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Cartagena is a must-go city for international tourists in South America. With a rich history, culture, gastronomy and astonishing landscapes, this city can give offer the visitor a plentiful of joy and happiness making it one of the favorite destinations in the region. Besides its unique tourist attractions, Cartagena also holds historic figures that represent the Afro-Colombian people as a most. They are the Palenqueras and carry a very amazing trajectory. Their brightly coloured dresses earned them one of the most photographed icons of Cartagena.

Black people in Argentina have been treated as an invisible minority for a very long time even though they have had a huge influence on Argentina’s history. They played an integral role in shaping Argentina’s culture through their contributions in the field of dance, literature, and religion.

Portrayed as the whitest country in Latin America, the saying “Aqui no hay negros”—There are no Blacks here—has been very popular among Argentine citizens. Ironically, the key person in the fight for independence of Argentina in the 19th century was María Remedios del Valle, a Black Argentine woman

She was known as ‘La Madre de la Patria’— The Mother of the Homeland.

María Remedios del Valle was born in 1766— 90 years before the abolishment of slavery in Argentina— in the capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. Although she was Black, she was born free. During her teens, she worked as a cook, but at the beginning of the wars, she found out that she could work as a nurse to help those who defended the city of Buenos Aires during the second English invasion in 1807.

She was enlisted in different battles and soon del Valle achieved the rank of captain of the liberation army due to her discipline, intelligence, courage and loyalty.

Del Valle lost her husband and two sons in combat and she sustained countless bullet and saber wounds on her body. In 1813 she was taken prisoner by the Spanish, who flogged her for nine days for helping patriot officers escape from the prison camp. Those scars lasted for the rest of her life.

She was able to escape and join the forces of Martín Miguel de Güemes and Juan Antonio Álvarez de Arenales, to once again fulfill a double role— soldier and nurse.

Tango Negro: Exploring The African Roots Of Argentina’s Tango Dance

Once the war of independence ended in 1817, the Black Argentine woman returned to the city of Buenos Aires where she found himself destitute. As the Argentine writer and historian Carlos Ibarguren reports, after the end of the war, María Remedios del Valle was a “forgotten heroine,” like many other soldiers. She was on the streets begging for money and eating leftover food in churches because she was not awarded the pension for her military career in the army and the loss of her husband and sons.

In 1827, after being recognized by one of the generals of the army who saw her begging for coins in the streets of the Buenos Aires, Argentina, he requested the Board of Representatives of the Province of Buenos Aires grant her a pension for services rendered to the country.

María Remedios del Valle returned to Buenos Aires. She died on November 8, 1847, without having received in life recognition for her collaboration in the Wars for Independence. Almost 200 years later, Law No. 26,852 was passed in her memory, which commemorates the National Day of Afro-Argentineans and Afro-Culture. A historic milestone in the path of visibility of the contributions of the Afro community in the construction of Argentina.

For almost 150 years, historians had not given her the place she deserved alongside those committed, brave heroes and heroines who put their entire lives at the service of the country.

Source: Travel Noire

The Afro-Bolivians are descendants of Enslaved Africans  that arrive during the Spanish Empire from the 16th to the 19th centuries to work in the mines of Potosi, a city in southwestern Bolivia. But most of the about half a million Enslaved  that arrived in Bolivia (then the colonial territory of Upper Peru) could not adapt to the cold weather of Potosi.

So by the beginning of the 19th Century, they were relocated to the Yungas where it was warm to work on the Spanish-owned hacienda plantation estates. There, an unofficial kingdom was formed among a group of enslaved Afro-Bolivians in 1820. It would take decades before this kingdom would be officially recognized by the Bolivian Government

Afro- Bolivans: People Of African Descent In Bolivia

Mururata, a village, has been the “center of this kingdom”. And it is where Julio Bonifaz Pinedo lives and “rules” as the king of the Afro-Bolivians. Afro-Bolivians, numbering about 26,000, have over the years lost much of their history including their languages and religions but not their royal heritage. They still have their king, who is highly respected.

Living in the small village of Mururata, about a two-hour drive north of the capital La Paz, the 78-year-old king does not have a throne or a court, though he does have a cape with gold embroidery and a metallic crown. He doesn’t wear them all the time – only on special occasions like local festivals, according to AFP. In fact, one might not be aware of his presence among his community’s 2,000 residents. His home, where he lives with his wife, the queen Angélica Larrea and their son, doubles as a grocery store that sells oil, bananas, soft drinks and canned sardines.

Pinedo, who has mostly worked in agriculture, still goes out to the fields often to farm coffee, citrus fruits, and coca. His wife helps him manage the grocery store while their son and sole heir, Prince Rolando, is studying law at the Universidad de Los Andes in La Paz. “I would like to keep pushing forward to make the Afro-Bolivian community more recognized and visible, the way my father has done until now,” he told BBC.

His father Pinedo is the first king to be officially recognized by the Bolivian state. This was after Bolivia’s minority ethnic groups were acknowledged by the state in 2006. Pinedo, who inherited his title from his African ancestors and was crowned in 1992 by the community, was in 2007 crowned again by the government of La Paz. This helped raise awareness of Afro-Bolivian customs and traditions, including their kingdom, according to one account.

Pinedo’s title is mainly symbolic. He is not recognized as a political authority and does not collect taxes. “My title [as king] is mostly symbolic,” he was quoted by BBC. “I’m not like these rich kings of Europe, but I represent the Afro-Bolivian community, and this is a huge responsibility to me.”

How it all started for Pinedo

Pinedo is a descendant of Uchicho, a prince from the ancient Kingdom of Kongo who was brought to Bolivia as a slave by the Spaniards in 1820. Uchicho worked at the estate of the Marquis of Pinedo, whose name he adopted. In 1832, he was crowned by other enslaved people in the Yungas. He was succeeded by Bonifaz, next José and Bonifacio.

King Bonifacio, who was Pinedo’s grandfather, was crowned in 1932. “King Bonifacio only had daughters, so one generation was skipped, leaving the kingdom without a king for 38 years until Pinedo was crowned in 1992 by the community,” the BBC report explained.

Years after Pinedo’s official coronation ceremony in La Paz, his image has become “a strong source of cultural identity and belonging” for Afro-Bolivians, Jorge Medina, the country’s first black congressman, told AFP. Medina and the king however believe that there is still a lot of work to be done to tackle discrimination faced by indigenous people, including Afro Bolivians and other vulnerable groups.

The Aeta or Agta people are the indigenous black-skinned people who inhabit the remote and mountainous regions of Luzon, Philippines.  The Aeta are under the bracket of Austronesians, groups in Southeast Asia, Oceania and East Africa that speak languages belonging to the Austronesian language family. Austronesians also reside in South Africa, Suriname, Mauritius and some portions of the Andaman.

On April 27, the island of Hawaii passed legislation to officially recognize Juneteenth as a day of acknowledgment and commemoration for the end of enslavement in the United States.

On June 19, 1865, Union Soldiers alerted enslaved Black Americans that the Civil War was over and that they can now be free. 156 years later and there are still two states in the United States that don’t recognise June 19 as an official state holiday.

The complicated history Hawaii has with its Black locals may prove to be why the island nation is still considering the Juneteenth legislation. Black people only make up 3.6% of the island’s population of over 1 million residents. In 1852, the kingdom of Hawaii signed their Constitution that outlawed slavery on the island.

Although, this is a major historical event that showcases progress towards racial equity, Black people still feel like outsiders on the island.

Earlier this year, South Dakota’s Senate passed a measure that would do just that, but the bill didn’t make it through the House. In North Dakota, the governor signed legislation on April 12 making Juneteenth a ceremonial holiday.

Dr. Akeimi Glenn is a Black expat on Oahu and has experienced the small but mighty force of the Black population that inhabits the most populated island. She explains how racism still exists in Hawaii, although it has been previously seen and debunked as a paradisaical escape from the prejudiced history of the United States.

Glenn founded the Popolo Project, a nonprofit based around building visibility for Black people in Hawaii. Through her community engagements, she can get a sense of how the culture is shifting and how it can be propelled forward.

Black History and Culture Recognized as Strong Drivers for Tourism

Juneteenth has become a popular annual acknowledgment within recent years because of the countless acts of police brutality that has left the United States even more divided. The murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have marked a pivotal moment in history where unlawful police officers are finally being charged for their misconduct. There will most likely be a push for Juneteenth to be recognized countrywide when Hawaii passes their bill entirely and the lasting pressure will be on South Dakota.

Source: Travel Noire

 When it comes to Black History, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Muhammad Ali are often mentioned and rightfully so. But what do you know about other Black history heroes across the diaspora like Yaksuke of Japan or Jamaica’s Queen Nanny and David Fagen from the Philippines? If their names don’t immediately ring a bell, you’re not alone. There are several global Black figures that made their mark in this world, and their stories are only now coming to light.

Here Are 6 Black History Figures Across the Diaspora that you should know.