Tuesday, September 25, 2018

LATINO HERITAGE MONTH: A Black Pictorial Celebration

Hispanic (Latino) Heritage Month, September 15 to October 15, addresses little, if any, of its racial diversity consisting of Asians, Blacks, Indigenous, Jews, Middle Easterners, Whites, and a mixture of some or all of the above.

The Latino (Hispanic) black population has been around for over a century before that of the African American. Thus, I am presenting  22 photos denoting Black History in Latin America.

 María Chiquinquirá

She was the first slave to win her freedom in a court battle changing the course of history for thousands of black woman in Ecuador.

Nicomedus Santa Cruz

 Poet, composer, journalist, and folklorist helped raise awareness of Afro-Peruvian culture.

Victoria Santa Cruz

Dubbed as the Mother of Afro-Peruvian culture, she is the wife of Nicomedus (above); a choreographer, composer, and social activist.

Statue of Lt. Pedro Camejo

He is known as El Primero Negro (the First Black) fight under the South American liberator Simón Bolívar.

Antonio Ruiz

Thousands of Argentine blacks fought in Argentina's revolutionary war and on behalf of other South American countries seeking independence from Spain.

Piedad Córdoba
Colombia's First Black Senator

Vicente Guerrero

Before becoming México's First Black President in 1829, he is credited for liberating México from Spain in 1810. He is the son of an African slave mother and a Mestizo peasant father.

 Rafael Cordero
Puerto Rico

A monument built in San Juan in honor of the Father of Education

Soul Food Cook

I had my tasteful enjoyment of this cuisine in Southern Perú where Afro-Peruvian recipes were passed down since slavery.

Mónica Chalá
former Miss Ecuador

Brigadier General Antonio Maceo

He was known as the Bronze Titan in Cuba's revolutionary war against Spain.

Arnaldo Temayo Mendes

World's first black Astronaut who flew with Russians in 1980.

 Lt. Estéban Hotense
Dominican Republic

Raised in Kentucky (USA), he became a member of the famous all-black World War II Tuskegee Airmen.

Alonso Illescas
Successful slave rebel, strategist, and guerrilla warrior built an alliance of escaped African slaves and indigenous people in Ecuador's black capital—Esmeraldas.

Statue of Gaspar Yanga

Originally from an area of West Africa now known as Gabón, this slave rebel created México's first free black town 200 years before the rest of México gained independence from Spain.

Remedios Del Valle

Known as the Madre de Patria (the Mother of her Country) having served in many military battles in defense of Argentina.

José Leandro Andrade

Decades before World Cup soccer star Pele, Andrade was know as the The Black Marvel who enchanted international soccer fans with effortless grace and elegance.

Ballumbrosio Family
El Carmen, Perú 

I am in the back (2nd from right) with Perú's famous music family with whom I stay every time I visit Perú. 

Black Heritage Celebration
Caracas, Venezuela 

Black Bolivians Celebrating their African heritage

Jorge Medina
First Black Senator

The Garinagu (Garifunas)
Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, & Nicaragua

In the Bronx borough of New York City, black immigrants from Central America celebrate their ethnic heritage. They speak Spanish, English, and their native tongue Garífuna.


Friday, September 21, 2018

Latinos Who Prejudge Blacks

Any one or all three of these men speak Spanish as a first or second language, 
but you will never know by simply looking at their outer appearance.

What is it with so many Latinos (and black folks) in the U.S. who feel that all Spanish speakers are of the same color as those you see on Univisión and Telemundo? During my travels through Latin-America, I met blacks, Asians, whites, and Middle Easterners, not to mention indigenous people, who speak their country's national languageSpanish. Yet when you read newspapers or watch TV in their respective countries, you see mainly whites and those of olive complexions. And if you see any blacks at all, they are usually entertainers, athletes, or criminals.

 I am posing with the owner of Mamainé restaurant in Guayabo, Perú where I dined on some good Peruvian soul food. She speaks only Spanish!

One day, I walked into a dental office in Harlem, New York City where there was a light-brown skinned African-American woman ahead of me who, in perfect English, asked to be registered. The dark brown-skinned woman who happens to be from the Dominican Republic assumed because of her color that she is Latina and responded in Spanish. The African-American woman snapped, "No Spanish!" The receptionist complied and continued the registration in English.

Former baseball manager Dusty Baker is fluent in Spanish

 When my turn came, LOL, I greeted the receptionist in Spanish saying, "good afternoon, I have an 11:00 appointment." Looking at my skin color, she instinctively answered me in English. I snapped in Spanish, “No English!” Being from the Dominican Republic, she should know first hand that people who speak her language come in all colors, including black. Why is she coming to the U.S. prejudging folks' ability to speak Spanish based solely on outer appearance, especially when there are so many U.S. Latinos who speak limited Spanish or none at all?

In The Bronx (New York), black immigrants from Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua celebrate their heritage. They speak Spanish, English, and their native tongue Garífuna.

I chuckle every time I think of an incident in San Francisco, California when I was walking with a lady-friend from India. Suddenly, a monolingual Spanish speaker who needed directions got right in her face and asked with a thick accent, "Spanish?" My Indian lady-friend does not speak Spanish, but my “black ass” do and gave him the directions he needed. As the woman and I continued on our way, the man appeared totally bewildered, and could not take his eyes off of me. LOL.