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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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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Black president Colombia forgot

090324 jode T.jpg
Left, a photo of Jose Nieto Gil. Right, his "whitened" portrait.

The Observers posts an article about Colombia's sole president of African descent, Jose Nieto Gil:

"At the end of the 19th century, Jose Nieto Gil was president of Colombia. And yet, you won't find him in a single history book. Why? Presumably because he was Black.

"While Americans are proud to let the world know they've elected their first Black president, the Colombians kept theirs hidden for over a century.

Colombian historian Orlando Fals Borda discovered a portrait of Jose Nieto Gil when digging in a palace loft in Cartagena more than 30 years ago. Fals Borda then spent his entire life trying to do justice to the forgotten politician. But it wasn't until the death of the historian last August that the Colombian media discovered the first African American to reach such an exceptional post.

6:45 pm edt 

Epsy Campbell running for Costa Rica’s presidency

By Karen Juanita Carrillo

Among Afro-Latino activists in the Americas, the announcement that Epsy Campbell Barr, the long time Costa Rican politician, grassroots organizer and economist, has begun a campaign for the presidency of Costa Rica is not a surprise. 

The international press is heralding Campbell as a candidate in the vein of U.S. President Barack Obama – a politician of African descent who has more local organizing experience than knowledge of international politics. 

But most of the international press is surprisingly unaware that she has spent years travelling throughout the world and working with grassroots organizers both in her own country and abroad.

The 45 year old Epsy Campbell is the grandchild of Jamaican migrants, part of a wave of workers who came to Costa Rica in the 1epsy4prez.jpeg900s looking for work on the railroads and on local banana plantations near Limón, Costa Rica.  Afro Costa Ricans share a mix of Jamaican and native Amerindian heritages; they form less than five percent of the population.


 Costa Rican presidential hopeful Epsy Campbell 


While racism has been crushing for the majority of Afro Costa Ricans, Campbell has been able to make a name for herself working with social activist groups on projects that fight for Afro Costa Rican and women’s rights.  She only became a politician after her Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC/Citizen Action Party) – which is a network of community activist groups – came together to form a party in the year 2000.

read more

6:38 pm edt 

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Visit www.afropresencia.com 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.


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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