AfroLatin@s in Action: Making a Difference through Research, Education & the Arts

Posted in Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2015-10-09 15:16Z by Steven

AfroLatin@s in Action: Making a Difference through Research, Education & the Arts

Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute
20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor
New York, New York 10012
Thursday, 2015-10-15, 18:30-20:30 EDT (Local Time)

Join us for a discussion led by AfroCuban author, bibliographer, and activist Tomás Fernandez Robaína on the crucial role of books in the advancement of Black advocacy movements throughout the Americas.

Learn about the Forum’s new projects aimed at increasing AfroLatin@ visibility and representation. These initiatives include raising the AfroLatin@ count in the 2020 census; developing a national network to promote and support AfroLatin@ Studies; and preparing a retrospective exhibition on the work of photographer Tony Gleaton. Find out how you can play a role in making a positive change. Come ready to take action!

Co-Sponsored by the Center for Caribbean and Latin American Studies and the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, both at NYU.

For more information, click here.

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In Memoriam: Tony Gleaton

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico on 2015-09-19 01:59Z by Steven

In Memoriam: Tony Gleaton

The afrolatin@ forum

Tony Gleaton, among the first photographers to document Latin Americans of African descent, passed away last week. He leaves behind an impressive body of work which undoubtedly contributed to the growing Black consciousness movement throughout the Americas.

Tony began his Latin American photographic journey in the southern Pacific coast of Mexico in 1986; by the time his project was completed he had traveled through most of Central and South America in his search for “Black folk.” …

Read the entire article here.

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Tony Gleaton: Photographing The African Story Across The Americas

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico on 2015-08-24 01:05Z by Steven

Tony Gleaton: Photographing The African Story Across The Americas

Code Switch: Frontiers of Race, Culture and Ethnicity
National Public Radio

Karen Grigsby Bates

Photographer Tony Gleaton died last Friday after struggling with a particularly aggressive cancer for 18 months. He was working, signing prints, talking to museums (several have his work in their collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem) and checking in with his friends right up to the last day. I admired his work, but also treasured his friendship.

For many years, Tony often showed up on my Los Angeles doorstep with a huge sack of dirty laundry slung over his shoulder and a box of contact sheets under one arm.

“Here,” he’d say, placing the box in my hands, and walking through the door. “Look at these. I’m gonna do some laundry, okay?”…

…In the beginning, he got a lot of pushback. “Why do you want to take our picture?” the villagers would ask, warily. “We have no money to pay you.”

When Tony would explain that he was documenting the African Diaspora around the world, and that they and he were both part of it, the conversation often became even harder.

“You want to take pictures of black people?” they’d ask.

“Yes, like you and me … ” he’d begin

“Well,” they’d respond, looking at his fair skin, light hair and blue-green eyes. “You’re not black. And we’re certainly not black. So you need to do that somewhere else.”

Eventually he learned to refine his approach and tell the villagers he wanted people in the States to see how beautiful people in the villages were. “I just gave up on the black connection. It was important to me, but not to them. They see race differently than we do. And it’s only a social construct anyway.”

There is still stigma to acknowledging blackness in many parts of Mexico, and Tony’s work raised the profile of Latinos with what is sometimes called “the Third Root” — Spanish, Indian, African — in Latino culture. His work eventually expanded across the Americas to form an exhibit called Tengo Casi 500 Anos (I Have Almost 500 Years) — Africa’s Legacy in Mexico that explores the African presence in the Americas. He’s also chronicled black, Indian and Mexican cowboy culture, as well as life in American Samoa and the Mississippi Delta

Read the entire article here.

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Tony Gleaton, 67, Dies, Leaving Legacy in Pictures of Africans in the Americas

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico, United States on 2015-08-20 15:42Z by Steven

Tony Gleaton, 67, Dies, Leaving Legacy in Pictures of Africans in the Americas

The New York Times

Bruce Weber

Tony Gleaton, a photographer who turned his back on a career in New York fashion and embarked on an itinerant artistic quest, documenting the lives of black cowboys and creating images of the African diaspora in Latin America, died on Friday in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 67.

The cause was oral cancer, his wife, Lisa, said.

Mr. Gleaton made his photographs in the American West and Southwest, and then, most prominently, in Mexico, where he lived among little-acknowledged communities of blacks — descendants of African slaves brought to the New World centuries earlier by the Spanish — in villages on the coastal plains of Oaxaca, south of Acapulco.

An exhibition of those photos, “Africa’s Legacy in Mexico,” which appeared in galleries around the country for more than a decade beginning in the 1990s, was sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution.

Mr. Gleaton specialized in black-and-white portraits, their subjects — children and adults, alone or in groups — almost always in direct engagement with the camera and usually in tight frames that suggest but do not explore a specific setting, like a workplace or a barroom. In an interview with The Los Angeles Times in 2007, he called his pictures “abstractions from daily life,” saying “they may look natural but they are extremely crafted, very calculated.”…

Read the entire obituary here.

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Africa’s Legacy in Mexico: The Photographs of Tony Gleaton

Posted in Africa, Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico on 2010-09-06 22:34Z by Steven

Africa’s Legacy in Mexico: The Photographs of Tony Gleaton

Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
Laband Art Gallery
2007-09-09 through 2007-11-18

Africa’s Legacy in Mexico features forty-five black and white photographs from a series of portraits of African Mexicans by Tony Gleaton. Taken in the late 1980s and early 1990s, primarily in three villages along the southwestern coast of Mexico, Gleaton’s photographs offer insight into a little-known aspect of Mexican culture. These poignant images focus on the present-day descendants of African slaves who were brought to Mexico by the Spanish colonialists beginning in the 1500s. Though Africans have been part of the cultural fabric of Mexico for five centuries, the official policy of the Mexican government has been to only highlight the country’s mestizo [mixed race] heritage that has resulted from the mixing of indigenous and European peoples. Miriam Jimenez Roman writes that Gleaton’s photographs “force us to rethink many of our preconceptions not only about our southern neighbor but more generally about issues such as race, ethnicity, culture, and national identity.”

View some of the photographs here.

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