Afro Latinidad By Way of Los Rakas and the Academy

This past weekend, more so month Austin, by way of my Alma Mater The University of Texas at Austin, has done great work in regards to activist scholarship. First was Abriendo Brecha, an annual conference dedicated to facilitating dialogue and networks between activist scholars, their communities, grassroots organizations, and local organizers. The following weekend- this past weekend, was the 2013 Lozano Long Conference — Refashioning Blackness: Contesting Racism in the Afro-Americas. Keynote speakers such as Luiza Bairros, political activist and minister of Secretariat for the Promotion of Racial Equality (SEPPIR) in Brazil, and public intellect Ta-Nehisi Coates, writer at The Atlantic, brought out key discourse regarding political autonomy and race relations throughout the African Diaspora.

refashioning blackness

My homie, who shall remain anonymous in case I understood him incorrectly, told me that Mr. Coates insinuated that racialization of Afro-Latinos is a generational process. He proclaimed as they became more assimilated within a black framework then they would be subjugated to state violence against black folks. He also noted that a lack of cultural memory in regards to the Civil War can trivialize one’s blackness in the United States. I really hope he didn’t say those things. Not to get all classroom syllabus on everyone, but the dynamic between Afro-Latinos and African-Americans has been and will always be a synthesis. Examples such as African slaves being moved from the Americas and the Caribbean to work in the South can suffice, as well as Afro-Cubanos migrating to Florida to work in the tobacco field, who were denied their Cuban culture via their white Cuban brethren because of Jim Crow laws. So, they worked alongside and organized with the African-American communities already established in Tampa. Anyway, there are so many narratives of this in the United States, which brings me to some of these videos below.

Yes, that is our beloved Los Rakas. We at Nena World are huge fans of the work they do and the message they pump out. That video is a snippet from a collection of three videos tapped by Proyecto Afrolatin@, a non-profit organization dedicated to the awareness of Afro Latino Politics and Identity throughout the Americas and the United States. The video above comes in a three-part series, where Raka Dun and Raka Rich break down what exactly it means to them to be an Afro Latino in the United States. The videos are very politically charged Rich and Dun speak about police brutality ( this isn’t the first time, you all remember that charged up video “Cueria“!!!) institutional inequalities, political organizing, all that trill shit about being Black in Oakland, speaking Spanish as Black people in Oakland. So Boom! The other two videos are below!! (in my heart of hearts, I don’t understand why UT didn’t invite them to speak!!!!! #powertothepeople #powerfromthepeopletothepeople) -d.e.

Their Experiences with Racism ( yo, this was so honest, must watch!)

Their Thoughts on the Justice System ( but for real doe)


3 thoughts on “Afro Latinidad By Way of Los Rakas and the Academy

  1. I love how you put fine men as one of the tags…lol I do stuff like that as well…I mean I don’t use the word fine though seems a little outdated lol…anyway I love these guys Los Rakas….my boy and I actually moved out to Panama in 2011 we are afro american but we wanted to learn spanish living in a central american hood and infuse spanish into hip hop music and become the first african american rappers to make original music in spanish!……While we were out there “training” we learned a lot about the music scene, and by golly I will have you know that Los Rakas was being played out there…not to mention El Roockie my favorite…Kafu Banton Raices y Cultura, Latin Fresh, El Kid (RIP) they killed him when we were down there right around the corner from where I lived… And Dangerman (RIP) Japanese……Im going to stay tuned in to what you guys are doing bless!!!! desde Negros Americanos

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