Tag Archives: caribbean

Call For Submissions: ¿Y Tu Abuela, Donde Está?: Multi-dimensional Afro-Latina/o Identities In The 21st Century

The Migration of Afro-Latin@s. Via williamsbsu.wordpress.com

The Migration of Afro-Latin@s. Via williamsbsu.wordpress.com

“The Black and White Dialogue on race and culture in the United States has consistently ignored the existence of more than 150 million people of African ancestry in the other Americas. The total absence of Afro-Latinas/os from the Caribbean Mexico, Central America and South America in the consciousness of the national discourse in the United States, including in institutions that educate and inform the civil society of the nation, contributes to the absolute disregard of the presence and realities of African Diasporic communities within the U.S. national territory and aboard. This lack of recognition and omission of the history, contributions and lives of more than 150 million people of African ancestry, many of whom reside here in the United States renders their contributions and lives irrelevant.”   

–Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, Women Warriors of the Afro-Latina Diaspora, “Afro-Boricua: Nuyorican de Pura Cepa,” page 75

“Of the estimated 11 million enslaved Africans brought to the New World from the late 1400s to the 1860s, most were taken to Latin America and the Caribbean, with only some 645,000 landing in the United States. “So when you’re talking about blackness, you’re really talking about Latin America.”

Miriam Jimenez Roman

Context:

“¿Y Tu Abuela, Donde Está?: Multi-dimensional Afro-Latina/o Identities in the 21st Century” is an exhibition examining Afro-Latino identity and culture in a contemporary context. The title is appropriated from a popular phrase within the Spanish-speaking Latin American community that examines the racial and cultural heritage of people of African descent. Sometimes used as a biting remark towards Latinos who elect to identify racially and culturally as something other than “Black” or of African descent, the phrase alludes to the idea of individuals literally hiding their background by keeping their grandmother, presumably a dark-complexioned woman, in the back part of their homes where no one can see her. However, some Latinos have also appropriated the adage to proudly profess their African heritage. As North America’s population shifts and the rate of Latin Americans grows in the United States, there has been an increase in interest of the historical, cultural, cosmological and political narratives of Latina/os of African descent and those who racially identify as “Black.” But most importantly, there has also been a push by Afro-Latina/os for the acknowledgement of the existence of a population of millions of people of African descent living outside the U.S. in Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean. The term “Afro-Latino” has also given rise to nuanced conversations about non-Spanish speaking Latin Americans from places such as Brasil and the Francophone Caribbean. CCCADI has been at the forefront of conversations about Afro-Latinos since its founding by Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, an Afro-Puerto Rican scholar, for the past three decades. As an institution, CCCADI is committed to delving deeper into this complex conversation to examine where Afro-Latina/os are today as individuals and as a community, particularly as younger generations boldly proclaim their Latino AND African identities.

HOW TO SUBMIT

Continue reading

Angelina Jolie nominated for a NAACP Image Award

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Today’s WTF moment for you. (Thanks Dorothy!) From Yahoo! News:

“The Great Debaters,” a film based on the real-life victories of a black debating team in the 1930s, topped the list of nominees announced Tuesday for the 39th NAACP Image Awards…

Nominated for outstanding actress: Jurnee Smollett for “The Great Debaters,” Angelina Jolie for “A Mighty Heart,” Halle Berry for “Things We Lost In the Fire,” Jill Scott for “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?” and Taraji P. Henson for “Talk To Me.”

Amusement park allows visitors to be slave for a day

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

An American couple based in Haiti want to open a park called Memory Village to educate people about slavery (thanks Tricia):

Visitors to Memory Village would decide whether they wanted to be spectators or participants during a twelve-hour day. The latter would receive traditional African clothing and then be mock-kidnapped from their homelands, shackled, chained and forced to march to the slave ship (resting on a real stream), where they’d be piled in as cargo for the crossing of the Atlantic. Once the ship reached the New World, the participants would be brought to market and sold, then broken down in the quarantine and put to work out on the plantation. Near the end of the day, a slave rebellion would start, a rebellion that would eventually lead to the establishment of Haiti.

What do you think of this idea? Would this experience help educate people about slavery? Or is it just trivializing the issue?

Prison Break recap of episode 308: Bang and Burn

by guest contributor Masheka Wood

Previously on Prison Break: Michael finally finds out Sarah’s dead, starts a chicken-foot fight against Whistler for a distraction, and watches his first Sona escape attempt go completely F.U.B.A.R. Lechero (a.k.a. Norman the Milkman) gets stripped of power, a newly released Mahone gets squirrelly without his vein-candy, and we discover Susan B. Anthony (a.k.a. Gretchen) is in cahoots with Whistler.

And now for the recap of the fall season finale, in which …

‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’ (a great Spanish version) plays over a montage of various prisoners doing prison-y stuff like weight-lifting, drug-smoking and corpse-covering. Ahh, life in Penitenciaría Federal de Sona!

During visitation, Linc informs Michael that Company operative Susan has given them four more days to bust out—and that Susan plans to kill them as soon as they’re free. Michael doesn’t care; he’s still pissed that Lincoln waited so long to tell him about Sara’s beheading. As far as Michael is concerned, Linc used Michael like the Company used them both. Damn, that’s cold! And kind of weird because, as many fans have noted, Michael constantly uses others for his gain. Guess it hurts more when your bro does it. As Michael leaves the outdoor visitation area, a welder installs reinforced steel bars to prevent any other window escapes.

Meanwhile, General ‘Pad Man’ (so-called because his fear of listening devices often leads him prefer writing pads to speech), the Company boss from season 2, pays Susan a visit at her hotel. He orders a “bang or burn” operation ASAP. If the mission fails, he’ll make her past rape and torture as a prisoner of war “look like a massage.” Shaken, Susan visits Whistler and notifies him of the new plan. She also tells him to kill Michael—at which prospect Whistler has the decency to look sick.

Back in Sona, Lechero sneaks over to talk clandestinely to Michael through the bars. Michael needs him to persuade the colonel to delay reinforcing the prison windows, or the new escape plan is useless. Lechero reminds him that he no longer has the influence he once had but has another idea.

Later, Sammy, Lechero’s right-hand man, speaks with Lechero and says that they need more allies to maintain rule over Sona. but Lechero doesn’t trust anyone, especially now.

On side note, Lechero (as played by Robert Wisdom) is a very interesting significant character, a black man who holds a position of great power while under incarceration for avenging his mother’s rape by her wealthy employer. Continue reading

Heroes recap of episode 208: Four Months Ago

by Racialicious guest contributor David Zhou

What is his name?!?

There is too much to be said about how a black character from Haiti, referred to as The Haitian and used as a weapon by dominating, white forces, still has yet to earn a name. Is his name too ethnic for us to pronounce? His history too dark for us to fathom? But most of all, how do you address someone who has no name?!? I’ve wondered how the screenwriters have avoided until now the instances where some higher agent has to say, “Haitian, go do this-and-that.” (Maybe they just use “you” the way Elle does when pursuing Peter and Adam.) Watching this episode, these exchanges between other characters and the one played by the talented Jimmy Jean-Louis become increasingly ridiculous. He rarely even speaks! Something really is wrong with this.

And remember the part where Elle refers to The Company’s power-negating medications as “Haitian pills,” a reference to one of his powers? Yeah, that was messed up.

To boot, does he have alliances or a personal agenda at all? In this last episode, temporally set between the first and second seasons, he works for the Company that he had been working to bring down in both seasons. This character just always seems to come in handy only when key characters require a partner who can suppress superpowers and erase memories. If I am just missing the logic behind this, someone inform me; all I see in this character is a lackey for the more crucial (ahem, white) people, and his story should be so much more than that.

Another item of note was a comment by Elle, the other cute (but crazy and dangerous) blonde girl to come by on this show. (Thanks to Elton for the tip.) She makes a speech worthy of a great, collective “aww”. She says, “I’m twenty-four years old and I’ve never gone on a date. Never been on a rollercoaster. Never been swimming. And now you know everything there is to know about me.” I feel so sorry for her, but question: what ideals must you impose upon yourself to feel bad about these things? If you said “Western” you may have been right, because as Elton pointed out, there are cultures where dating and amusement parks are just not on the adolescent agenda. Which is to say, the first-world innovation of amusement parks and the social construction of dates are not necessarily universal. Just pointing that out. (I still felt pretty bad for Elle, though.)

And also… so much for my crying out about how very Catholic Maya and Alejandro are. They are apparently really Catholic. So Catholic that Maya does a stint as a nun! (Well, she is also seeking redemption for killing about fifty people; maybe it’s justified.

But lastly, I must say that there were some nice things in this episode. The wedding was sweet – until the soapy, intruded-upon sex scene. And once again, I can’t help but say that Nikki and D.L. are really cute together, and if people see the problems in their marriage as a function of their racial difference, then… I just have no words.

To read past Heroes recaps, click here.

A Mighty Heart: Revealed

by Racialicious special correspondent Latoya Peterson

A Mighty Heart has gotten a lot of play on this blog (see here and here).

We’ve debated everything from the motives in selecting the lead actress to Marianne Pearl’s experiences to neo-blackface.

Personally, I’ve been keeping an eye out for an answer. In last month’s Glamour (or it could have been the month before – I only read Glamour every so often), Marianne Pearl discussed her experience and indicated that she sought out Angelina Jolie. She initially sought her out in friendship, and later asked for her to take on the role.

This month, I’m paging through Esquire and start reading Tom Junod’s extremely thorough and researched interview on Angelina Jolie. On page 85, Junod shone some light on the making of the film:

A year later, Mariane Pearl published a memoir of her marriage to Danny and the terrible circumstances of his death. Called A Mighty Heart, it was not a bitter book nor a book of broken faith. It was, indeed, a book that put forth the notion that Danny and Mariane Pearl did not lose to unimaginable evil but rather triumphed over it by living as citizens of the world to the very end. Brad Pitt bought it while it was still in manuscript and started to develop it as a vehicle for his wife, Jennifer Aniston; and when Brad left Jennifer for Angelina after the filming of Mr. and Mrs. Smith,it was Mariane Pearl who suggested Angelina Jolie for the role of Mariane Pearl, for, as it turned out, Angelina Jolie and Mariane Pearl were not just kindred spirits. They rather startlingly drew the same meaning from their different experiences after 9/11. They rather startlingly both believed that the story of Daniel Pearl’s death was about good people coming together to fight evil rather than evil guys coming together to destroy good. They rather inevitably became close. “I read the book,” Angelina says, “and Mariane and I got on really well as women, and we’ve since become really great friends, and our kids have become friends.” And in A Mighty Heart, they joined forces on a movie that, far from bemoaning the fact that some people are worse than others, celebrates the fact that some people are just better.

A couple notes:

1. That was copied straight from the magazine, long sentences and one block paragraph intact.

2. In the Glamour article, Mariane Pearl indicates that she initiated the friendship with Angelina. They became friends first, and then things moved forward on the movie.

So, after reading this account, what do you think?

Personally, I’m kind of shocked that the movie was going to be a Jennifer Aniston vehicle. I think that blows my mind. What were they going to do with her to transform her into Mariane Pearl?

On a gossipy note, that kind of blows for Jennifer Aniston – Angelina got her man AND her film!

I also wonder how Mariane Pearl self-identifies. I find it interesting that no one of color was tapped to play her – even though this would have been a no-brainer choice based on looks for Halle Berry or Thandie Newton or maybe a new undiscovered actress. I am not sure how much control Pearl had over the process initially, but she did recommend Angelina for the role. Did she just want someone she knew and trusted to portray her correctly? Or is there something more behind this?

What do you think? Regular readers, does this change your opinions expressed in the comments on the previous threads?

Radar Online’s list of racial stereotypes in the movies

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Radar Online just published a great list called From Borat to Mammy: The top ten stereotypes in cinema history:

Hollywood has a long history of racial insensitivity—stereotypes are its stock in trade. But, as with Borat, watchdog groups are too quick to sound the alarm when things get out of hand. Unfortunately for film-goers with less-fragile constitutions, some of the most deliciously offensive characters in cinema have been relegated to the dustbin as a result. Where were the Golden Globes when Long Duk Dong dropped his L’s in Sixteen Candles? It just doesn’t seem fair. Come with us on a tour of Hollywood’s walk of shame, where we gaze, slack-jawed, upon the ten best stereotypes ever captured on film.

(Hat tip to Angry Asian Man.) So who’s on the list?

Long Duk Dong
From: Sixteen Candles, 1984
Played By: Gedde Watanabe
Groups Offended: Asians, exchange students

Speedy Gonzales
From: The Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie, 1981; various Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies animated shorts
Voiced By: Mel Blanc
Groups Offended: Mexicans, mice

James ‘Buffalo Bill’ Gumb
From: The Silence of the Lambs, 1991
Played By: Ted Levine
Groups Offended: Gays, transsexuals, lesbians, serial killers, cannibals

Dick Hallorann
From:The Shining, 1980
Played By: Scatman Crothers
Groups Offended: African-Americans, mystics, Lady Cleo, Dionne Warwick, most of the Psychic Friends Network

Jar Jar Binks
From: Star Wars: Phantom Menace, 1999; Attack of the Clones, 2002; Revenge of the Sith, 2005)
Voiced By: Ahmed Best
Groups Offended: Jamaicans, nerds

Pagoda
From: The Royal Tenenbaums, 2001
Played By: Kumar Pallana
Groups Offended: Indians, hipsters

Grand Vizier Jafar
From: Aladdin, 1992
Voiced By: Jonathan Freeman
Groups Offended: Arabs, street urchins

Caiaphas
From: The Passion of the Christ, 2004
Played By: Mattia Sbragia
Groups Offended: Jews, Jews for Jesus

Mr. Yunioshi
From: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961
Played By: Mickey Rooney
Groups Offended: Asians

Mammy
From: Gone With the Wind, 1939
Played By: Hattie McDaniel
Groups Offended: African Americans