Multi-talented singer, educator, hip-hop artists, leader of the Peruvian civil rights organization, Lundú, serving as advocate for young Black youth.
Piedad Cordoba (Colombia)
Colombia's first Black senator has been a strong legislative advocate against discrimination based on race, gender, and sexual orientation. Córdoba evolved into one of the most notorious figures of the Latin American feminist movement in Colombia.
Enslaved in Guayaquil, Ecuador in the 1700’s and was the first slave in Ecuador to win her freedom. She was enslaved by Presbyter Afonso Cepeda de Arizcum Elizondo. Maria Chiquinquira “entered a legal battle” for her and her daughter’s freedom in May 1794 and changed the course of her history and for thousands of black women in Ecuador.
This is the widow of the late, great godfather of Afro-Peruvian music and dance, Amador Ballumbrosio. It's with her family where I stay when I'm in Perú. She is like a mother to me and refers to me as hijo (son). My money is no good in her house as I also get two square meals per day.
Dolores Huerta (California)
Co-founded the United Farm Workers Union with César Chávez. She (Mexican ancestry) worked to improve social and economic conditions for farm workers and to fight discrimination. To further her cause, she created the Agricultural Workers Association (AWA) in 1960.
Sonia Sotomayor (New York)
The first Latina Supreme Court Justice (Puerto Rican ancestry) grew up in a South Bronx housing project, across the Harlem River from where I grew up.
Victoria Santa Cruz (Perú)
Composer, choreographer and daughter of the greatest exponent of Afro-Peruvian culture Nicomedes Santa Cruz.
Toña Negra (México)
Afro-Mexican singer known for her interpretation of boleros, sones, rumbas and songs. She also sang for the Sonora Matancera. The alley where she was born in the old barrio of "La Huaca" in the city of Veracruz, México, carries her name. After her death the municipality of Veracruz has erected a statue of Toña la Negra.
Lucila Campos (Perú)
One of the original members of the world's famous dance troupe, Perú Negro (Black Peru) also became a solo artist of Afro-Peruvian music. She is one of my favorite singers.
This Cuban born Jazz singer now living in Barcelona, Spain has included a mix of traditional Cuban music with, salsa, and boleros. She has recorded nine CDs and has had phenomenal success in Spain and throughout Europe,
María Elena Moyano (Perú)
Community organizer and activist who was assassinated by the maoist Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) insurgent movement. She courageously stood up in the face of death to protest violence and abuse against women.