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African Diaspora Black History Black Women Equal Rights Feminism Haiti

A League of Their Own

When I left Haiti in 1964, I was certainly aware of social and economic inequalities, as well as of those between men and women. I do remember, for instance, the enthusiasm of young people of my generation for projects of assistance and support to the needy, visits to the sick, and help in evangelization and […]

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African Diaspora Coming-of-Age Personal Essay

Just a Citizen of the World

Who am I? Where am I from? I was born in Geneva, Switzerland, but people sometimes give me the look when I tell them I’m Swiss. I was told many times, “Go back home!” “Go back to Africa!” When I heard that, I kept telling them that I was born in Switzerland and therefore my […]

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African Diaspora Black History Black Lives Matter Blackness Documentaries Personal Essay Photography Travel Uncategorized Urban Life

Uncle Shadow and the Crescent City

There is something mesmerizing, yet indescribable about New Orleans. For as many times as I have been, I still don’t understand it. Yet, it’s one of the American cities I enjoy most. Whether it’s folks calling me “baby” or the ever-present Bounce remix thumping from sound systems worth more than the vehicles they’re in, ain’t nothing like […]

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African Diaspora Art Fiction Urban Life

Spinach

This being her second visit to the grocery store, with its blinding fluorescent light and constant A/C, she came prepared. The wool sweater, a gift from her best friend back in Nairobi, smells of incense and coal, the scent of safe secrets, closeness, and familiarity. Its fabric caresses her chin as she exhales a memory […]

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African Diaspora Art Black History Photography

Of Gods and Men

“As an artist, you have to get outside of the concern with what other people think of what you do. I don’t do what I do to appease people. I do the opposite. I do stuff that makes you uncomfortable, that makes you get up and say ‘What are you saying? James, did you read […]

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¡CUBA VIVA! African Diaspora Caribbean Coming-of-Age Cuba Latin America

¡CUBA VIVA! — Undocumented

This one goes out to all the dreamers, the idealists…the “undocumented.” Undocumented. I always felt the DJ was talking to me when he played songs he knew would “connect” with a certain type of audience. Maybe there were teenagers of my same age all over Havana who felt he was addressing them, too. We were […]

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¡CUBA VIVA! African Diaspora Art Caribbean Cuba Latin America Photography

¡CUBA VIVA! — Retratos

My first love, the island of my childhood. In 2009, I walked over 100 miles during the course of three weeks in Havana. I walked everywhere, spoke to strangers, sat around for hours in places waiting for the sunset, adults, children, animals. These are portraits of a life that could have been. -Hemley González     […]

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¡CUBA VIVA! African Diaspora Blackness Caribbean Cuba Documentaries Film Interviews Latin America

¡CUBA VIVA! — Tambor

The narratives of the African Diaspora in Latin America are sadly underrepresented in both English and Spanish language media, and history curricula in schools. With projects like Negro: A Docu-Series about Latino Identity and now the documentary, Tambor, Dash Harris aims to educate us on how traditional African culture manifests in modern-day Latino society. I […]

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African Diaspora Identity

Crisis of Identity

My first identity crisis came with my Haitian background: both of my parents are Haitian and I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I experienced a lot of negative stereotypes and taunts—Haitian Booty Scratcher, Haitians smell, their socks don’t match—and decided to embrace my American-ness while denying my Haitian-ness. All that changed on […]

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African Diaspora Europe Identity

On the Cusp of Identity

Johny Pitts is a writer, photographer, and broadcast journalist interested in issues of Afro-European identity. He won a Decibel Penguin Prize for a short story included in the The Map of Me, a Penguin books anthology about mixed-race identity. He recently collaborated with author Caryl Phillips on a photographic essay for the BBC and Arts […]