Afro-Latinos: The Forgotten Hispanics…the Forgotten Blacks

January 16, 2018

Afro-Latinos…how many times do you consider the in the equation of #BlackLivesMatter?

When Hispanic groups ask for Black American assistance in their fight for equality, do you take stock of the issues from the perspective of Afro-Latinos?

It’s a conversation we definitely need to have…

When I worked on Capitol Hill, I focused heavily on the issues affecting Afro-Latinos. So, I’m familiar with the issues. And it’s always been baffling that Afro-Latinos don’t seem to fit in anywhere. Black Americans rarely consider them; the Hispanic community rarely considers them.

I mean: remember the murders of Diego Ortiz and Miguel de Jesus?

Probably not…no movement was birthed to seek justice for the two Afro-Latinos. Not from the Black community…not from the Hispanic community. There was one rally in support of the two men, which drew only about a dozen people. So, the strange thing is: Ortiz and de Jesus are part of both communities.

Where’s the Place for Afro-Latinos?

Afro-Latinos live in a no-man’s land between Black and Hispanic, where they belong fully to neither and are forgotten by both.

What does that do the the Afro-Latino community? What does that do to the Black American community? How does this reality hurt both communities? And what opportunities are possible if we reconcile that dynamic?

I spoke with Orlando Addison, founder of the Ernesto Gamboa Project, about these and other questions. The Ernesto Gamboa Project exists to celebrate the culture of Afro-Latinos. It also works to establish deeper connections between communities of African descendant peoples. This will help Afro-Latinos assert their place in the conversation on making Black lives matter in the United States and Latin America.

So what do you think of the potential for connections between Afro-Latinos and Black Americans? What hinders conversation and connection? And how can we reconcile those communities? Let’s continue the discussion in the group!

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Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

  1. Afro-Latino Heritage Excellence Summit 2018
  2. Orlando Addison’s Author Page
  3. Ernesto Gamboa (English Edition)

What are Your Thoughts?

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