperuano” (Lima: Cocodrilo Verde Ediciones, 2004), Santa Cruz was a recognized
promoter of the cajon. In 2013, he organized the gathering of 1,524 cajon players during the International Peruvian Cajon
Festival. The 1,524 cajon players came to Lima’s Playa Mayor and set a Guinness World Record for most cajon players
playing at the same time.
AFRO-PERUVIANS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY AND AROUND THE WORLD CAN PARTICIPATE IN LUNDUíS VIRTUAL CENSUS
Web application motivates Afro-Peruvians to recognize their identity
in the INEI 2017 National Census of Population and Housing
does being Afro mean? Whom is it determined by? How is it determined? Are there common elements? Does self-recognizing as
an African imply negatively highlighting my difference? Do the words morenos, zambos, mulattos, blacks, refer to an African
In a context such as Peru, where there is little discussion about racial and ethnic identities those are some of the
questions that Afro children, youth and adults have in relation to news of the next National Census which will include a category
allowing for the self-identification of Afro-Peruvians.
Virtual Afro-Peruvian Census (Censo Virtual Afroperuano)
is a web application that calls Afro-Peruvians to participate by responding questions organized
into fourteen themes such as health, education, employment, racism, and identity amongst others. To participate all you have
to do is enter our website and click “Iniciar Censo”. A confirmation notice sent to your email address will provide
you with the rest of the steps to follow.
The information collected will be available through
an interactive map which will display how many people are participating with the virtual census and in what countries or regions
“The Virtual Afro-Peruvian Census
takes into account all Afro-Peruvians including immigrants which while living far away from Peru encounter new living conditions
which are important to recognize. All of us should understand why we should be included in a census; it’s an opportunity
to understand our reality and propose new politics and public policies for our communities”,
states Mónica Carrillo, President of LUNDU.
With this initiative LUNDU hopes that Afro-Peruvians
will utilize digital tools and innovative technologies towards development.
Motivated by this important opportunity to know more about the contemporary reality—socio-economic
conditions related to health, employment, housing and education, amongst other issues, LUNDU Centro de Estudios y Promoción
Afroperuanos previously launched the blog
where people can find out more about Afro roots and identity through the life histories of
well-known public figures such as Carlos Mosquera, of the group Fiesta Negra, Pierr Padilla Padilla Vásquez of Colectivo
Palenke, actress Nadia Calmet, and former football player and representative of the Association of Professional Football Players
of Peru, Sandro Cavero, amongst others.
Lima, November, 2014.
We thank-you for your assistance disseminating this press release.
Poetry and music that explores ways to “repair” the damage into the
race and gender identities of afrodescendants in Latin America.
It is the longing for healing, which on top of being political, will heal and regenerate on a spiritual
and emotional level.
Monica Carrillo aka Oru and Martin Fuks, with special collaboration of visual artists Lionel Cruet, share their work in progress, where poetry is made into music with instruments in scene and the use of technological audio
visual processing programs
Afrolatino rhythms, the afro-feminist revolutions in Latin America, the influence of Nelson Mandela, among other themes will
be expressed poetically and musically at this performance.
The documentary in progress, “Afroperuanos”, directed by Monica Carrillo and sponsored
by Ford Foundation, will also be screened.
The recital will take place next Sunday, September 7th, from 5 to 7 pm at 187 Prospect Place, at the artful home
of Mitty Owens in the beautiful Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn; Q to 7th Ave or 2/3 to Bergen St and walk 3 blocks up
by Miriam Jimenéz
Juan Flores (Editor)
The book focuses
attention on a large, vibrant, yet oddly invisible community in the United States: people of African descent from Latin America
and the Caribbean. The presence of Afro-Latin@s in the United States (and throughout the Americas) belies the notion that
Blacks and Latin@s are two distinct categories or cultures. Afro-Latin@s are uniquely situated to bridge the widening social
divide between Latin@s and African Americans. At the same time, their experiences reveal pervasive racism among Latin@s and
ethnocentrism among African Americans. Offering insight into Afro-Latin@ life and new ways to understand culture, ethnicity,
nation, identity, and antiracist politics, The Afro-Latin@ Reader presents a kaleidoscopic view of Black Latin@s
in the United States. It addresses history, music, gender, class, and media representations in more than sixty selections,
including scholarly essays, memoirs, newspaper and magazine articles, poetry, short stories, and interviews.
HISTORY DAY BY DAY: A REFERENCE GUID TO EVENTS
By Karen Juanita Carrillo
The proof of any group's importance
to history is in the detail, a fact made plain by this informative book's day-by-day documentation of the impact of African
Americans on life in the United States. One of the easiest ways to grasp any aspect of history is to look at it as a
continuum. African American History Day by Day: A Reference Guide to Events provides just such an opportunity.
THE VIEW FROM CHOCÓ:
THE AFRO-COLOMBIAN PAST, THEIR LIVES IN THE PRESENT, AND THEIR HOPES FOR THE FUTURE
by Karen Juanita
View from Chocó: The Afro-Colombian past, their lives in the present, and their hopes for the future is an introduction
to the lives of Blacks in Colombia. Afro-Colombians live in a resource-rich yet remote region of Colombia. They only recently
won recognition as one of that nation's distinct ethnic groups. But Colombia's on-going civil war has led many Afro-Colombians
to reach even farther than their nation's borders for recognition: many have made their way to the United States as refugees
and as political activists working for peace in their homeland. The View from Chocó introduces the lives and
struggles of a too-long neglected community of Colombian Blacks.