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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.  

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Formation of Afro Perúvian Network

Perú’s Asociación Negra de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos
RedAfroperuana.jpgHumanos (Association of Blacks for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (ASONEDH);;; has created a new Red Nacional de la Diáspora Africana en el Perú

The Red Afroperuana has established regional
RedAfroperuanaLogo.jpgoffices in Piura, Lambayeque, Ancash, Callao, Lima Centro, Lima Provincias, Ica, Arequipa, and Tacna.  Those interested in contacting the central office, which is in Lima, should call 332 2335 – 431 1183 or send an email to

10:24 pm est          Comments

African History Month part education, part celebration

"It’s African History Month again," writes Minister Faust in Canada's Vue Weekly, "and across the city and across the continent, folk are gearing up for education and celebration. But not everyone is celebrating, with some fighting over the name and others questioning whether the month still even needs to exist.

" 'All other peoples take up the other 11 months well,' says Winston Hawthorne, an engineer and community activist with the National Black Coalition of Canada (NBCC), a major force behind the annual events in Edmonton. 'We just need a little space for ourselves so we have time to talk with ourselves, see ourselves and do for ourselves. We’re behind in self-representation.'
"African History Month, also called African Heritage Month and Black History Month, began in the US in 1926 through the efforts of Carter G Woodson, author of The Miseducation of the Negro, who established Negro History Week. Originally an American-only observance, the concept has spread across North America, but, according to Hawthorne, it hasn’t been easy."
8:45 pm est          Comments

Death of Tata Güines

"Cuban percussion maestro, Tata Güines, died Monday, February 4 in Cuba of kidney failure and high blood pressure," write the editors of World Music Central.

"Known as the 'rey de los tambores' (king of the drums), Tata Güines was renowned worldwide for his percussion work since the 1950s. His specialty was the tumbadoras (the name given in Cuba to congas). Arístides Soto Alejo aniversariotataguines.jpgwas born June 30, 1930 in the town of Güines. He was better known as Tata Güines, his artistic name."

The BBC notes that the " 'King of the Congas' shared the stage with some of the world's most renowned performers during a career spanning more than six decades.

"In the US in the 1950s, he performed with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Josephine Baker and Dizzy Gillespie.

"He had spent his formative years playing with some of the greats of 1930's and 40's Cuban music.

"Despite his success in the United States, Güines returned to Cuba after Fidel Castro's communist revolution in 1959, saying he had never been able to get used to the racial segregation in the US at the time.

" 'Fame did not extend beyond the stage. Once you left the stage, it was like the signs said: "Whites only",' he said in an interview published last year."

6:19 pm est          Comments

The African Presence in México: From Yanga to the present 

"Like many, I thought the African influence in Mexico was limited to the Caribbean coast, especially Veracruz," writes Los Angeles Times staff writer Agustin Gurza in his article 'The African Presence in México' breaks new ground which describes the exhibit "The African Presence in México: From Yanga to the Present" on view at the California African American Museum through June 1.

"Think again. The exhibition illustrates the depth and reach of African culture. You suddenly see African features in a pre-Hispanic Olmec sculpture or in the faces of miners from the central Mexican state of Guanajuato. The influence is unmistakable in the rhythms of the son jarocho and the architecture of round huts with thatched roofs in the Costa Chica, a coastal region south of Acapulco with a strong African presence that is documented in the striking portraits by African American photographer Tony Gleaton.

"It's in this region, straddling the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca, that Moreno was first struck by a part of Mexican culture that had seemed invisible to him until then. How many times had he hung that 1910 photo by Agustin Casasola of a Mexican revolutionary, 'Portrait of a Female Soldier From Michoacan,' and still not seen it? 'I was blown away that it had never before crossed my mind that this woman is of African descent,' he says. 'I felt like an idiot. There she was staring me in the face and I had never recognized her before.'

"Racism has led to denial in Mexico, where the census doesn't even have a category for counting blacks and NMMAAfricanPresenceIcon.jpgeven Afro-Mexicans prefer to be called brown or Cuban, according to the exhibition's meticulous and beautiful companion book. At the same time, Moreno notes, interracial marriage has helped blur race lines in Mexico almost since the Spaniards arrived.

Catalogue cover for "The African Presence in México"

"Still, Mexico has had its Afro-Mexican heroes, including President Vicente Guerrero, who outlawed slavery in 1829, a move that helped spark the confrontation with Texas, a slave state, and the subsequent war with the United States. (Like Lincoln, Guerrero was assassinated.)"

6:14 pm est          Comments

Remembering the Legend: Bob Marley

February 6th marks the birthday of Bob Marley. And although it has been almost 27 years since his passing, Marley's music continues to reverberate throughout the globe.

Bob Marley was born in the small village of Nine Miles, Jamaica in 1945. Born Nesta Robert Marleybobmarley.jpg, he has been labeled one of the most significant musical artists of the twentieth century and remains the most widely known performer of reggae music.

He died on May 11, 1980 of melanoma to his lungs and brain at the age of 36 years of age.  Prior to his death he fathered 13 children: three with his wife Rita, two adopted from Rita's previous relationships, and the remaining eight with separate women.

Marley is best known for his reggae songs, which include the hits "I Shot the Sheriff", "No Woman, No Cry", "Three Little Birds", "Exodus", "Could You Be Loved", "Jammin'", "Redemption Song", and "One Love". His posthumous compilation album Legend (1984) is the best-selling reggae album ever, with sales of more than 12 million copies.

"The reservoir of music he has left behind is like an encyclopedia," says Judy Mowatt of the I-Threes, Marley's famous back-up group. "When you need to refer to a certain situation or crisis, there will always be a Bob Marley song that will relate to it. Bob was a musical prophet."

To celebrate his birthday and his music, musical events, street walks and talks are scheduled to take place in Belgium, Kenya, Denmark and the United States. 

Information about specific events can be found on the website.

11:23 pm est          Comments

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Visit to find listings and links to areas where you can find out about upcoming events, as well as links to articles, photos and videos on Life in the Black Americas.


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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