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What is this about?
‘Negro’ is a documentary series borne of my life-long interest of the African Diaspora in Latin America. The entire Latino culture would not come to exist if it were not for African slaves and the mixing of European and indigenous people in these countries. The African bloodline and lineage is often shunned, unacknowledged or buried for a more comfortable mainstream acceptance of what ‘Latino’ is. Latinos are not a monolith. There is no one look or concept of race for us. We are as diverse as the colors of the rainbow.
I am Black Latino and I have deeply felt this population of people have been invisible for so long. The current state of racial dynamics among Latinos is a vey tangled one, and the ignorance and rejection of Latino history is unfortunate. It is time to change mentalities, educate and celebrate. This Diaspora docu-series explores the history and present attitudes of race, color, self identification and social interaction among Latinos from Latinos themselves. Through candid interviews you will see the good, the bad, the ugly and the absolute beauty of Latinos’ perceptions of their culture.
Why is this Docu-Series Important?
The docu-series aims to unite. Through interviews, research, authentic slice of life and a journey through several Latin America countries, my aim is to shed truth and light about how the rich Latino culture came to exist and flourish; how pigmentation shapes attitudes and has fostered discord. Finally, it is to offer insight into a present and future united global community through awareness, acceptance and appreciation.
How can I do this?
Connecting with people. I have gotten the ball rolling on this with the first installment in Rio de Janeiro but there are so many other countries to cover. I will travel to 3-6 countries in Latin America (North, Central and South America) within a month to get authentic interviews from natives of Latin American countries. I believe so much in this documentary, I left my job to pursue this full-time to dedicate my time, focus and energy into making it as great as I know it can be.
How can you help?
I need your help and generosity to help fund the travel, equipment, production and post production costs. I want to do this docu-series justice and tell the stories as flawlessly as possible. I am pouring my heart and soul into this. This being my life-long dream to be able to tell the true story of such a beautiful people.
Thank you so so much for your time, donations and belief in this project
PLEDGE $1 OR MORE
$1 or more – Thank You, my gratitude is immeasurable and will be on ‘Negro’s’ donor page
PLEDGE $10 OR MORE
$10 or more- A postcard from one of the amazing Latin American countries on the trip +my immeasurable gratitude
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20 or more – A ‘Negro’ travel photo from one of the amazing Latin American countries on the trip +above
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$50 or more- Free download of the ‘Negro’ e-book chronicling the sights, sounds and experiences in e-book form +above
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$100 or more- Free download of ‘In A Dash Travels’ e-book offering my solo-travel tips +above
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$150 or more- DVD of travel overview of each Latin American country visited + above
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$250 or more- Special custom-made bow-tie from forthcoming premier boutique ‘William H. Accoutrements’
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$500 or more- Unique souvenir from Latin America country on the trip + above
What I saw last night, ‘Venus Noire.’ A film about Sarah “Saartjie” Baartman, aka Hottentot Venus. She was the most famous of at least two Khoikhoi women who were exhibited as freak show attractions, exploited, abused and dehumanized, for her physical appearance, notably her large buttocks (steatopygia) and the elongated labia, in 19th century Europe under the name Hottentot Venus. She entertaining people by gyrating her nude buttocks and showing to Europeans what were thought of as highly unusual bodily features.
“Hottentot” as the then-current name for the Khoi people, now considered an offensive term, and “Venus” in reference to the Roman goddess of love. I had dreams/nightmares about the movie. It is just that poignant. I am speechless. This rarely happens. Post to soon follow once the raging machinations of my mind simmers a bit.
The African Diaspora Film Festival ends December 14th and grabs diverse far reaching film art from all ends of the globe as the African Diaspora itself was. Full film schedule here. Watch the ‘Black Venus’ trailer:
New York City lawmakers held a hearing on street harassment last Thursday. The Committee on Women’s Issues, chaired by Council member Julissa Ferreras conducted the oversight on street harassment of girls and women in New York City. They heard testimony from women who said men regularly follow them, yell at them and make them feel unsafe and uncomfortable.
Hollaback.org was one of the groups that testified saying too often people think street harassment is the price women pay for living in New York but we’re not buying it, taxes are the price we have to pay for living in New York. There were harrowing testimonies from different panels on harassment, ranging from being followed, yelled at, lewd comments, leers, groped, grabbed, and masturbated on in a crowded train during rush hour.
Continue Reading Street harassment is NOT a rite of passage…
Amsterdam. The city just brings delight the instance the name is uttered. Why? No, it’s not the contraband or the beautiful residents or even the plastic women gyrating among the red lights. This city is the people and these people were my favorite. This city excited me. It inspired me and most importantly, it welcomed me. I had a bit of trouble when I flew in from London to Central Station, Amsterdam. I didn’t write down the address or how to get to the Flying Pig Hostel. So I was unequivocally, assed out. I shlepped around the train station for awhile then I looked up and saw a sign for the Hard Rock Cafe located at Leidseplein. YAS! they MUST have an internet cafe at this so-called Leidseplein! Thank you globalization and modern day American imperialism. I hopped on one of the trams listed on the sign to get to Leidseplein. Hopped off, into the rainy evening and there was an internet cafe…conveniently located in a coffee shop/bar. Oh joy! Ironically, my hostel was a three minute walk from Leidseplein so I lucked out. As I was exiting the bar, a bouncer playfully moved my suitcase to the side. I gave him an unenthused look, he tried to save face by recommending a place for me to eat. He excitedly suggested next door because they had “great burgers” this was met by another unenthused look. I yelled, “You think I came all the way to Amsterdam to eat burgers???” He apologized profusely (this is fun!) he pointed me in the direction of an “authentic” Dutch restaurant and bid me good luck and to not be a stranger (yea, ok, too late) I couldn’t find his fake recommendation and none of the other “pizza” “Italian” “Indian” and “Asian” neon signs appealed to me. I walked around a bit and peered into a quiet restaurant that said “Dutch food” I looked inside and there were attractive blond patrons. Jackpot! This is the real deal! This is what I ate:
After gorging myself, I rolled out onto the street and hopped on the tram and practiced my clumsy Dutch when I attempted to say the street the hostel was on. I then got a clue, pulled out my paper to show the street I was seeking,”Vossiusstraat.” “Ah it’s next stop”, the driver said. I hhaphazardly looked for a euro, he said “no, no, no, it’s next stop.” I looked at him graciously (that euro is a bottle of hard liquor water) I fell off the tram into the cold, rainy, damp, dark night and of course, didn’t know where to go. I asked a lady if she knew where the street was, she pointed me in the right direction. Finally I reached the hostel and I was ready to mingle! Red light district bound! I changed clothes, tied and buttoned up my coat and plopped on my scarves and gloves and hopped on the back of the tram and tried to blend in. I took an educated guess about where to get off. I walked into a casino and asked the doorman where the famous district was. He laughed and said “Red light district is for men” I scowled and said “Why not for women? It’s equal opportunity fun!” He laughed and showed me where to go. I stopped in a bar and started chatting with the bartenders and ended up staying there the whole entire night. These are my new buds:
Continue Reading Faces Abroad: Amsterdam…
I took a generous blogging hiatus with my traveling and such. Still here in Europe. After London, Amsterdam and Prague, I am currently in Vienna. What a beautiful city this is. Breath-taking. No joke. I am exploring and also talking to different people. I am discovering so much I never came across on my google searches on these countries and that is the personal voices and faces of the residents. I learned of the abundance of roti shops in Amsterdam from the Dutch locals who hail from Suriname and went salsa dancing amongst the Dominicans in Vienna. There is always a kebab shop wherever I go as well as Flo-rida’s annoying songs. Meeting and talking to people has really opened up a new part of traveling for me. I jet-setted through other cities during my study abroad stint 4 years ago and decided it was time for another.Thus, spawned this current trip. I felt like doing something special for my 24th birthday. I flew into London the day after. Solo. 10 days, 5 cities.
Continue Reading Globetrotter: Day 7…
I did and in under a year, it IS a process but you start to see dramtic results in as little as 5-6 months. Here are the steps I followed.
1. If you’re overweight, lose weight. This is number one. I had a little bit of stretch marks in high school but then those little 45 pounds happened during college. Yes, a full 45 pounds of human weight. I gradually lost it within 6 months, but this helps.
2. Use this soap 1-2 times a day on the stretch marks and SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB. You can get it at a beauty supply for $2.25-$2.50 per bar. (Body improvement on the cheap!) This soap also works wonders on evening out uneven skintone. My face officially glows now…but that may have something to do with this as well.
10. Panic is pointless
I am more likely to keep my cool than not, simply because panic and stress offers no real solution except panic and stress. It is inefficacious of any form or fashion of progress. Freaking out does not solve the problem nor does it make the process go smoothly. It’s more logical to identify the problem, sort through what needs to be done and get on with it already!
9. I’ll respect you
I respect everyone because we are all human. Respect is a freebie from me. Worthy until proven unworthy.
8. I don’t care about your attitude
I’m cordial and pleasant to everyone. I acknowledge and speak to everyone I work with. If a colleague chooses to have an attitude that’s their business, not mine. I’ll carry the same tune I had before and after your venom.
Continue Reading Top 10 reasons why work NEVER stresses me out…