Black history month is a token tribute, but Afro-Latinos don’t even have that
If you’re Afro-Latino, February isn’t the month for you because it simply doesn’t celebrate the diversity of your heritage. It doesn’t even try. If you’re Afro-Latino, you’re expected to lump your experience of being a person of African descent into the predictability of the month’s celebration.
While I do like to honor that guy who created peanut butter (Washington Carver, if the name escaped you) and agree that the name Rosa Parks should be known by every man, woman, and child in America, they tell just one part of the story of the African diaspora in America.
What about us, those who have roots both in Africa as well as other places? What about those of us who are of mixed heritage, but who are also just as black and just as American as the people we honor this month? For 11 months of the year, I am a proud Afro-Latina, the daughter of a Cuban father and a Central American mother. For me salsa is a condiment and a dance and I know I’m not the only one. I’ve lived in Louisiana long enough to know that there is more than one version of black history and sometimes that history speaks another language.
Each year, I celebrate African American history because it makes me proud. I enjoy studying the civil rights era because the fight for equality is everyone’s fight, not only of those who are black. And I love learning about the authors, scientists, and inventors who deserve to be honored this month and every month. But this history is not one I completely own.
My story and that of my people’s struggle in this country aren’t mentioned much, if at all, during black history month. For example, I don’t hear about Piri Thomas or Evelio Grillo, whose names should be included in the annals of Afro-Latino history in the US.
Are Afro-Latinos supposed to be celebrated during Hispanic Heritage Month? Not a bad idea, except we’re not celebrated much during this period (mid-September to mid-October) either.
FULL ARTICLE: http://tinyurl.com/ltnwwv4