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Posts tagged south america
"The second part of my family’s narrative around race is that historically it hasn’t been enforced… finding your native grandmother or your black grandfather is not something that you are looking for right, you’re looking for whiteness you’re looking for some kind of way to alleviate your own oppression and often that means a history of whiteness, that’s just the way that Latin Americans work…because what does that mean… it means better job opportunities, it means that… ‘you’re not supposed to be here,’ you’re not supposed to be poor… you were once in Europe and you were once someone who had status… Racism is a hell of a drug and I shouldn’t just say racism, but white supremacy let’s be more specific. I think that people throw around the word ‘racism’ and they don’t know what it means, but white supremacist values in Latin America are very strong. They’re very strong."
Ecuadorian-American, Blanca E. Vega discusses her journey in uncovering her racial identity. From growing up as a “zambita,” to discovering the AfroAmerindian maroon republic in Ecuador, to seeing herself in an AfroEcuadorian enslaved woman who fought for her freedom through the legal system, Blanca was searching for racial completeness beyond pervasive whiteness. Read her blog on the topic:
Here is a list of the top ten most viewed video shorts in the series. Click on the title to go to the video.
The implications and dynamics of ‘pelo malo’ or bad hair and good hair are examined by women and men from all over the Americas and Africa. What do these terms mean? How are they interpreted and ultimately what attitudes do they reflect?
Three Afro-Americans tell their stories of discovering the vastness of the African Diaspora. One Afro-Colombian talks about wrong assumptions made by Afro-Americans.
Color and African descendant identity is examined in Latin America. How are color and ‘race’ viewed in Latin America? What connections do Afrodescendants in Latin America share with Afrodescendants in the U.S.? Latinos and Afro-Americans share their stories.
Internalized racism, color preference, class whitening and “bettering the race” are discussed. How do these mentalities translate into social norms and treatment?
Dominican-American, Larissa Vasquez talks about growing up with a color complex, recounting a doll story that made color preference blatant at a very young age.
Born to Panamanian and Costa Rican parents, New Yorker, Aisha talks about “playing the middle” when it came to Latino and Black Identity. Growing up in Brooklyn, NY among all Caribbean friends, she never separated the two identities although others did.
Marta talks about the attitudes of “bettering the race” among residents of the Bay Island of Utila in Honduras. Sex tourism and black men seeking white women and vice-versa is also discussed.
Melissa is a first generation American expat living in Colombia. She talks about growing up as a child of immigrants,perceptions imposed on her by others growing up as a “U.S. Latina” and what being Colombian in the United States means.
Women of African descent from Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa discuss the complexities of immigration, assimilation, race and ethnicity, and their relationship with the Black American community.
Dash asks people on the street to identify Latinos based on physical appearance. Do stereotypes guide people’s perception of a certain “look” of Latino ethnicity?
(Just because it’s my favorite number)
A multi-part discussion. Women from Latin America, the Caribbean, the U.S. and Africa discuss beauty, body image and media in the Americas.
14 minute preview of the two-hour Negro: A Docu-series about Latino Identity- Edition 1 DVD.
ORDER YOUR DVD HERE
NEGRO: A docu-series about Latino Identity - Edition 1 DVDs ready to go!
I threw in a key words and phrases list used in the video, such as ‘gente de color’, ‘bozales’, ‘quilombo’ and others, for those who are compelled for further research.
RT: 120 min
Order yours here!!!
Negro: Finding Identity- The Criados
Father, daughter self identified ‘zambos’, Afro-Peruvians, or Black Peruvians, Roberto and Alicia talk about their identity and and how others perceive them in the U.S. and in Peru.
'Zambo' is used to identify individuals in the Americas who are of African and indigenous ancestry. 'Sambo' is the analogous English term and considered a slur.
Negro: Finding Identity- Melissa
Melissa talks about growing up as a Colombian-American ‘child of immigrants’ who refused to assimilate. She now lives in Cali, Colombia after being raised in New York. Some of her family accused her of ‘acting white’ or ‘better than.’
When people hear her father is from Cali they say “Oh so you can dance!” (Cali is known as the salsa capital of the world) when they hear her mother is from Buenaventura they say “OH! You can REALLY dance AND you can cook! because Black women know how to cook really well or something.” Buenaventura is on the coast and majority African-descended.
Befittingly, I met Melissa at Tin Tin Deo, a salsa venue in Cali, Colombia and we connected via another traveler who introduced us New Yorkers. Melissa and her friend Carolina are both ex-New Yorkers and warmly welcomed me.