17 4 / 2014

"Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress - which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once."

16 4 / 2014

glitterlion:

When Marina Guerrero Salinas, 62, left her hometown and went to the city, people would constantly ask her where she was from. “I’d say, ‘I’m Mexican’, and they’d say, ‘But here in Mexico there aren’t black people,’” she says. “I would tell them, ‘Look how you don’t know everything about your own country. Because I’m from a place where there’s lots of black people.’”

It’s a question Afro-Mexicans are used to getting as they navigate being both black and Mexican in a country that doesn’t believe that such a thing is possible. Never mind that Africans and their descendents have been present in Mexico for over 500 years and have been a major force in the nation’s history. Still, Mexico has forgotten them.

Marina Guerrero lives in a rural town in the Costa Chica, a sliver of Mexico’s Pacific Coast in Guerrero and Oaxaca states that is home to the highest concentrations of African descendants in Mexico today. She makes ends meet selling pizza from her home, but her true vocation is the arts. Her musical and visual works deal with unpacking blackness in Mexico in all its complexity, from songs dealing with discrimination, to stunning paintings depicting black life on the coast.

"I only like to paint black people," says Guerrero. "Remembering how we were before, here."

There are a bunch of theories of how Afro-Mexicans arrived in the Costa Chica, but the accepted view is that cimarrones (escaped slaves) from the region settled here, lured by the protection provided from the area’s ruggedness and isolation. Over the years, they mixed with mestizos and indigenous peoples and formed a culture they refer to as criolla – Creole.

"After five centuries of this mixing, a way of being has formed," says Eduardo Añorve, a journalist and writer from the region. "A way of understanding the world, and living in it. Being criollo has to do with our music, such as chilena and cumbia. Or eating our foods. It’s about a sense of belonging."

People of the coast are often ambivalent about being referred to as “Afro-Mexican,” seeing it as a label imposed from afar by anthropologists, and ignoring their history as a mixed-race people. At the same time, black consciousness movements have slowly been taking shape on the coast and mobilizing people, with the goal of getting recognition for Afro-Mexicans as an official minority from the government (and the associated funding for much-needed community development projects).

According to Añorve, the resistance to embracing an Afro-Mexican identity is, in part, because Mexican kids aren’t taught to value blackness. Eduardo himself says he himself didn’t realize that he was black as a child, because he was inculcated in a version of Mexican history that didn’t include blacks. He came to identify as black after he left the Costa Chica for university, and realized that others perceived him as such.

"The education they give you is that you are mestizo," says Añorve. "Because that was the concept of the state. The state says that ‘We are all mestizos, there are no problems, and we live in harmony and in peace.’"

Añorve’s realization led him to research his heritage, and he was amazed to learn that many of Mexico’s greatest heroes were African descendents, including Vicente Guerrero, the Mexican president who abolished slavery in 1829, and José Morelos, who led the Mexican War of Independence from Spain. He learned that the charreada, a rodeo-like event that is Mexico’s national sport, has African origins, and that the “chinitas” and “morenas” referenced in traditional Mexican songs refer to black women. “We need to re-write the history we teach to kids in elementary school to talk about these things, and people would begin to value themselves in a different way,” says Añorve.

Another result of the lack of a national conversation about blackness is discrimination. When Marina Guerrero was a young woman, she left the coast for Mexico City to study theater (“I’ve always been very dramatic,” she says). There, she began to feel the weight of discrimination when she fell in love with guy whose parents wouldn’t let him marry her because she was black. She says that kind of prejudice has affected her throughout her life. “I’ve noticed for example that if you go to an office and there’s a black woman and a white woman, they help the white woman right away, and the black woman stays waiting.”

Such injustices have since become fodder for her songwriting. Guerrero has written over 200 songs, which she says come to her in the middle of night. She records them in a small notebook she keeps by her bed. They are heart-wrenching ballads about lost loves and hardscrabble lives, brimming with emotion and sung beautifully in a full-throated style reminiscent of Portuguese fado. Her lyrics celebrate blackness while also lamenting the difficult experiences many Afro-Mexicans have had. One of her songs, “Este Triste Mirar,” tells the story of a woman with a sad look in her eyes:

This sad look – it tells me all that you have lived/ This sad look, it tells me all that you’ve suffered/ You have the fault of being good/ You carry the fault of having dark skin.

When Añorve, who lives a few towns over from Guerrero, first heard her sing this song, it amazed him. “I think it’s extraordinary,” he says. “Because nobody in the Costa Chica has written a song on this topic.” As a collector of Afro-Mexican poetry, he began visiting her to hear her songs, and hopes to get a chance to help her record her music some day.

Unfortunately, Marina Guerrero hasn’t yet had the chance to find platforms for wider audiences for her art and music through exhibitions or recordings, but that hasn’t stopped her from expressing her enormous creativity and from telling the stories of her people, one notebook page at a time.

Follow link for video.

(via sinidentidades)

16 4 / 2014

mardala:

Shrishti School of Performing Arts annual program of 2012 ~ charulatha.com.

Shrishti is run by Charulatha Jayaraman.

Charulatha Jayaraman is an outstanding award-winning performer and teacher in the field of Bharathanatyam.

She is the founder and Artistic Director of Shrishti School of Performing Arts (or “Shrishti”) in Orange County, CA.

(via poc-creators)

16 4 / 2014

thisiswhiteprivilege:

One major facet of cultural appropriation is taking artifacts that would be violent on the body of a person of color and making them trendy on a white body.

That’s why Forever 21 is able to sell a Black Panther crop top, and why Che Guevara t-shirts are so popular,…

16 4 / 2014

floricanto-desnuda:

okay, a reader asked for both women and men Latin@ author recommendations. i took this list i originally made last year, and have added a few more names. unfortunately, i could do this all day. except for the fact i’m a single mami, and my child would like some time with me *s please remind me, when you’d like updates. ~canéla

ETA: i didn’t realize the original title of this post referred to “feminist" literature. someone must have asked me for that. what’s here now is not strictly feminist; i don’t identify as such (though there are rumors i do, elsewhere on the interwebz, mm). post title has been corrected. also didn’t mean to use the term "male" (skillet on the stove is such a temptation. wtf was i thinking?).

Achy Obejas: Cubana. Lesbiana author of fiction, including We came All The Way from Cuba So You Could Dress Like This?, Memory Mambo, and Ruins. Most available used and as ebooks.

Carilda Oliver Labra is a Cubana poet who writes in Spanish. There are translations of her works available, but I recommend the original texts. Her works are deeply feminist, and available online.

Edwidge Danticat is one of the most acclaimed authors from Haiti. Danticat authored Breath, Eyes, Memory when she was just twenty-five years old. She’s not Latina, but the query was for Caribbean authors, and Danticat should not be missed. 

Michelle Cliff was born in Kingston, Jamaica. While she has many notable works (and readers should look for all), what I’m recommending here is her (often overlooked) Claiming an Identity They Taught Me to Despise, in which Cliff sensually and successfully delves into the many divisions of self created by being mixed and of differing cultures—including lesbianism. Also, now might be a good time to mention I was extremely displeased tributes to the passing of Adrienne Rich did not mention the long-term relationship between Rich and Cliff. Ahem.

Este Puente Mi Espalda/This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, edited by Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga. Groundbreaking anthology of women’s voices. Out of print, but available in pdf at the above link. (note: i don’t in any way endorse the works of anzaldúa, but i do endorse the women who are included in these anthologies)

Haciendo caras/Making face, Making Soul edited by Gloria Anzaldúa, is the sister edition to Este puente/This bridge called my back. There are used editions available. Yes, I’m a contributor to this book, but I’m not proud of that, so read the other works, mm.

Sandra Cisneros is a Chicana who writes both poetry and fiction, from a witty, sometimes raunchy, feminist perspective. I recommend every Latina read The House on Mango Street and Woman Hollering Creek. Cisneros’ poetry will also cut to the bone, with her truth-telling, mm hmm.

Aurora Levins Morales: puertorriqueña writer (currently ill, seeking community aid). Has written extensively with her mother, as well as publishing works of her own. Recommended. (I recently posted her “Class Poem”; check it.)

tatiana de la tierra. wonderful colombiana chingona, who passed in 2012. her book of poetry, para las duras: una fenomenología lesbiana/for the hard ones became available as a bilingual edition, from my compadre brent beltrán, over at the former calaca press. we remember her with admiration. que descanse in paz.

Lorna Dee Cervantes is one of the earliest Chicana indigenous writers to make an impact on the common canon (we used to call you “Lorna Dee Norton Cervantes,” for all the times you were anthologized; did you know that, ‘mana? *s). I recommend From the Cables of Genocide, as one of the many places a reader could start, in Lorna Dee’s vast series of accomplishments. She’s still here with us, producing such excellent work—and, of course, never being paid enough for her troubles, mm hmm (she published her first poem at 15). Although she was discouraged from speaking Spanish in her youth, Cervantes is quite capable in the language, now. 

Jose Antonio Villareal: Chicano author, made famous by his novel Pocho, an exploration of the pocho cultura. Available used, in many bookstores.

Arturo Islas was a Tex-Mex Chicano, who survived childhood polio to become an award-winning author and beloved Stanford professor. His passing in 1991, of AIDS-related causes, saddened many of us. In addition to an uncompleted manuscript, Islas is the author of two related novels, both featuring the Angel family. Both study themes of fronteras, faith, sexuality, belonging, and much more. His last work, The Rain God, was originally titled Día de Los Muertos. The previous book is Migrant Souls. Both are available in paperback, sometimes as used texts. Find all his books online.

Tomás Rivera. Here, I’m gonna do a little Chicano history lesson, because I don’t see many people posting about or remembering Sr. Rivera. He lived from 1935-1984; was a Chicano author, poet, and educator; came up as a campesino; advocated for Mexican@ education; earned a BA and Ph.D.; wrote one of the most highly-influential novels—and in Spanish—of his time; was the first recipient of the Premio Quinto Sol award; became a professor; and was the first Chicano to hold the position of chancellor in the UC system. I’m gonna recommend we start with the book for which Rivera earned such praise, … y no se tragó la tierra, which is available in both english and spanish editions; hardcover and softcover; new and used. get to know this guy *s

alurista. often considered the founding father of the chicano (literary) movement, alurista (always written lower case) is a chingón, from start to finish, whose opinions have been widely mimicked, shredded, and lost in translation. gente need go to the source. we may not always agree with the man, but you won’t understand the raices de chicanism@, without reading the poetry and watching the videos of alurista. and, if you get a chance, go hang with the man. he enjoys the company *s and, yes, i’m throwing him in here as both historical and controversial. jovenes need to think for themselves, no? *s

some poets, available online:

Leticia Hernández-Linares, Chicana poet.

Diana Marie Delgado, Latina poet.

Deborah A. Miranda, Indigenousmexicana lesbiana author.

(Source: reclaimingthelatinatag, via sinidentidades)

16 4 / 2014

i just realized something. I’m a senior in college and I don’t know most of the black underclassmen so I’ve been feeling like this disconnect. We got most of our nine back and I wasn’t even excited. But then I saw one of the Sigma’s today that was an upperclassmen when I was a freshman, and I don’t know him like that but we recognized each other and said hey. There was the nice sense of familiarity and welcome-ness that haven’t experienced with the greeks or the the black union groups in a minute.

16 4 / 2014

sourcedumal:

smidgetz:

If you’re a Brown lady this is what you want to set your powder instead of looking like you got florescent bee pollen under your eyes and on your face.
Go get some save yourself. 
Here


Black Opal also sells powder in darker colors as well

sourcedumal:

smidgetz:

If you’re a Brown lady this is what you want to set your powder instead of looking like you got florescent bee pollen under your eyes and on your face.

Go get some save yourself. 

Here

Black Opal also sells powder in darker colors as well

16 4 / 2014

musicnewshq:

Stream: Los Rakas

musicnewshq:

Stream: Los Rakas

(via neoafrican)

16 4 / 2014

as-salaamm:

IM FEELIN THIS 

as-salaamm:

IM FEELIN THIS 

(Source: bayxcreole, via retrogradeearth)

16 4 / 2014

(Source: ForGIFs.com, via bankuei)

16 4 / 2014

anglosexual:

larwrence:

facts about other movies

"the first disney princess to be crowned quee—"

image

"the first disney princess to be crown—"

image

"the first dis—"

image

let’s try that again

image

(via knightofair)

16 4 / 2014

fashizblackdiary:

VINTAGE: Grace Jones & Naomi Campbell.

(via thefemaletyrant)

16 4 / 2014

medievalpoc:

ai-yo:

yagazieemezi:

ILLUSTRATIONS - DIGITAL ART

Illustrations by  Mattahan (Paul Davey) from Manchaster, Jamaica. The name Mattahan is from the patois pronunciation of Matterhorn, a popular cigarette brand in Jamaica. Mattahan is a painter who uses digital tools to create these surreal depictions of people who inspire him. The paintings are inspired by moments in his own life.

VIEW MORE

one of my favourite artist on the web. tumblr http://mattahan.tumblr.com/

Contemporary Art Week!

16 4 / 2014

wocinsolidarity:

misandry-mermaid:

naamahdarling:

lalondes:

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T SCROLL PAST THIS.
Scarleteen is a vital queer and trans positive sexual health resource. Their staff do an amazing job of creating really comprehensive and helpful articles on literally every sexual topic you can imagine. They also provide live chats, advice columns, moderated discussion forums, and SMS-based peer support. This site has helped me on countless occasions, and I refer at-risk queer and trans kids to this site every single day.
Scarleteen is invaluable.
And Scarleteen needs your help.
During their annual donation drive this year, the site was only able to raise $1,500. Only fifty people out of Scarleteen’s 350,000 unique monthly visitors contributed to the fundraising drive.
This means that unless Scarleteen sees a stable, sustained, 50% increase in donations, the site will essentially be forced to go dark on May 1. No more new content, no more advice columns, no more forums, no more live chat, no more SMS support. 
This is devastating.
If Scarleteen goes dark, millions of young people, vulnerable queer and trans teens among them, will lose access to essential, fundamental sexual health resources. We cannot let this happen.
Please, please, please donate to Scarleteen. Consider making a recurring monthly contribution if you feel that this is within your means. Even $5 or $10 a month will go a long way to helping this very, very deserving organization.
And whether or not you’re able to donate at this time, please signal boost this and spread the word. Scarleteen does incredible, very necessary work, and they need our help.

This place does amazing, important work, and they are well worth supporting.  Sex ed in this country is a sick joke, and sites like this are having to take up the slack, run on donations from people like us who actually want the next generation to have happy, fulfilling, safe lives full of as much or as little sex as they want.

I just made a donation, and you should too!  Help support an org providing comprehensive, inclusive sex, gender, and health information to youth.

SIGNAL BOOST!

wocinsolidarity:

misandry-mermaid:

naamahdarling:

lalondes:

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T SCROLL PAST THIS.

Scarleteen is a vital queer and trans positive sexual health resource. Their staff do an amazing job of creating really comprehensive and helpful articles on literally every sexual topic you can imagine. They also provide live chats, advice columns, moderated discussion forums, and SMS-based peer support. This site has helped me on countless occasions, and I refer at-risk queer and trans kids to this site every single day.

Scarleteen is invaluable.

And Scarleteen needs your help.

During their annual donation drive this year, the site was only able to raise $1,500. Only fifty people out of Scarleteen’s 350,000 unique monthly visitors contributed to the fundraising drive.

This means that unless Scarleteen sees a stable, sustained, 50% increase in donations, the site will essentially be forced to go dark on May 1. No more new content, no more advice columns, no more forums, no more live chat, no more SMS support. 

This is devastating.

If Scarleteen goes dark, millions of young people, vulnerable queer and trans teens among them, will lose access to essential, fundamental sexual health resources. We cannot let this happen.

Please, please, please donate to Scarleteen. Consider making a recurring monthly contribution if you feel that this is within your means. Even $5 or $10 a month will go a long way to helping this very, very deserving organization.

And whether or not you’re able to donate at this time, please signal boost this and spread the word. Scarleteen does incredible, very necessary work, and they need our help.

This place does amazing, important work, and they are well worth supporting.  Sex ed in this country is a sick joke, and sites like this are having to take up the slack, run on donations from people like us who actually want the next generation to have happy, fulfilling, safe lives full of as much or as little sex as they want.

I just made a donation, and you should too!  Help support an org providing comprehensive, inclusive sex, gender, and health information to youth.

SIGNAL BOOST!

16 4 / 2014

diaryofaspoonie:

• “At least you’re not dying!”
• “You’re only disabled if you let yourself be.”
• “You need to tell yourself you’re going to get better, else you won’t.”
• “But you can’t be in pain ALL the time, don’t exaggerate.”
• “You don’t LOOK ill.”
• “There’s so many people worse off than you.”
• “I’m sure you don’t REALLY need help.”
• “Sometimes it’s easier to just give up.”
• “Stop being so negative.”

(via wocinsolidarity)