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

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Separate, But Equal” recalls the best of Black life, before integration

By Karen Juanita Carrillo

“I had this old photograph of my mother, who died when I was younger,” Shawn D. Wilson, the writer/director of the new documentary film “Separate, But Equal” (www.separatebutequalfilm.com) explained in a recent interview.

“It was the only photograph that I had of her. I lived in New York, but I decided to travel back to Mississippi and try to locate the photographer who had taken the photograph.”

After tracking down the photographer, whose name is Henry Clay Anderson, Wilson traveled to Greenville, Mississippi to meet him and discovered that on top of the elegant portrait of his mother taken in 1965, Anderson had made a series of graceful black and white photographs of a strong, independent, and apparently successful bathingbeauties.JPGBlack community in what was then a segregated Mississippi.

Anderson’s photos show that even in the mid-20th century, when Black lives were legally separated from the lives of their fellow white citizens, middle-class African Americans constructed a world of comfort and pleasure that made their community strong. 

Son.jpg“He had these really, really beautiful images of Black people in Mississippi during legal segregation that just totally blew me away,” Wilson recalls: “I had only been familiar with images of the poverty and the oppression and all the media coverage around the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi, and what was happening around segregation.  I’d never come across something that made me feel good about being from Mississippi or good about that era. 

“But when I saw these photographs, it sort of ignited something in me to make the effort to pull out something that was good about that period, something that I could look back on and feel good about for myself and share with other people.”

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2:20 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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