Exploring Mexico’s African Heritage with Dr. Marco Polo Hernández

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico on 2017-04-29 22:38Z by Steven

Exploring Mexico’s African Heritage with Dr. Marco Polo Hernández

Los Afro-Latinos: A Blog Following the Afro-Latino Experience
2012-12-09

Nicolle Morales Kern

“We need to look deeper into our Africanness to understand ourselves,” says Dr. Marco Polo Hernández, a professor of Spanish and Afro-Hispanic studies at North Carolina Central University, in a recent phone interview. Mexico’s African heritage is not normally discussed or highlighted in conversation, or even education. But, Dr. Hernández, who holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic and Italian Studies from the University of British Columbia, a M.A. in Spanish Language and Peninsular and Latin American literatures, and a B.A. in General Studies & Spanish language and literatures from Portland State University, says that is slowly starting to change.

Growing up in Mexico City, Dr. Marco Polo Hernández Cuevas was not raised in a household or a society that highlighted the African influence on Mexico. While Father JosĂ© MarĂ­a Morelos, who led the Independence movement from 1811 to 1815, is talked about, his African heritage is not. In school, everyone was told that they were mestizos (racially mixed), as most Latinos believe they are because the country’s African roots are rarely discussed…

Read the entire article here.

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By looking at Afro-Latinos, you kind of get a better sense of how fluid race has been. People have constructed it in different ways depending on conditions and circumstances.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2015-11-23 02:39Z by Steven

“Whether we look at race as a fixed notion or culturally constructed concept it is very real. Race itself is an invention, a creation. Many people feel race is something that’s fixed, rigid and doesn’t have variances. By looking at Afro-Latinos, you kind of get a better sense of how fluid race has been. People have constructed it in different ways depending on conditions and circumstances.” —Miriam Jiménez Román

Kim Haas, “Q&A with Miriam Jiménez Román,” Los Afro-Latinos: A Blog Following the Afro-Latino Experience, March 30, 2012. http://losafrolatinos.com/2012/03/30/qa-with-miriam-jimenez-roman/.

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Q&A with Miriam Jiménez Román

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Interviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States, Women on 2015-11-22 22:02Z by Steven

Q&A with Miriam Jiménez Román

Los Afro-Latinos: A Blog Following the Afro-Latino Experience
2012-03-30

Kim Haas

In February, Latina magazine listed “6 Afro-Latinas Who Are Changing the World.” Naturally, Miriam Jiménez Román was second on the list.

Her work as a writer, professor and head of the Afro-Latin@ Forum has educated the world about the Afro-Latin experience and made her an authority on the subject. Her latest work, The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States, has been hailed for critics for its diverse portrait of Black Latinos in America.

Jiménez sat down to speak with Los Afro-Latinos about the book, Afro-Latinos in the media and bridging the gap between African Americans and Latinos.

Los Afro-Latinos: Why did you publish The Afro-Latin@ Reader?

Miriam Jiménez Román: After the 2000 Census was released [the mainstream media], basically posed Latinos and African-Americans in a Black vs. Brown dynamic. And it gave the sense that the [United States] was evolving into this post racial state and we didn’t really have to talk about race anymore. Latinos didn’t have a concern about race because the Census says Latinos, the largest minority group, can be of any race and this is a demonstration of overcoming race in [the United States]. My co-editor [Juan Flores] and I and a number of other people were appalled by that kind of analysis.

First, we’re not in a post racial state. Race is still a very important part of how all of us – globally – live our lives. African-Americans and Latinos need to get together, create change that will benefit not just Latinos and African-Americans but all people of color…

Read the entire interview here.

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