The United States celebrates Black History Month every year in February! It is a time that we annually get to celebrate the achievements of African Americans. It is too often that Afro-Latinos get overlooked and it is time to start including them in the celebration!
Here are five ways to honor Afro-Latinos for Black History Month.
Poetry has been used by Afro-Latinos to express themselves. The late Julia Constanza Burgos Garcia wrote beautiful poetry discussing the struggles and triumphs of the Afro-Latino community. She is an example of the great poetry that came out of a beautiful community. Click the video to see how a community came together to honor Burgos and the difference her poetry made, not only in a community but the whole world.
Music is another expressive outlet to show culture. Many songs today have the influence of Afro-Latino beats. There are so many songs that have an Afro-Latino influence that we may not know or often overlook. Fun fact: Cumbia, bachata, and mambo all originate from Afro-Latino roots. If you want to learn a little more about this, I highly recommend listening to this playlist that NPR created.
There are museums that are dedicated to Black culture or have sections that will show you more about history. You can also do a little bit of research and educate yourself on the culture. The culture is filled with a rich history, food, music, and everything in between. The most famous museum that has the most information would be the Schomburg Center for Research in Black culture. Because of COVID-19, it is temporarily closed but the website gives you some insight!
The Afro [email protected] Reader
If you enjoy a good read and interested in learning more about the Afro-Latino culture, The Afro [email protected] Reader is the book for you. It shows the journey of how Afro-Latinos brought their culture and history over to the United States. By reading this book, you will have a deeper look into the history, music, gender, class, and media representations.
The book compiles more than sixty selections of representation, including scholarly essays, memoirs, newspaper and magazine articles, poetry, short stories, and interviews.
Alex Gutierrez is the lead and producer of Afrosaya The Afro-Latino Podcast. The podcast is produced in English and Spanish and is an advocate for access to quality education, health, and justice for all. Often, you will hear guest speakers who join us to share their personal stories.
There are many ways to honor Afro-Latinos and African-Americans. It should not just be limited to a month. These are five ways to celebrate, learn more, and honor the great history of Afro-Latinos.