Negr@ y Orugullos@, Black and Proud

Model Joan Smalls Rodriguez in Black Power for V Magazine. Image Courtesy of

Joan Smalls Rodriguez Models Black Power for V Magazine. Image Courtesy of Alasdair McLellan

Happy Autumn! On our blog this month we highlight AfroLatino culture and history in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month. There are vibrant and distinct Black communities throughout Mexico, Central and South America as well as the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. The term AfroLatino refers to people with Latin American heritage who also identify as descendants of the millions of Africans who were forced to work as slaves on sugar, tobacco and rice plantations in the Americas between the 16th and 19th centuries. AfroLatinidad is the tradition of struggle, rebellion and overcoming obstacles, which this community continues today.

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Total Liberation

A 1971 Poster by OSPAAAL, depicting the murder of Black Panther George Jackson at San Quentin prison.

We cannot foresee the future, but we should never give in to the defeatist temptation of being the vanguard of a nation which yearns for freedom, but abhors the struggle it entails and awaits its freedom as a crumb of victory.

OSPAAAL, 1967

Today in 1966, the Organization of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America (OSPAAAL) was formed in Havana, Cuba and attended by delegates from 82 countries.  Their objective was simple – total liberation.  An organization of national liberation movements and shared ideology, they fought against colonialism, globalization, racial segregation and capitalism.  They had a vision that solidarity and cooperation among nations could lead to better lives for everyone; that their fate was intertwined with their neighbors across the sea.  From Cuba to Palestine, they worked to support economic development in emergent in the spirit of internationalism. Their posters were printed in several languages, folded inside the Tricontinental, and sent to subscribers around the world.

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