Discussing hyphenated Afro-Latinos in Detroit


The culture of people of African descent from Latin America and the Latin Caribbean — in a word “Afro-Latinos” — is the theme of two days of lectures and discussions presented in a collaboration by Wayne State University,  the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation.

“Black, Latin—Both!” features Miriam Jiménez Román and Juan Flores, editors of The Afro-Latin Reader: History and Culture in the United States, a 2010 collection of essays, short stories, articles, personal accounts and poetry about Afro-Latin identity and culture.

Flores said the book came out of the lack of material on the subject of Afro-Latino identity, especially in the U.S.

“There’s been a lot written about the relationship between blacks and latinos,” he said. “But they are treated as a separate group.”

Another issue is the misconception caused by works such as 2004’s The Presumed Alliance: The Unspoken Conflict Between Latinos and Blacks and What It Means for America, that portray the groups as hostile toward one another.

Flores and Jiminez Roman, having both studied various aspects of Latin and African culture, decided to work together and pool their information  to show the link between cultures, instead of the wall between them.

The series begins with a reception Thursday, Feb. 10,  at 2 p.m. on WSU’s campus, in the Faculty Administration Building, room 3337. Jiménez Román and Flores will present a discussion on their book at the Wright Museum, 311 E. Warren, at 6 p.m.

Jiménez Román will also discuss the book with students enrolled in the Another Chance GED Project Friday at noon, at the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, 1211 Trumbull in Southwest Detroit. They will also facilitate a workshop and discuss how to incorporate Afro-Latino literature into the American literary canon at 3 p.m., in the WSU Department of English, 5057 Woodward Ave, 10th Floor Conference Room.

The series concludes with a round table discussion on writing, featuring Lolita Hernández, Esperanza Cintrón, Lena Cintrón, Rayfield Waller, Ethriam Brammer, Melba Joyce Boyd and young poets from the Inside Out Literary Arts Project.

The band Bomba Rica will also perform. This event will also take place Friday at 5:30 p.m., at the DHDC.

All events are free and open to the public.

--Ilissa Gilmore, editorial intern


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