Afro-Latino History: Ways to Celebrate the Entire Year

(Photo: Google Images)

(Photo: Google Images)

With Pan-Africanist ideology regaining popularity, the increased awareness and acceptance of the African diaspora within America and beyond, as well as the lifting of voices that speak on why Black and Latino are not mutually exclusive, we often find ourselves asking: “What exactly is Afro-Latino?

The answer to that question is simple. Afro-Latinos are people of African descent in Latin America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean; also extending to those of the diaspora living in the Americas whose families can be traced to either of those two regions. Although the definition was just nicely and neatly packaged, I will be remiss if I don’t mention the ongoing conflict surrounding the label Afro-Latino. This is largely due to many Latinos struggling with the remnants of colonialist thinking, coupled with many non-Latinos within the diaspora increasingly having to consider redefining Black(ness), particularly in the United States. Of course, this is reflective of the complicated histories of Africans and their descendants in the Americas.

Although it gets turned on and off, one thing is for sure – Latinos surely demonstrate pride in our African roots through music, food and some religious practices. Of course, being of African decent is deeper than that, but it does account for important parts of our cultural, political and spiritual foundation and that’s something to celebrate.

Speaking of celebration, although Hispanic Heritage month has technically ended (September 15-October 15), there’s no reason why we can’t keep the party going! Of course the ways that you can observe are endless, but here are some suggestions that will feed your soul through music, education, literature, social media, film, food and philanthropy:

Whatever you do, know that acknowledging and celebrating Afro-Latino history and culture throughout the year, will add tremendous value to our lived experiences.

Natalie Diaz is a contributing writer to The Burton Wire.

Follow The Burton Wire on Instagram or Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

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