And Im playing my saxophone for the first time in literally months. And I missed her. Why have I waited for so long to play her? There’s so much to juggle. Smh. Thesis just sapped my attendance and dedication to music. I want to be a musician. And I am one. Its like after playing for 13 years I just want to revert. I’ve hit a plateau. I need new challenges. And I can create it for myself but I do much better adapting to an atmosphere. I will be talking to my mentor about this. Today. When your body has been doing something for 13 years and have always been able to pick it up when you want to and put it back down and everyones always on your bumper praising you its not for you anymore. I’ve been doing this since I was 8. I need a new challenge. And it needs to be difficult. So I can adapt to it. And I need to stay there. Until I get what I want back from my music.
“Cuba is a slam dunk. Everybody wants to know what’s going on in Cuba. And Fidel Castro, two years after he had his revolution in 1959, he announced that racism had been eliminated in Cuba. And Cuba got almost 800,000 slaves — far more than the United States. So there’s a fascination with Cuba: Our nearest neighbor. Miami’s twin city. How black is Cuba? Is there racism? Did the revolution, which brought health benefits and education to poor people, eliminate racism? That’s the question we ask. You can get the answer because the name of the episode is The Next Cuban Revolution.”—Henry Louis Gates Jr (Q&A with Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.)
La escritora y poeta cubana Nancy Morejón afirmó hoy estar sorprendida por el premio de la Asociación de Estudios Latinoamericanos (Lasa) por la obra de la vida, recién otorgado en San Francisco, California.
Me tomó por sorpresa, no lo esperaba, dijo a Prensa Latina la autora de Piedra pulida. No es un libro, ni una ponencia, es un lauro importante que distingue la trayectoria de un autor, destacó.
Nacida el 7 de agosto de 1944, Morejón es una de las escritoras y poetas más prestigiosas de la isla y ha dedicado una parte de su carrera al estudio de la obra de Nicolás Guillén y de las literaturas caribeñas.
Miembro de número de la Academia Cubana de la Lengua desde 1999 y Premio Nacional de Literatura 2001, ostenta también las Insignias de Oficial de la Orden al Mérito de Francia.
Lasa está considerada la Asociación más grande del mundo y agrupa a personalidades e instituciones dedicadas al estudio de Latinoamérica. Tiene como principal misión fomentar el debate intelectual, la investigación y la enseñanza sobre la región.
All of my greatest grades were in Africana Studies and orally presented. I make really dope slideshows.
I once did a presentation on Nicolas Guillen and his work with Langston Hughes. I talked about the definition of Negrismo. When/where it originated. And its differences from Netgritude. I also talked about the prevalence of clave rhythms in his work.
Where is that presentation… I wanted to blog it as a photo set and maybe do some wordy captions…
I was about 13 when I learned that my grandfather was was Cuban. That that is why our last name is what it is. And that his estrangement from my father, and this family, seeped into even a negation of who we are.
And I was 18 when my mother told me not to check “Latina” on my college application. “They’ll be looking for someone Hispanic & then you’ll show up.” This meant to me that a) I was Cuban but it didn’t matter what I thought about that, it only mattered how my institution rated/counted me. b) I can only claim it if it is visible.
Here I am at 21, with over two decades in conditioning on what “Hispanic/Latino/Chincano” is. Just now, in this year learning that Latino is moreso about the culture and Latin countries. That Hispanic has more to do with Spain/Portugal. And that Chicano is of/related to Mexico. Just recently being applauded by my peers for how well I spoke in Spanish class. I was always semi-conversational because it was spoken in my home. Just realizing watching, Buena Vista Social Club on Netflix that Cubans are just as dark as me, even darker. Explaining to my relatives why I dedicated my junior dance piece to Che Guevara & choreographed it to Commandante.
Yet I still feel like people will think Im inauthentic if I begin blogging in Spanish. That I am not allowed to use that language because my hair doesn’t flow down my back and my mother never cooked Cuban food in our home. Because I am more of a milk chocolate brown than a dulce de leche caramel all over.
But, what is identity? Thats something I learned to question while at college. Liberatingly enough, I learned that it is a device of the stringency of Westernization to try and isolate me racially based on my color. My brown-paper-bagness. My one-dropness. I learned that ethnicity is not something I am making up, its something I actually have. And who or what you are is entirely based on your experiences. Not what pumps through your veins. You get to be who you say you are.
Shame how Black women have been taught that their rival is the fair skinned Latina. I fear people in my Black community will make assumptions about me. That I’m trying to be better by claiming Afro-Latina instead of just Afro. That some how I am hoping people will see me as better, or lighter, or prettier, or more exotic or sexier. Or be cinched in the waist & calling men “Papi”.
When in fact, I just want to welcome a part of me back into my family.
I want to celebrate the grandfather, who’s birthday immediately follows mine, as a heritage since I cannot celebrate him as a person. I want to accept my Africana. My Latina. My Americana. That is something in my heart and that I want back into my life. Through research and experiences and embracing and discovering. I want to cook the foods I like, and discover the foods of my people. All my people. I want to teach my children my Spanish. That I learned in my American school, and thats okay. I want to read up on how to reconcile this. I want to read more about it.
I will not be perfectly what anyone thinks I should be ever. But, my identity isn’t for them. It’s for me.
Luisa Hernández Angueira in “Across the Mona Strait: Dominican Boat Women in Puerto Rico” makes the argument that, “In Puerto Rico, migrant Dominican women differ from Puerto Rican women (a far more complex opposition than that of women to men) within a society stratified by class, race, ethnicity, and gender. Dominican women represent functions and characteristic that define them as “the other,” a condition which benefits the dominant forces of society” (Hernández Angueira in Lòpez 1997). Dominican women are viewed as social pariahs in Puerto Rican society; they are women, working class, usually darker than Puerto Ricans, and bring their own cultural values with them.
“Black history is taught like this: you started off as a slave, then white people felt bad and decided to free you, then civil rights legislation made you equal, and finally you achieved victory with Obama’s election. The end…. Of course, that is ridiculous. That is the White Supremacist version of black history. The end result of this mis-education is that black children are separated from their own people’s legacy and historical achievements.
Everybody in the world has the right to draw inspiration from their own people’s legacy, and this right is robbed from black children because their history is actively hidden, distorted, and replaced with make-believe.