Capoeira: Artful Resistance

Historical Rendition of Capoeira. Image courtesy of Rio.com

Historical Rendition of Capoeira. Image courtesy of Rio.com

The history of slavery in the U.S. is taught nationwide; however, slavery elsewhere in the world is barely touched upon in school curriculum. Yet, the resilience and ingenuity that enslaved Africans displayed during and after the Trans-Atlantic slave trade extends beyond U.S. borders. From the 16th to 19th centuries, Brazil was the main destination for Africans sold across the Atlantic and contained the largest slave population in the world. Just as slaves in the U.S. used music, poetry and dance to preserve their heritage and subtly organize against oppressors, African slaves in Brazil also created new forms of art and defense. One of the most influential creations to come from this period is a type of martial arts called Capoeira.

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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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Secrets of PanAfrican Unity

Black and Cuba at the World Social Forum

On day two of the World Social Forum, we were excited to attend a discussion called “Building PanAfrican Unity in the 21st Century” hosted by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. This event was of particular interest to us because even though the forum is being held in Africa, there are only a few programs that directly discuss race, PanAfricanism and the African diaspora – including a program on the ideas of Thomas Sankara and a workshop for Black Tunisians.

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Thank you for Making this Past Year Such a Success

The staff of Progressive Pupil from left to right: Community Outreach Intern Rebecca Alvy; Digital Cultures Intern Alexis Hancock; Principal Organizer Robin J. Hayes; Program Coordinator Vedan Anthony-North; Diasporic Engagement Intern Carmen Medina; Digital Cultures Intern Folashade Kornegay.

The staff of Progressive Pupil from left to right: Community Outreach Intern Rebecca Alvy; Digital Cultures Intern Alexis Hancock; Principal Organizer Robin J. Hayes; Program Coordinator Vedan Anthony-North; Diasporic Engagement Intern Carmen Medina; Digital Cultures Intern Folashade Kornegay.

This past year at Progressive Pupil has been an incredible one; our staff has more than doubled, we launched two major fundraising campaigns which helped us raise over $4,000, we’ve established ourselves on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, and we’ve made major strides in completing our first feature length documentary, Black and Cuba.

With this growth, we also need time to reflect and see what has worked and what needs a bit more focus. For the months of July and August, Progressive Pupil staff members will be engaging in an Enrichment Retreat, which will include travels to South Africa, Brazil and Ghana. Unfortunately, given this schedule we won’t be able to blog as frequently. We encourage you to continue checking our blog though, as we will be reblogging our “Greatest Hits” from the past year.

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