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News, views and events detailing the Black presence in the Americas.

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June 2008 Diaspora congress scheduled for Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico

A diverse and international organizing committee is putting together a June 2008 conference on Afro Latinos of Mexico and Central America. The group appears to be representative of scholars who have worked for years on issues relating to Blacks in the North and South America.

The upcoming Diaspora, Nation & Difference: Populations of African Descent in Mexico and Central America congress will take place June 10-13, 2008 in Jalapa, Veracruz.  The congress is still seeking proposals for papers, the deadline for submissions has been extended to November 30, 2007. Registration is still ongoing for the congress as well.

The Congress' English language website explains one of the purposes for the event: "The substantial contributions of African-based populations, frequently avoided and even denied by Mexico and certain Central American nations, deserve greater attention from scholars and the broader population. The hemispheric role of African descendants has assumed greater relevance at theDiaspora__Nation___Difference.jpg international level over the last two decades, specifically with the adoption of constitutions and legislation that has recognized their contributions in places such as Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, and through the efforts of organizations such as the United Nations, the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations Development Program, and the International Labor Organization....

"Without a doubt, over the years the study of the African Diaspora in Mexico and Central America has grown and become highly diversified. It is impossible now to deny that there is research and interest in the topic. Consequently, it is time for hosting a broad-reaching conference, one that delineates the various avenues that have been used to interpret our national and regional societies, and how they have integrated, adopted, and even engaged with ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity."

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Three photos you never saw

Check out this terrific piece in The Michigan Citizen which tells how the U.S. media edited out important photos showing the continued respect citizens in other countries still have for the revolutionary African American leaders of the United States.

In the piece Three photos you never saw, Paul Lee
AP PHOTO by HASAN SARBAKHSHIA.xgif.gif notes that when Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega visited Tehran University in the Islamic Republic of Iran "students held up posters of three Latin American revolutionaries: Cuban President Fidel Castro, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and martyred Cuban Commandante Ernesto (Che) Guevara," -- and they noticeably held up a poster with a portrait of Malcolm X.

And as far back as 1984, "the government of Grand Ayatullah Sayid Ruhullah Musawi Khomeini issued a stamp commemorating the 'Universal Day of Struggle Against Race Discrimination' that featured a likeness of Malcolm X in prayer that highlighted his spiritual and revolutionary character," Paul Lee notes.  This was 15 years prior to the United States issuing a much tamer portrait of Malcolm X on a postage stamp.
5:41 pm est          Comments

Revealed: how multinational companies avoid the taxman

An article in a Tuesday November 6, 2007 issue of England's The Guardian shows how multinational companies are able to hide their profits, depriving the governments they are based in -- and the countries they are using resources in -- of much needed revenues to take care of their populations.

The report states that "large corporations are creating elaborate structures to move profits through subsidiaries to offshore centres such as the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands, to avoid handing money over to tax collectors in the countries where their goods are produced, and in those where they are consumed. Governments at both ends of the chain are increasingly being deprived of the ability to raise tax for development or services."

4:05 pm est          Comments

3,000 Italians run against death penalty, even as executions rise

Some 3,000 Italian nationals took part in New York City's Marathon on November 4, 2007.   And the Italian government - the main governmental force supporting the anti-death penalty efforts of the group Hands Off Cain - used some of its runners to promote the Italian commitment to stop capital executions worldwide.

Hands_off_Cain.gifThe Italian government is expected to propose a global resolution to abolish the death penalty at the United Nations in New York, later this week. 


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In partnership with:
LUNDU Center for Afro-Peruvian Advancement 



By Lisa Scott


Interviews with over 30 Jamaican immigrants on their pre-migratory perceptions of New York and England

 Click here to view and purchase the book.



by Miriam Jimenéz Román  (Editor), 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.

 Click here to view and purchase the book.



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.

 Click here to view and purchase the book.



by Karen Juanita Carrillo


The 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. 

 Click here to view and purchase the book.





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