As Black History month comes to an end, we wanted to reshift our focus back to the area of racial solidarity. I recently saw an article, advertising a new documentary about the lives of Afro-Latin@s living in the Americas. The article summary seemed very interesting and I cannot wait until the film is actually released next year. Through our collaborations with the Latino Student Union (VISTA) this year, we hope that we can further explore the regions of intersection that exist between our two communities and cultural heritages. For more information on the documentary, read the summary below:
Slaves came to Central and South America into a world with identity issues that still exist in the Hispanic community today. There are an estimated 200 million Afro-descendants in Latin America but the majority of them do not have political or economic power. This documentary takes you on a journey to meet Afrolatinos throughout Spanish and Portuguese speaking nations and an exploration and appreciation of their culture. It will also teach the uninformed and hopefully initiate social change throughout Latin America.
The documentary series will begin with the slave trade in the early 1500’s and touch on the Cimarron (Palenque) communities, as well as cover the controversial theory of the African presence in ancient America. The programs quest is to better understand the religious connections and distinctions between the Catholic Church and religious practices such as Yoruba and Voodoo. We learn about these religious and sacred ceremonies through dance and music. The drum is a very significant instrument used in Latin music today but do many people know its history? The documentary will have a segment on Afro-Latin gastronomy, which will show the many dishes with African influence as seen in Latino every day life.
Today, there still exists communities where African dialects were mixed with Spanish language found in places like San Basilio de Palenque and we’ve discovered a dictionary of Spanish words of African origin. Identity will be a special segment that affects millions of black Latinos worldwide. Of all the issues that are affecting their way of life the main issue is the exclusion of a community of people based on the color of their skin. We interview people from the U.S to Argentina about issues such as image (this idea of good hair, bad hair), interracial marriages, racism, oppression, exploitation and Afrolatinos consciousness plus much more.
One of the most important chapters in the documentary is the social issues segment as it is directly affecting ALL Afrolatinos communities. Our producers not only document the problems but also live and experience it firsthand. Consistent in most of the countries visited was the lack of local government support; from corruption to discrimination Afrolatinos endear many tribulations. We hope this documentary will empower its Afro brothers and sisters and encourage people to help one family at a time, give voice to the invisible, create awareness, start a dialogue and promote change.
Click the link below to see the trailer. Enjoy!
Also be sure to check out the tabs above about our upcoming Black and Latin@ Unity Symposium!