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

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Police prepare for unrest

"Police departments in cities across the country are beefing up their ranks for Election Day, preparing for possible civil unrest and riots after the historic presidential contest," Alexander Bolton writes in The Hill.

"Public safety officials said in interviews with The Hill that the election, which will end with either the nation's first Black president or its first female vice president, demanded a stronger police presence.

"Some worry that if Barack Obama loses and there is suspicion of foul play in the election, violence could ensue in cities with large Black populations. Others based the need for enhanced patrols on past riots in urban areas (following professional sports events) and also on Internet rumors.

"Democratic strategists and advocates for Black voters say they understand officers wanting to keep the peace, but caution that excessive police presence could intimidate voters."

2:52 pm edt          Comments

Latin America and Africa: The need for closer cooperation
by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

Almost every country in the world has one or two segments of its population with traces of African ancestry. Though time and intermarriages may have blunted these historical and biological facts; still, it is safe to say that all humans once lived in a Black-World. Scientifically at least, we know that human origin and its eventual diffusion, began in Africa. But beyond this, there is the issue of slavery. As a result, one can speak of the Afro-Caribbean, the Afro-Latino, the Afro-Asians, and the Euro-Africans, the African-Americans and the continental Africans. And others.

In the Caribbean and in Latin America for instance, the African presence is primarily due to the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. There are various estimates, but it is widely believed that between 1450 and 1900, some 15 million Africans arrived in the plantations of the New World. Brazil was the primary destination with about thirty-five percent of the slaves. This historicity accounts for why Brazil has the highest number of Blacks outside of the African continent.

To the aforelisted, we add the four percent that was taken to British North America (later the United States of America), twenty percent to the Spanish colonies, eighteen percent to British West Indies, and the rest scattered in the Danish, Dutch and French colonies. With such a large population of Blacks and people of Black ancestry in Latin America (and in neighboring Caribbean), one wonders why the political, cultural, and historical ties between both spheres are not as developed and as enriching as it should be.

Africa’s relationship with the Caribbean is much better; but with Latin America, it is different: it is as if Latin America is not aware of Africa, and Africa too is not aware of Latin America. Most Latin Americans I have met readily confesses to knowing very little about Africa. The little they know is shaped by centuries of misconception and stereotype. And for that matter -- except for Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina -- most Africans also know very little of Latin America, save in relation to their being soccer power houses.

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12:49 pm edt          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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