(Photo: Google Images)
(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.

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TheBurtonWire.com is the premiere online destination for people who think for themselves. This blog offers news from the African Diaspora, culture that is produced by often overlooked populations and opinion that is informed and based on fact. Tired of the onslaught of websites and talking heads that regurgitate what people want to hear, TheBurtonWire.com is a publication that elevates news and perspectives that people need to hear. TheBurtonWire.com is for individual thinkers who understand that they are part of a larger collective. What is this collective? Free thinking people that care about the world, who will not be categorized or boxed in by society or culture and are interested in issues and topics that defy stereotypes and conventional wisdom.