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

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Obama's Iowa win viewed from the Black community 

Corporate media are showing surprise at the Barack Obama victory in Iowa.  Many are choosing to explore their shock by examining how Black people have viewed Senator Obama's electoral gain.

"Ray Ballentine was waiting for a sign to throw his support to Barack Obama. And when Obama coasted to victory in Iowa's caucuses, there it was - evidence that the senator had the broad racial appeal to get to the White House," notes the Associated Press.

"...Obama's convincing win in Thursday's caucuses in Iowa - a state with just a smattering of minority voters - demonstrated the Illinois senator's support crosses racial lines and bolstered the notion that America is receptive to electing its first black president."

Diane Cardwell of the New York Times wrote the piece, "Daring to Believe, Blacks Savor Obama Victory":

"[I]n dozens of interviews on Friday from suburbs of Houston to towns outside Chicago and rural byways near Birmingham, Ala., African-Americans voiced pride and amazement over his victory on Thursday and the message it sent, even if they were not planning to vote for him or were skeptical that he could win in November."

And Tanika White writes in the Baltimore Sun that "While the primary season is early and Obama faces formidable competition, he hopes to succeed where other black major-party presidential candidates have fallen short.

"In 1984, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson captured 3.5 million votes and won primaries in Louisiana and the District of Columbia during his first bid for the presidency. Four years later, he collected twice as many votes in winning 13 primaries and caucuses. He finished second to the ultimate Democratic nominee, Michael Dukakis. Jackson also mounted major voter registration drives in both years.

"Jackson's campaigns came more than a decade after then-New York Rep. Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress, unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination; she dropped out after collecting 152 delegates in 1972. Four years ago, the Rev. Al Sharpton made an impression in the debates but received only 27 delegates in his Democratic presidential bid.

"On the Republican side, former diplomat Alan L. Keyes unsuccessfully ran in 1996 and 2000 and is making a largely unnoticed bid this year.

"Yesterday, all the current presidential hopefuls took their messages to New Hampshire, where a hoarse Obama told supporters at a rally he was in high spirits because 'last night the American people began down the road to change.'"

But an opinion piece by Tayo Agunbiade in the Lagos, Nigeria-based newspaper This Day shows the hesitation Black oriented media still have: "[I]ts no longer news that race is still very much a raging issue in America. Many examples abound about how deep hatred for African Americans still exists in some parts of the country. The Jena 6 and the nooses are still fresh in the minds of Black Americans. The white supremacists and other kinds of right wing elements will have a lot to say about this. And for this simple reason if Obama somehow manages to beat Hillary to scale through the hurdles within the camp of the Democracts, he may not go much further unless white America confronts head on this demon that is ravaging their nation. His candidacy in fact may push Americans to return for another serving of Republicanism Iraq war or not. His nomination is also very likely to bring to the fore some of the contentious racial issues (not that they ever really went away!). Those who have been speaking in hushed tones for fear of being labelled racist will certainly begin to say it out aloud." 

10:58 pm est          Comments

Accompong Maroons celebrate on January 6

Jamaica's annual Accompong Maroon celebrations will take place on January 6.

The Jamaica Observer is reporting that "[o]n Sunday, January 6, residents of this maroon community, as well as persons from across the island, will gather for the annual celebration marking the anniversary of Captain Cudjo's birthday and the 270th year of the signing of a peace treaty between the maroons and Britain."

The Maroon war hero, Captain Cudjoe, led Jamaican Blacks who had escaped from slavery - and who were known as Maroons - in battles that led to the signing of the St. Elizabeth Maroon peace treaty on January 6, 1738. The treaty, which ended the nation's First Maroon War, guaranteed the St. Elizabeth Maroons land holdings and their personal freedom.

The Maroons founded the village of Accompong, which is named after Cudjoe's younger brother and still exists today. The January 6 peace treaty was signed in "Peace Cave" which is near Accompong Town: celebrations for the signing of the treaty take place every January, not far from "Peace Cave."  

Colonel Sidney Peddie told the Observer that "the first item on the agenda would be a gathering under the Kinda Tree, where unsalted pork is prepared for the feeding of those present as well as the ancestors at Old Town.

" 'This takes place relatively early and is normally accompanied by many forms of singing and drumming as well as the use of white rum for purification purposes,' he said.

"Colonel Peddie explained that after that ceremony, 'true born maroons' would make a sacred pilgrimage down to Old Town, which was the location of the first village set up by Captain Accompong, Cudjo's brother, to feed the ancestral spirits."

12:54 am est          Comments

Cynthia McKinney running for president

Former Georgia Congresswoman
Cynthia McKinney is running for president of the United States.  

"[K]nown for her outspokenness on hot political issues, [she] is the presidential nominee of the Green Party," writes CynthiaMcKinney.jpgAkwasi Evans in a Nokoa Observer Newspaper article circulated by the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA)

Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney

While campaigning in Austin, Texas "McKinney spoke to listeners of KAZI-FM's talk show, 'The Wake-Up Call', telling listeners that both the Democrats and the Republicans want to feed the people to the war machine.

"She said people's values are ignored by the major parties and opportunities for advancement are being exported instead of cultivated here at home."

10:42 pm est          Comments

Santería’s theology taught at Florida International University
By Karen Juanita Carrillo

Santería was taught for the first time this past fall semester at Florida International University's (FIU) Biscayne Bay campus.  

Oba Ernesto Pichardo, a research fellow in FIU’s African-New World Studies (ANWS) program AfrNewWrldStudies.gifand a priest at the Church of Lukumi Babalú Ayé (CLBA) in Hialeah, Florida, taught the three-credit course, “Santeria in Transnational Perspectives.”

6:51 pm est          Comments

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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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