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

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Afro-Uruguayan Women Find Their Own Way Home

Inés Acosta writes about the struggle to regain stolen housing among Uruguay's Black community:  " 'One of the biggest challenges we face is the difficulty of providing our families with decent housing,' [Alicia García of Mundo Afro, an Afro-Uruguayan organisation founded in 1988] told IPS.

"To tackle this problem, a group of women joined together to promote the creation of housing cooperatives, with the support of Mundo Afro, in the southern Montevideo neighbourhoods where the Afro-descendent population was historically concentrated: Barrio Sur, Palermo and Cordón.

"These neighbourhoods were originally settled by immigrant labourers and freed slaves who rented lodgings in 'conventillos' or tenement housing, in which entire families shared a single room.

"The conventillos were the birthplace of Afro-Uruguayan culture and
particularly candombe, a percussion-based musical genre with African roots
that has become quintessentially Uruguayan.

"In the 1970s, however, the rising property values in this central area of the city spurred the forced eviction of many Black families to make room for growing urban development - a gentrification process that was further stepped up during the 1973-1985 military dictatorship.

" 'As far as we are concerned, what happened during those years was an act of genocide and outright racism. Many of the houses in the neighbourhoods where we lived had been built many years before. The de facto government at the time issued an announcement that repairs would be made to run-down houses if the occupants reported the poor conditions of the places where they were living,' recalled García, who was 12 years old at the time.

" 'People went to file reports so that their houses would be repaired,
but it was all a trick: the military government gathered up all these
reports and used them to condemn the houses as uninhabitable, and then
started evicting the occupants based on these grounds. It was all a
terrible deception,' she added."

12:30 am est          Comments

Perú apologizes for racism, discrimination
By Karen Juanita Carrillo

In Perú, the administration of President Alan García Pérez has published an apology and a request for Afro Perúvians to accept a “historical pardon” from the government, for years of discrimination and second class citizenship.

Published in the Saturday, November 28, 2009 edition of the official government newspaper, El Perúano, the legal notice states that the government wanted to express a “pardon to the Afro Perúvian community for the history of abuses, exclusions and acts of discrimination that have been committed against them.”

The statement also noted that the “offenses” – or acts of discrimination – against Afro Perúvians may have begun in the 16th century but have remained unrelenting “to the present time”, continuing to present “a barrier to the social, economic, labor and educational development” of Perú’s Blacks.

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11:36 pm est          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. 

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