Afro-Latin@s Now! Conference on Black Latinos and Latinas in the United States

In an effort to promote dialogue and commemorate the United Nations Declaration of 2011 as the International Year  or People of African Descent, the afrolatin@ forum has announced a three-day transnational conference on Black Latinos and Latinas in the United States to be held November 3-5, 2011 in New York City.

A number of institutions have partnered with the afrolatin@ forum to produce the conference, including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The Center for the Humanities of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, El Museo del Barrio, and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. The conference will open November 3 at the Schomburg Center, with the opening plenary from 6:00 to 9:00pm. Then it will continue November 4 at the CUNY Graduate Center and will conclude November 5 at El Museo del Barrio. Guest speakers include James Counts Early of the Smithsonian Institution, urban policy analyst María Rosario Jackson, activist-scholar Evelyne Laurent-Perrault, and scholars Eduardo Bonilla-Silva and Silvio Torres-Saillant. The conference is open to the public, but registration is required at

Description: While some attention in academia and in the general public discourse has focused on Blacks in Latin America, the Black Latin@ population in the United States is largely overlooked and generally misunderstood. The conference, the first of its kind to focus on
this population, seeks to promote dialogue and mutual understanding among and between Afro-Latin@s, the broader Latin@ and African American populations, and the general public of all backgrounds. The afrolatin@ forum and other participating organizations aim to expand and solidify the widening network of educators and activists working on related themes, and to begin defining the key educational and policy issues that bear on the recognition and empowerment of Black Latin@s in the U.S.

Invited participants include educators, community activists, cultural workers, scholars and policy advocates from different parts of the country, and from African-descendant movements in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In anticipation of the Conference, the afrolatin@ forum has been offering film screenings every Friday at various locations throughout the city during the month of October. The film series—¡Aqui Estamos! Afro-Latin@s Now!—features documentaries on Afro-descendant communities in Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States and includes works-in-progress as well as completed films. For more information, see below.

[Many thanks to Vanessa K. Valdés for bringing this item to our attention.]

For more information, visit

The film series schedule is available at

For editorial contact, you may call Miriam Jiménez-Román at (718) 638-7751 or write to or

3 thoughts on “Afro-Latin@s Now! Conference on Black Latinos and Latinas in the United States

  1. The conference is only a week away at most. Why wait so long to announce it??
    Informally, the theme can be extended by participating in the 1st Annual International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival with an information table from which to distribute materials. Please visit, for details or call me at 646 546 1901.

    1. Because we just learned about it. I can assure you we do not sit on information in order to present it too late.
      We learned from a kind notice from the organizers.

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