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Africanity: The Fight for Humanity Amongst Afro-Colombians… #ForwardFridays

I love how my twitter community is always educating me. I met a brethren online that educated me a bit about the struggle amongst Black Colombians, which I had not been exposed to before. With this post I want to educate on the current situation amongst Black Colombians, also, with this post I also want to introduce new language to describe the fight for liberation amongst Black Colombians. So, let me rephrase, I met a brethren online that educated me a bit about the oppressive forces against Black Colombians by the Colombian government. You see, it takes much longer to say but it tells a more accurate story.

Let’s starts with the positive, the brethren online taught me a new word, Africanity or Africanidad, which is what his platform, CEADA – Ciclo de Conferencias de Estudios Africanos y Diaspora Africana – promotes and helps Black/African people in Colombia to self-identify as Black or African, as opposed to Latinidad, which is a Eurocentric ideology and White Supremacy system. He also stated that they are fighting for a La Republica Independiente del Pacifico – an independent Black republic on the pacific coast. The problem has been the loyalty that Black Colombians have had to Colombia in which they go as far as self-discrimination to identify with white supremacy.

As I began to educate myself more, I found that the Colombian civil war, 1964-present, leaves many black people tortured and displaced by the Colombia government; and even as they seek refuge, they go from one terror to another. An activist group who survived a major attack, only survived to be found by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), being tortured and detained simply for fighting for their rights as Black citizens. This was all in 2019!

Black people in Colombia are refused access to proper education, water, food, and are disposed of as non-humans. One person described it as ethnic cleansing, which is exactly what it is. A peace deal that was signed actually led to close to 600 activist and community leaders being killed, 80% of Black people being forced into poverty, and police violence that includes rape! Guess who also benefits from the land that Black people are being wiped out from, the World Bank! They benefit from tourism and the expansion of the land as Black people are wiped out of those areas. Which is why I always tell people not to trust these organizations that falsely claim they are bringing peace to Black nations.

Choco, Cauca, Nariño and Buenaventura in Valle Del Cauca, are all areas in Colombia where most Black people are residents, and are targets for violence towards Black Colombians. To learn more, follow the hashtag #SOSBuenaventura on Twitter. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Areas around the world, especially in Africa, where resources that are managed by Black people are, get terrorized all in the name of capitalism and greed! The area in Colombia that was the most resource rich became militarized to gain unwarranted control of those resources, which led to kidnapping and displacement of Africans! I will call them Africans because the Colombian identity doesn’t deserve to be placed on them, after all they’ve been through at the hand of White supremacist Colombians. Let me explain something, there is no Black and Brown alliance, most times, in my experience, Latinos claiming brown identities are just tanned and 5% Black somewhere down the line. The truth is, they are just as dangerous to the safety of Blackness as people who fully see themselves as white. We have to start and continue calling these people out, as it is affecting the well being of the Afro-Latinx community, which I now know to call, the Africanidad community.

The Colombian government benefits from Blackness in tourism attractions, food, and culture, while simultaneously trying to wipe out Black people, sound familiar? We have to stop patronizing these facilities and organizations that have a sole purpose of making Black people make them look good. When we travel to these countries, see the people, patronize the people, and believe the stories of the people. All the pro-capitalist people think it’s ok to benefit from someone’s hard work with money that they’ll never see, that’s wrong. Organizations like the one I highlighted in yesterday’s post, NoirBnB, is black owned and provides comfortable spaces for Black people to feel valued while we travel.

Today is Forward Friday, so I must use this opportunity to say how we can move forward in the case of Colombia. First, we listen to the stories, listen to the actual people, not just some studies by an organization run by white people who use those studies with no help for the actual people. Just as I took a story of a supporter from twitter and told it as accurately as I could have, that is what we do, we create spaces for the stories followed by action! The brethren online who educated me has 3 particular initiatives including the CEADA I mentioned above, a YouTube channel educating people on Afro-Colombian culture, and a T-shirt store representing images of African liberation, support him! I also found an organization called Afroresistance, which is an organization that fights for human rights and racial justice throughout the Americas. Part of their advocacy is organizing international solidarity trips, they advocate and educate on the real issues that are forced upon Black activists and citizens by Latin countries in the Americas. Afroresistance is led and run by all Africanidad Black women, Black women at it again! Support organizations like these that are on the frontlines bringing real advocacy to real people.

Any black person reading that has an important story to bring light to as part of their culture or heritage, let me know! Let’s tell our stories and advocate to make change together!

~Ndidi Love~

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A Special Message for My Audience

Dear Black People, we are in this together. Tell me, what content would you like to see incorporated into my blog? What’s the most important thing to you, personally, as it relates to Blackness? Thank you all for dramatically increasing my website traffic, and I want to really speak to you from a place of your needs. DiasporAfri, LLC is a place of healing, that’s why I speak to action, I am passionate, but my content should educate and heal, let me know! I posed this same question on Twitter, and so far people have told me:

  • Black intelligence & skilled labor
  • The struggle of blacks in Colombia
  • Food! cooked with flavor
  • Hair care for 3-4c hair

Some of these things will involve cross collaboration as well. For example, I can feature the blog of a Black foodie on my Thursday features, or a natural hair care guru. Are any of you reading, those people? Well, let me know! I can interview you or feature you. Also, check out a special message below. I look forward to talking with you more, melanated gem.

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Afrocubanismo: #Throwback Black History Month Post

Hello All! I posted this on Twitter the other day, and many people found it relatable as I related it to the artistic movement seen in the Harlem Renaissance! Afrocubanismo is the era of artistic expression created by Afro-Cubans, similar to the Harlem Renaissance. We really have the same movements all over the Diaspora because we are one! Each and every movement we see in one part of the African Diaspora can be found in another part, even in times where they had no media to get ideas. That is what we call, the African spirit. Check out the blog post below, originally posted on May 26. 2016. Also, follow DiasporAfri, LLC on Twitter to get many more #throwback Black History Month blog posts throughout the day. See you soon!


ETHNIC AND CULTURAL GROUPS

Afro-Cubans are Cubans who’s ancestry is in West Africa or other parts of Africa.

Afrocubanismo is a term used to describe the influential artistic movement of the late 1920s and 1930s in Cuba, similar in many ways to the Harlem Renaissance. It was characterized by a sudden increase of interest in Afro-Cuban themes in music, novels, painting, ballet, and other forms of expression that had no priority in the Caribbean prior to that time. These were the first decades in which the culture of the black working class was accepted as a legitimate form of national expression by Cuban society as a whole. Afrocubanismo influenced almost all types of art, both elite and popular, which included the poetry of Emilio Ballagas, José Tallet, and Nicolás Guillén; the paintings of Eduardo Abela, Jaime Valls, and Wilfredo Lam; the novels of Alejo Carpentier; the musical theater of Ernesto Lecuona, Jaime Prats, and Gonzalo Roig; the symphonic compositions of Alejandro García Caturla, Amadeo Roldán, and Gilberto Valdés; and the popularity of Cuban son music and commercial dance bands.

Afrocubanismo art was created and promoted by various groups of people in Cuba. Formally trained (mainly white) middle-class artists created representations of black culture that had a huge impact on national consciousness, especially through popular song. Cuba’s black middle classes contributed significantly to the popularization of the art, though primarily as interpreters. Working-class Afrocubans supported the movement more specifically by forming carnival bands, making new musical genres more popular from within their own communities, performing for tourists, and infusing commercial arts of various kinds with influences from cultural traditions.

This era birthed a new passion in many Afro-Cuban progressive thinkers, journalists, and artists. They strived to forge an identity that was inclusive of the African heritage and the contributions of Afro-Cubans in all aspects of the country’s history.

Bravo! Way to go, Cuba! 💜

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Culture Tuesdays: Loiza

CULTURE TUESDAYS

The town of Loiza in Puerto Rico birthed the musical form, La Plena. La Plena music is Afro-Puerto Rican in nature; considered a “hybrid” musical form for the elements of African music found in its form and lyrics. It is practiced by both blacks and people of mixed race in the coastal towns of southern and southeastern Puerto Rico. La Plena was born on the sugar plantations in the early 1920’s. It had a call and response form, similar to most African music. Plena expressed the struggle of the working class and documented everyday experiences of the town, like “musical news”. The instruments used to perform Plena are; a panderetas, guitar, cuarto, guiro, maracas, bongos, and congos.

Plena has a quick rhythm, where couples dance facing each other. The plena drummers do not have one on one conversations, but they have solos. The Traditional clothing of Plena were dresses that did not have a neck, they were short-sleeved, and had a skirt that came to the mid-calves. The dresses usually were floral or had very colorful print. The males wore white pants with a shirt to match the women’s dress.

Check out a performance of Plena by watching the video above!

Enjoy Loves! ❤️