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

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

African Rhythms Open Prospects for High-Risk Youngsters

" 'Axé' is a word that means 'positive energy or life force' in the Yoruba language of West Africa, an important concept in the Afro-Brazilian 'candomblé' religion," Fabiana Frayssinet writes in her article "African Rhythms Open Prospects for High-Risk Youngsters" for the IPS news service. "For hundreds of children and young people involved in the Axé Project, it is indeed a force for life.

"This non-governmental organization working in Salvador da Bahia, 1,200 kilometers north of Rio de Janeiro, is bent on recovering traditional rhythms in this city where over 90 percent of people are Afro-descendants....

" 'Bahian music has grown from several different roots and is based on the culture of many peoples, especially Afro-descendants who arrived in Brazil in colonial times. This tradition intertwined with European music, brought by the Portuguese and others, creating a style that is unique to this city,' [the project's musical coordinator Fernando Cerqueira] said.

"The Axé Project is trying to bring prestige and distinction to this style through its social programs with young people in high-risk situations, many of whom are former street children. The bands give professional performances and provide the young people with an opportunity to make a living.

" 'The young people we work with are mainly Afro-descendants, and the project is precisely about increasing the prestige of their culture on the basis of its musical creativity,' Cerqueira said."

6:13 pm edt 

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The Sound of My Footsteps:

Narratives of Migratory Jamaican immigrants


Interviews with over 30 Jamaican immigrants

on their pre-migratory perceptions of New York

and England

 Click here to view and purchase the book.


The Afro-Latin@ Reader 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.


African American History Day by Day: A Reference Guide 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.

 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

 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.




To view and purchase Kindle books, please click the following links:

The View from Chocó: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009LSSNLU



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