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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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Brazilians see themselves in mixed-race Obama

Other than once again portraying the United States as the only nation that has had to confront issues of race, the Reuter's article "Brazilians see themselves in mixed-race Obama" by Stephanie Beasley gives an interesting portrait of how the Obama presidential campaign is being viewed by other African descendants in the Americas.

"Obama's progress has been avidly debated in Brazil, from student refectories to Vejacover.gifnewspaper columns. His portrait was on the front cover of this week's Veja magazine, a leading Brazilian news weekly, along with a 10-page report," Beasley writes.


" 'Obama looks like my father,' singer Caetano Veloso said in an interview with Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper. 'He's a mulatto that's looks like someone from Santo Amaro (Veloso's hometown). I've heard he's said he looks like a Brazilian.'


"The interest in Obama highlights different notions of race in Brazil and the United States -- who have a shared history of slavery -- and also Brazil's own racial fault lines."

1:38 pm edt          Comments

Día de la cultura Afroperuana/AfroPeruvian Day

Peru officially celebrates its African descendant communities with its June 4th celebration of the Día de la cultura Afroperuana/AfroPeruvian Day. The June 4th date was approved in congress and established under Ley Nº 6692/Law No. 6692; it is celebrated every year.

Peruvian Congresswoman Martha Moyano spoke with Andean Air Mail & Peruvian Times about Afro-Peruvian issues in a video that can be watched here. While L. Shane Greene, an Assistant Professor of Anthropology Faculty Associate, Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change (ACT) at Indiana University notes in her article "On Being Black and Becoming Visible in Peru" that the Afro Peruvian struggle for recognition has been a long battle, waged against forces that promote ideals of white supremacy: "from the contemporary Afro-Peruvian perspective pressing the state and the broader multicultural world community to recognize their existence involves not only contesting the doctrine of white supremacy that legitimizes social exclusion in the first place. It also involves challenging Peru's deeply national desire to constantly celebrate its connection to the prestigious Inca patrimony.

"The kinds of social exclusion this situation gives rise to can be appreciated from the briefest of encounters with Peruvian high schoolers, particularly if you catch them just after they emerge from a history exam. Ask any one of them to tell you something about Tupac Amaru II's rebellion against the Spanish in the Cuzco region during the early 1780s, still the largest indigenous rebellion in the history of the Americas.

"They'll launch into a story about Jose Gabriel Condorcanqui (the most memorable of Peru's Andean rebels, as he was known by his Christian name) as the last of the Inca's royal lineage that the Spanish struggled to destroy. They would never think to tell you, for example, that Tupac Amaru II promised freedom to the small number of African slaves living in Cuzco at the time if they assisted in the anti-colonial effort. Or that the Spanish mobilized a free black militia to help in squashing the revolt.

"They wouldn't tell you because these are things you never learn about in the Peruvian school system. Aside from an occasional reference to Ramon Castilla and the abolition of slavery in the 1850s - or a reference to Susana Baca as Peru's most visible Afro-Peruvian music artist - one is hard pressed to find any references to African descendants in the popular imagination.In the shadow of both Peru's Spanish and Inca legacies, it is this peculiar pattern of exclusion from history and contemporary society that Afro-Peruvians are now eagerly struggling to emerge. Contemporary Black activism has roots that stretch back at least to the 1950s."

4:44 pm edt          Comments


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In partnership with:
LUNDU Center for Afro-Peruvian Advancement 
 www.lundu.org.pe 
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-----BOOKS-----

THE SOUND OF MY FOOTSTEPS: NARRATIVES OF MIGRATORY JAMAICAN IMMIGRANTS.  

By Lisa Scott

 

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

 Click here to view and purchase the book.

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THE AFRO-LATIN@ READER 

by Miriam Jimenéz Román  (Editor), Juan Flores (Editor) 

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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.

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AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY DAY BY DAY: A REFERENCE GUID TO EVENTS 

By Karen Juanita Carrillo

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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.

              ---------------------------------------------

THE VIEW FROM CHOCÓ: THE AFRO-COLOMBIAN PAST, THEIR LIVES IN THE PRESENT, AND THEIR HOPES FOR THE FUTURE 

by Karen Juanita Carrillo

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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. 

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