Afro-Brazilian religions feel threatened

Credit: Campanha 'Liberte Nosso Sagrado'

Credit: Campanha 'Liberte Nosso Sagrado'

By Martin Banks

Historic minority religions in Brazil are increasingly facing a form of religious scrutiny under the country’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, it is claimed.

Some 500,000 people in Brazil participate in religions brought to the Americas hundreds of years ago by African slaves but these religions are under attack from the growing presence of fundamentalist Evangelical Christians.

Among those allegedly being targeted are those who practice Umbanda and Candomblé, the country’s most prominent Afro-Brazilian religions. Though their members are said to represent less than 1% of the population, or about half a million people, they account for most cases of religious intolerance.

Out of 116 reports of discrimination recorded in the first half of 2018, 72 followers of Candomblé and Umbanda were targeted for their beliefs.

Read more: https://www.neweurope.eu/article/afro-brazilian-religions-feel-threatened/

Note: During the 2018 Afro-Latino Festival NYC -Liberación Film Festival we screened a short addressing this exact issue called Nosso Sagrado. See the trailer below.

Cuban Diva Omara Portuondo Feels As Strong As Ever On 'Last Kiss' World Tour

Credit: Johann Sauty

Credit: Johann Sauty

By: Mandalit Del Barco

In 1996, Omara Portuondo was working on an album at Havana's famous recording studio, Egrem. Upstairs, American musician Ry Cooder was laying down tracks for Buena Vista Social Club, a project with veteran Cuban musicians like Compay Segundo. Portuondo was invited to come up and sing a duet with him. They sang "Veinte Anos," a song Portuondo learned as a child. 

"Without rehearsal, this was a live recording. One take. It's unbelievable," says Cuban bandleader Juan de Marcos Gonzalez. He had scouted and rediscovered the older musicians for Buena Vista Social Club. But he says Portuondo was still a star on the island, and bringing her into the project was a dream.

"I remember that once, Mr. Ry Cooder told me, 'Omara is the Cuban Sarah Vaughan.' And I said to him, 'No, Sarah Vaughan was the American Omara Portuondo,'" Gonzalez says.

Read more: https://www.npr.org/2019/05/11/722118585/cuban-diva-omara-portuondo-feels-as-strong-as-ever-on-last-kiss-world-tour

Meet the Brazilian Musicians Leading Bahia’s Afrofuturism Movement

Credit: BAIANASYSTEM

Credit: BAIANASYSTEM

By: Felipe Maia

“In Salvador, we see the future in the representations of the past, so you are the future because you can keep the present renewed: the ancestrality is the future,” says Russo Passapusso, the lead singer and creative mind behind BaianaSystem. The band was born in 2009 and has become one of the main exponents of Brazilian music in the past few years. Layering Jamaican music into patterns and textures sourced from the black diaspora, Russo Passapusso and his bandmates have carved their place in the Brazilian music scene between the deliberately pop and the strictly alternative. The crowds at their gigs engage in death metal circle pits and West-African stomping, while chanting singing fervently to the band’s tunes.

I first met Russo when he was toasting as an MC for the local sound system MiniStereo Público. It was lemanja Day, a century-old celebration that takes place every February 2nd at Rio Vermelho beach, in Salvador.

Read more: https://remezcla.com/features/music/artists-bahia-afrofuturism/

The US Confederate flag continues to ignite racial tensions—in Brazil

Credit: Jordan Brasher

Credit: Jordan Brasher

By Jordan Brasher

Brazil has a long, strange relationship with the United States Confederacy. 

After the Civil War ended in 1865, ending slavery in the United States, some 8,000 to 10,000 Southern soldiers and their families left the vanquished Confederacy and went to Brazil. 

There, slavery was still legal. Roughly 40% of the nearly 11 million Africans forcibly brought across the Atlantic between 1517 and 1867 went to work on sugarcane plantations in Brazil. It was the last country in the Western Hemisphere to formally abolish slavery, in 1888—23 years after the United States.

Legal slavery may have been a draw for the Confederate soldiers who migrated to Brazil after abolition. 

Brazilian political economist Célio Antonio Alcântara Silva analyzed letters sent to Brazilian consulates and vice-consulates in the United States at the end of the Civil War and found that 74% of Southerners inquiring about emigration were slaveowners.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/brazils-long-strange-love-affair-with-the-confederacy-ignites-racial-tension-115548

Afro-Panamanians nominated for 2019 Emmy Award for Univision's "Afrolatinos"

Credit: Facebook

Credit: Facebook

Stephanie Murillo, a young Panamanian professional, specialist in multimedia productions, is among the nominees for a 2019 Emmy Award in the United States. The good news came to her this week, after receiving a call from her best friend Edwin Pitti, also Panamanian, who serves as the Univision correspondent for the White House.

"My Whatsapp [Edwin] was blowing up to announce that the report we did together last year, AFROLATINOS, is nominated this year for an Emmy Award among the four nominations that he has" announced Stephanie on their social networks.

On the other hand Pitti, based in the United States, shared in his personal Twitter account his joy as this year is nominated in four categories. In 2018 and 2016 Pitti won awards for Best Series-Special Generic Report, Best Report-Medicine Science and Technology, Best Promo-Specific Report.

"The AFROLATINOS report was born out of a concern of his, of knowing more about our history, our ancestry, our culture and our shared struggles throughout the region, and he asked José Antonio Gil and myself to support him as producers in Panama, through Mambriche Media, to raise Afro-Panamanian voices "explained the happy nominee.

Translated fromSpanish/Version en Español: https://ensegundos.com.pa/2019/05/16/panamena-es-nominada-para-los-premios-emmy-por-reportaje-afrolatinos/

WATCH AFROLATINOS:

VIEWPOINTS: Angela Davis Denounces Attacks on Afro-Colombian Social Movements

Credit: Portal de la Izquierda

Credit: Portal de la Izquierda

Black social movements are being systematically targeted in Colombia in the aftermath of the 2016 Peace Accords. I have been informed that on May 4, four gunmen stormed into a building in Santander de Quilichao, in the Northern Cauca region of Colombia, opened fire, and tossed a grenade into a crowd of Afro-Colombian activists and two children. The gathering included leaders from several grassroots Afro-Colombian organizations, and they planned to discuss an upcoming meeting with the Colombian government. The attack occurred in a region of Colombia that I had the opportunity to visit in 2010. Among those targeted yesterday was activist Francia Marquez, winner of the 2018 Goldman Prize, and someone with whom I have worked in solidarity for nearly a decade. Brazen acts of targeted violence against Afro-Colombian activists like these call into question the implementation and legitimacy of Colombia’s 2016 Peace Accord.

Francia is not alone.

Read more: https://atlantadailyworld.com/2019/05/09/viewpoints-angela-davis-denounces-attacks-on-afro-colombian-social-movements/

This Black Hairstyle Collective Is Embracing the Beauty of Natural Hair in Colombia

Credit: Chontudas

Credit: Chontudas

This collective came to life as a Facebook group with 70 black women in 2014. Since then, it has become a place to share the experiences of making the transition to natural hair, and a place to showcase a more diverse standard of beauty as well as a place to trade hair care advice.

Beleño, from Bojayá, a town located in the Chocó region in the Western part of Colombia, was one of the founders of the group and describes the collective's founding as "the result of the need of black women—who at the time were discovering themselves—and who wanted to see examples of regular black women, because we are always seeing other types of women who are very different from us and with whom we do not identify."

The online natural hair collective began to grow, and now has about 5,000 members.

Read more: https://www.okayafrica.com/chontudas-black-hairstyle-collective-is-embracing-natural-hair-colombia/

Rihanna Disrupts Luxury Fashion World, Joining LVMH With 'Fenty' Brand

Credit: Mark Ganzon/Getty Images for Fenty Beauty

Credit: Mark Ganzon/Getty Images for Fenty Beauty

The 31-year-old Barbadian singer has partnered with the historic LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton fashion house, becoming the first woman of color to have a label under LVMH and the first woman to start an original brand for the world's largest luxury group.

The new label is named Fenty, after the last name of the singer (born Robyn Rihanna Fenty). It's an expansion of her cosmetics empire of the same name, launched in a 2017 partnership with LVMH.

The Paris-based Fenty line, which will include ready-to-wear clothing, shoes and accessories, will launch this spring 2019 season as the first house established by the group since Christian Lacroix in 1987, joining legacy brands like Dior, Givenchy and Fendi.

Read more: https://www.npr.org/2019/05/12/722519647/rihanna-disrupts-luxury-fashion-world-joining-lvmh-with-fenty-brand

Why Joan Smalls’ “Supermodels Roots” with Vogue International Is Significant to Latinas

Credit: Yahoo

Credit: Yahoo

In 2011, Joans was named the first Latina face of Estee Lauder’s global marketing campaignwhich was especially a big deal considering she’s Afro-Latina, as we rarely get recognition. In 2015, she placed sixth on Forbes list of the world’s highest paid supermodels and has worked with top designers including Givenchy, Chanel, and Tom Ford.

Read more: https://hiplatina.com/joan-smalls-supermodels-roots-afrolatina-identity/

DJ Carnage says mental health has been stigmatized in music industry

Credit: Source Magazine

Credit: Source Magazine

DJ Carnage in a recent interview stated that mental health has been stigmatized in the music industry, saying many artists are afraid to talk about the issue.

“Do you think that people are afraid to talk about these issues mental issues — mental health, depression, drug abuse in the music industry?” asked correspondent Alexandra Oliveira.

“100 percent,” said Carnage, whose real name is Diamanté Anthony Blackmon.

“All of this stuff has been in the industry for decades and decades,” he continued.

Read more: https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/442503-carnage-says-mental-health-has-been-stigmatized-in-music-industry

Ser negra en Argentina: la mirada de una mujer en un país en busca visibilizar a sus afrodescendientes

Credit: CNN Español

Credit: CNN Español

“Yo no nací negra. A mí me hicieron ver que yo era negra”, dice Jennifer Parker.

Nacida en la provincia de San Luis, en el noroeste de la Argentina, el padre de Jennifer fue un jugador de baloncesto de Estados Unidos quien viajó para jugar en los clubes locales, allí se enamoró y tuvo una hija. Unos pocos años después de que Jennifer naciera, él volvió a Estados Unidos.

Para Jennifer, cantante de una banda country liderada por la estrella Vane Ruth, nacer negra en Argentina no le fue fácil al crecer. El racismo lo conoció desde muy pequeña, dice. “Era bastante duro crecer en una provincia tan chica porque la gente era muy cerrada”, dice Jennifer quien asegura que había un rechazo a las personas de raza negra y una visión de “supremacía blanca”.

Read more: https://cnnespanol.cnn.com/2019/04/10/ser-negra-en-argentina-la-mirada-de-una-mujer-en-un-pais-en-busca-visibilizar-a-sus-afrodescendientes/

Somos raíz: afromexicanos rumbo al reconocimiento constitucional

Credit: Hugo Arrellanas/Chiapas Paralelo

Credit: Hugo Arrellanas/Chiapas Paralelo

Llegaron con los conquistadores a la Nueva España en 1580, antes de que México se convirtiera en un Estado Nación. Por las epidemias y los trabajos pesados, muchos indígenas murieron y el tráfico de esclavos africanos en Hispanoamérica aumentó. A 400 años de distancia, las personas afrodescendientes están por ser reconocidas como pueblo originario.

El Senado de la República aprobó una iniciativa que busca reconocer a los pueblos afrodescendientes en la Constitución Mexicana. Sin abstenciones ni votos en contra, la iniciativa de la Senadora Susana Harp va ahora por la aprobación en la Cámara de Diputados

La modificación del artículo 2, el cual aborda los temas de la composición pluricultural de la nación mexicana y las aportaciones de los pueblos originarios a la conformación del país, es una deuda contra la invisibilización de los afromexicanos en la historia del país

Lee Más: https://www.chiapasparalelo.com/noticias/chiapas/2019/05/somos-raiz-afromexicanos-rumbo-al-reconocimiento-constitucional/

Afro-Mexicans May Finally Get Recognition in the Mexican Constitution, But Many Say That’s Not Enough

Credit: Ebony Bailey for Remezcla

Credit: Ebony Bailey for Remezcla

Several months ago, we reported on the critical fallout from the film La Negrada, which attempted to depict a storyline about Afro-Mexicans only to be accused by Afro-Mexican civil society of perpetuating the same stereotypes. At the time, we noted the film work of a young Afro-Mexican film maker named Ebony Bailey who presented a different narrative from within the community. In this article she shares the journey for recognition currently happening for Afro-Mexicans

“We are talking about 450 years of invisibilization.” With these words, Gina Diédhiou echoes the sentiments of many Afro-Mexicans in the Latin American country. And after centuries of erasure (and because of the work of this community), Mexico is taking its first step in recognizing its Black population. Earlier this week, the Senate unanimously voted to approve recognition of Afro-Mexicans in the national constitution. Although full approval is still pending – the lower house of Mexican Congress still needs to vote on it – the Senate’s action has made history.

Read more: https://remezcla.com/features/culture/afro-mexicans-constitution-recognition/

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On the Coast of Oaxaca, Afro and Indigenous Communities Fight for Water Autonomy

Credit: NACLA/COPUDEVER

Credit: NACLA/COPUDEVER

At dawn on March 14—celebrated internationally as the Day of Action against Dams and in Defense of Rivers—Afro-Mexican, Indigenous, and mestizo peoples met on the shores of the Río Verde to participate in a ritual of gratitude and resistance.

They were gathered for the Río Verde Festival, organized each March by the Consejo de Pueblos Unidos en Defensa del Río Verde (Council of Peoples United in Defense of the Río Verde, COPUDEVER). This water protector movement was formed in 2007 when dozens of communities organized to stop the Federal Electricity Commission from building a hydroelectric dam on their river, which they say would flood their homes and contaminate their only source of water.

Read more: https://nacla.org/news/2019/05/07/coast-oaxaca-afro-and-indigenous-tribes-fight-water-autonomy

Meet Young M.A: The Afro-Latina She-Rapper Blowing Minds Nationwide

Credit: BE Latina

Credit: BE Latina

Brooklyn native Katorah Kasanova Marrero, better known by her stage name Young M.A, has made her own way as an openly-gay, half-Boricua, half-Jamaican rapper by embracing everything about herself that she brings to the table as a force of creativity, identity, and fire. The M.A in her stage name stands for “Me Always,” affirming her commitment to realness in an era when it’s easy to get caught up in the glitz, glam, and pressures of the entertainment industry.

She was only 24 when her breakout hit “OOOUUU” became the only song by a solo female rapper to reach the Billboard top 10 R&B/Hip Hop chart in all of 2016

Read More: https://belatina.com/meet-young-m-a-the-afro-latina-she-rapper-blowing-minds-nationwide/

How a DJ's Experiences With Immigration and Family Separation Inspired a Song for Change

Credit: Time

Credit: Time

As the refugee crisis widens across multiple continents, prominent musicians like Coldplay, the RZA and Amanda Palmer have released songs and music videos that grapple with issues of displacement and immigration. Carnage, a DJ and producer, has added one more to the growing canon: “Letting People Go,” a music video that traces the journey of a family from their Nicaraguan hometown to a U.S. detention center.

But Carnage’s aims are not just to comment on politics or empathize with the plight of others. His motivation is deeply personal. Carnage, born Diamanté Anthony Blackmon, grew up in Guatemala and came to the U.S. as a child who did not speak English after his family fled the violence in Nicaragua during the 1970’s revolution.

Read more: http://time.com/5573948/dj-carnage-letting-people-go-immigration/

Additional sources: https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/442471-dj-carnage-wants-to-use-platform-to-raise-awareness-around-immigration-issues

Yaya DaCosta talks repping her Afro-Latina roots before it was trendy

Credit: CNN

Credit: CNN

By Natasha S. Alford

Beyond the recognition that Afro-Latinos exist, it’s the actual embracing of Blackness or negritude with pride that is what’s catching fire, particularly in communities online.

DaCosta also stars in the TV show Chicago Med, where the character she plays is actually an Afro-Latina, and Afro-Brazilian American.

“I love it. Occasionally I get to speak Portuguese on the show. It’s like the most fun thing ever,” says DaCosta. “That wouldn’t have happened even 10 years ago.”

But she cautions against getting too comfortable with the current cultural moment, and thinking that on-screen faces are all that matters.

“There’s still some work to do,” she says.

Source: The Grio

Gunmen attack Francia Marquez, prominent Colombian environmental activist

Credit: El Tiempo

Credit: El Tiempo

BOGOTA, Colombia — One of Colombia’s most-prominent grassroots activists and winner of a prestigious international environmental prize has been attacked at a meeting with community leaders.

Francia Marquez, who survived Saturday’s attack, said gunmen launched a grenade and opened fire into a crowd of activists gathered in the southern town of Santander de Quilichao. Two people were injured as bodyguards protecting some attendees battled the attackers, whose identities are unknown.

President Ivan Duque ordered an investigation.

Marquez won last year’s Goldman Environmental Prize for her work fighting illegal gold mining by armed groups in her Afro-Colombian community.

Attacks on leftists have surged in Colombia since the signing of a peace deal in 2016 with the country’s largest rebel group. Watchdog “Somos Defensores” said 155 activists were killed last year versus 106 in 2017

Source: Washington Post

Francia Marquez responded this morning on Twitter

Thank you very much to all the people who have expressed their solidarity with me and all the leaders and leaders who were on the scene. We are well and the injured are receiving medical attention. An ancestral hug. - ALP Translation

“The [assassination] attempt of which we were victims yesterday afternoon, encourages us to continue to bet on winning the peace in our territories, in the Department of Cauca and in our country, which is already full with the amount of blood spilled.” -ALP Translation