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A History Of Afro-Puerto Ricans, HomeTeam History

Puerto Rico News

El programa NEGRAS, producido por Colectivo Ilé, Puerto Rico  10/4/2019 Colectivo Ilé: "¡Queremos compartirle que el programa NEGRAS, producido por Colectivo Ilé, completó su primera temporada con trece programas!"

Will Hurricane Maria Defeat Donald Trump?  9/20/2019 Real Clear Politics: "September 20 is the anniversary of the storm and is thought by many to be legally the last day victims may file suit to recover damages. In recent weeks, some government agencies and municipalities have done so. Those who didn't sue may believe insurers, who told them FEMA will pay for damages above their insurance settlement. According to the federal Stafford Act, FEMA absolutely cannot do so. This mistake may bankrupt dozens of municipalities. The Democrats know this and plan to blame the president, especially in Florida."

This Afro-Latina Started a Magazine in Puerto Rico to Celebrate Black Beauty  9/20/2019 Oprah: "The erasure and devaluation of Afro-Latinos in the media was so harsh that Antonetty-Lebrón’s father—a Black Puerto Rican himself—would often search high and low for copies of magazines like Essence and Ebony to bring home from his trips to New York. When he arrived with the gifts, his daughter would flip through the pages with excitement, soaking in the images of women who looked like her. And on TV, she'd turn to MTV, eager to catch a glimpse of Janet Jackson confidently sporting braids. She was so enamored with Jackson's look, in fact, that she even asked her mother to stop the painful and damaging process of hot combing her hair so that she, too, could wear natural styles."

The Hidden Narrative of Racial Inequity in Puerto Rico  9/4/2018 NPQ: "Though it is a fertile land and has a highly educated population and a vibrant, resourceful culture, Puerto Rico is poorer than Mississippi, the poorest US state. Loíza, the blackest municipality in Puerto Rico, is the poorest on the island. A newly forming nonprofit, Caribbean Cultural Corridor, a network of local economies for local Black art, seeks to challenge anti-black narratives on the island, starting in Loíza."

This Culture, Once Believed Extinct, Is Flourishing  8/23/2018 Smithsonian: "On view at the museum’s George Gustav Heye Center in New York City, the show explores the legacy of the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean (known as the Taíno people) and how this Native culture, which stems from the Arawak-speaking people of Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, has persevered and grown in influence—despite a mistaken belief that it is extinct."

Bomba: The Enduring Anthem of Puerto Rico  7/7/2018 NYT: "At the recent Festival del Apio in Barranquitas, Mr. Abrante acknowledged bomba’s heritage by closing La Tribu’s set with a salute to two of San Juan’s oldest bomba families: the Cepedas and the Ayalas."

How Trump favored Texas over Puerto Rico  3/27/2018 Politico: "Within six days of Hurricane Harvey, U.S. Northern Command had deployed 73 helicopters over Houston, which are critical for saving victims and delivering emergency supplies. It took at least three weeks after Maria before it had more than 70 helicopters flying above Puerto Rico. Nine days after the respective hurricanes, FEMA had approved $141.8 million in individual assistance to Harvey victims, versus just $6.2 million for Maria victims. During the first nine days after Harvey, FEMA provided 5.1 million meals, 4.5 million liters of water and over 20,000 tarps to Houston; but in the same period, it delivered just 1.6 million meals, 2.8 million liters of water and roughly 5,000 tarps to Puerto Rico. Nine days after Harvey, the federal government had 30,000 personnel in the Houston region, compared with 10,000 at the same point after Maria."

The Shocking Numbers Behind the Trump Administration's Neglect of Puerto Rico  3/27/2018 Alternet: "All you had to do to understand the Trump administration’s different responses to Hurricane Harvey, which hit Houston, Texas, late last summer and Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico, was read Donald Trump’s Twitter feed. Or listen to him talking. Or time how long it took him to visit the disaster-struck areas."

Of Taíno Queens and the Legend of Yuiza  3/25/2018 Raices Cultural: "Lind’s account speaks of the Taína cacique, Yuiza, a woman who ruled her tribe of aboriginal people during the Spanish Conquest of Borikén in the 16th century, in and around what was then the Cayrabon River in the Jaymanio region and what is now the Rio Grande de Loíza. Further research revealed that Yuiza supposedly married a mulatto conquistador, Pedro Mejías and was condemned to death by the other caciques in the area for having conjugal relations with the spaniard."

Latin Percussionist Albert Serrano Remembered By Family and Friends: In Memoriam  3/19/2018 Billboard: "Serrano, whose parents hail from Puerto Rico, was a Fania recording artist and worked on the Son Primero album on the Montuno label with Rene Lopez and the late Dave Valentin, said Lane, a veteran music entrepreneur. "Alberto was one of those guys who could play music properly," says Felix Sanabria, another musician friend who grew up in New York with Serrano. "He played Afro drums, the tumbadora and the quinto. We were called the Quinto kids. At one point Eddie Palmieri gave younger guys a chance to play and Alberto was one of them.""

Inspired by the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords, Puerto Rican Activists Launch Centro De Apoyo Mutuo  3/14/2018 Black Press USA: "Centro De Apoyo Mutuo (CAM), which translates in English to the “Center for Mutual Help,” is the brainchild of a group of Puerto Rican activists, who have modeled their efforts on the service portion of the Young Lords and the Black Panthers. While the groups were known for their radical tactics—the Black Panthers encouraged Black Americans to police their own neighborhoods carrying loaded firearms—they also introduced numerous service efforts to aid Black and Puerto Rican communities, like the free breakfast program that was eventually emulated in America’s schools. The Panthers started the breakfast program first and the Young Lords followed their lead."

Afro-Boricuas Everyone Should Know  2/26/2018 La Respuesta: "Black Boricuas are the central drivers of La Respuesta, ever since its genesis in 2013. This is unique compared to other Puerto Rican and Latinx organizations, publications, and media initiatives, especially when it comes to their leadership. They all need to step-it-up, because from mass media to community organizing afrodescendientes are increasingly intolerant of invisibility and tokenism."

The Puerto Rican Who Inspired The Collection of Black History  2/20/2018 Al dia: "Schomburg proudly defined himself as an Afro-Puerto Rican, the son of a black mother from St. Croix and a Puerto Rican father of German ancestry. (In 1560 Puerto Rico had 15,000 Africans and only 500 whites.) Schomburg was very active in the liberation movements in Puerto Rico and Cuba – then colonies of Spain at the time he moved to NYC."

¿Los EE.UU. utilizaron radiaciones para asesinar a Pedro Albizu Campos?  11/10/2017 El Diario de la Marina: "Recluido en la cárcel de La Princesa a finales de 1950, el líder nacionalista Pedro Albizu Campos fue víctima de un prolongado linchamiento radiactivo con el propósito de torturarlo lenta y deliberadamente, hasta ocasionarle la muerte; un hecho que fue más tarde confirmado por la Secretaria del Departamento de Energía de Estados Unidos, Hazel O’Leary, quien admitió que su gobierno, a través de la ‘Comisión de Energía Atómica’, había hecho experimentos con radiación atómica con reos, mayormente de la raza negra, muchos de los cuales no sabían que estaban siendo utilizados como conejillos de indias."

Puerto Rico Is Facing One of the Worst Environmental Disasters in U.S. History  10/16/2017 Splnter News: "“I think this will be the most challenging environmental response after a hurricane that our country has ever seen,” former EPA administrator Judith Enck told the AP."

Puerto Rico's streets crawl with heavily armed, masked mercenaries bearing no insignia or nametags  10/15/2017 Boing Boing: "Though Puerto Rican law prohibits ownership and bearing of most long-guns and especially semiautomatic weapons, the streets of the stricken US colony now throng with mercenaries in tactical gear bearing such arms, their faces masked. They wear no insignia or nametags and won't say who they work for, apart from vague statements in broken Spanish: "We work with the government. It’s a humanitarian mission, we’re helping Puerto Rico.""

"AfroTaino History and the European origins of Latin/Spanish/Hispanic"  10/15/2017 Rockie Rey 

Trump threat to abandon Puerto Rico recovery sparks a backlash  10/12/2017 WaPo: "On the island, residents and elected officials responded to Trump’s Thursday tweets with outrage and disbelief. Radio disc jockeys gasped as they read aloud the presidential statements, while political leaders charged that he lacked empathy and pleaded for help from fellow U.S. citizens on the mainland."

FEMA: 'Not Our Job to Deliver Water and Food' to Puerto Ricans  10/12/2017 Alternet: "Apparently, FEMA says it is the mayor’s job to distribute food and water. They are just there to help people fill out paperwork. Forget the fact that about half of the people in Puerto Rico have no access to clean water. Forget the fact that it is now confirmed that people are dying from waterborne diseases like leptospirosis because they lack potable water… If only FEMA could help. Yeah, I know. That’s hard to swallow. Especially when FOX News reported THIS about FEMA in Lakeland, FL responding to the crisis following a recent hurricane that hit there LAKELAND (FOX 13) - People who are worn out from Hurricane Irma are getting help in Polk County. On Friday, FEMA starting handing out free food and water at 11 different sites around the county, including Victory Church."

The Crisis in Puerto Rico Is a Racial Issue. Here’s Why  10/12/2017 The Root: "So although it has become liberal sport to insist on how different Trump is from everything and everyone else that preceded him, the president’s response to the hurricane is consistent with American colonial history. This is manifested in both the slowness and limited scale of assistance during Hurricane Maria, and by the fact that when local leaders criticized him for it, Trump defended himself by invoking century-old racial stereotypes of Puerto Ricans as lazy and ingrates who “wanted everything to be done for them.”"

Puerto Rico’s Health Care Is in Dire Condition, Three Weeks After Maria  10/10/2017 NYT: "On its hurricane update website, the Puerto Rican government says that all 46 dialysis centers on the island have received assistance, and the Department of Defense counts 43 centers as operational. The website does not mention that the diesel fuel shortage is still so severe that many patients whose blood is normally cleaned for 12 hours a week are now being treated for only nine."

Leaked Memo Reveals White House Strategy to Duck Blame for Puerto Rico Catastrophe  10/2/2017 Alternet: "A memo leaked on Sunday and published by reveals that President Donald Trump’s administration is aggressively trying to shift the blame for its dismal response to Hurricane Maria and to carry out “planned hits” against the president’s critics."

Bill Moyers: Vulture Capitalists Circle Above Puerto Rico Prey  10/1/2017 Alternet: "I really fear that there’s going to be a mass exodus from Puerto Rico — basically what Aimé Césaire once described as genocide by substitution. Puerto Ricans are going to leave and FEMA workers brought in from the US are going to arrive. More wealthy investors are going to come and Puerto Rico is no longer going to belong to Puerto Ricans. It will look more and more like Hawaii. When we talk about rebuilding we have to think about why rebuild an energy sector that is not based on renewable sources when you can rebuild with solar power, for example."

'Something close to genocide': San Juan mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz begs for more Puerto Rico relief  9/29/2017 Independent: "“I cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out logistics for a small island,” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín said during a press conference. “I am asking the President of the United States to make sure somebody is in charge that is up to the task of saving lives,” she added, warning that “if we don’t get the food and water into peoples' hands what we are going to see is something close to a genocide”."

The Media Really Has Neglected Puerto Rico  9/28/2017 Fivethirtyeight: "Of the cable news networks that covered Hurricane Maria, the BBC, a British network, initially mentioned Hurricane Maria on air more than the U.S. networks did. CNN seems to have aired more coverage of Maria than its competitors in the U.S. did, and the data hints that the network may again be ramping up its coverage."

La piel que escribo: conversando con mujeres escritoras afroboricuas  4/5/2017 Claridad: "Ante un público atento, conversaban seis escritoras negras puertorriqueñas. Todas coincidieron en que la negritud se escribe desde la propia piel negra. Según la coordinadora y moderadora de la actividad, la doctora Bárbara Abadia Rexach, la contribución que hacen esas seis mujeres – y otras – a la literatura negrista de la actualidad es realzar la noción de que la negritud se escribe desde las personas negras, desde el apalabramiento de sus vivencias, y no desde la historia oficial del poder."

Seminario “Paradojas de la racialidad en el Caribe: Cuba y Puerto Rico  3/9/2017 Afro Puerto Rico: "La Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras, Afrodescendencia Puerto Rico, Inc., el Instituto de Estudios del Caribe de la UPR-RP y el Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe les invitan a: “Paradojas de la racialidad en el Caribe: Cuba y Puerto Rico”. 16, 17 y 18 de marzo de 2017 Visita de la intelectual cubana: Zuleica Romay Guerra, MSc"

“Yo soy cangrejero”  11/27/2016 Calle Loiza: "En las fiestas no había orquestas, tocaban los músicos de la comunidad. Los niños tomaban koolaid con cóctel de frutas mientras los adultos bebían ron caña. Lester y sus amigos de la infancia, actualmente, continúan asistiendo a fiestas juntos y creando caminatas para sacar a la luz la “historia ocultada”. Ahora de más grande, Lester continúa siendo rico, pero esta vez por su afición por la historia. En su barrio, fundado por gente negra, el negro siempre vivió orgulloso de su negritud y de sus ancestros de África. Lejos de esconderlo y pretender ser de piel más clara, en el barrio cangrejero, el ser negro era algo sagrado y mucho más el ser descendientes de africanos."

El asesinato de Carlos Muñiz Varela. Conversando con el gobernador de Puerto Rico  6/4/2016 Progreso Semanal: "Alejandro García Padilla: Le agradezco sus palabras, es algo en lo que no voy a descansar. Quiero añadir al caso de Carlos Muñiz Varela el caso de Santiago Mari Pesquera, otro joven independentista puertorriqueño que fue asesinado y que todo parece indicar que fue asesinado en aquella misma época por la derecha de mi país por ser independentista. Yo no soy independentista pero mientras sea gobernador voy a hacer todo lo posible por esclarecerlo porque no es aceptable que ese tipo de acciones sucedan en Puerto Rico y que queden impunes."

Primer Congreso de Afrodescendencia en Puerto Rico  7/10/2015 80 Grados 

¿Por qué sigue preso Oscar López Rivera?  2/6/2013 Noticel: "López Rivera es un preso político que aboga por la independencia de Puerto Rico y que ha permanecido 32 años en cárceles federales. Fue acusado de conspiración sediciosa, un delito por el cual el gobierno de los Estados Unidos impone sentencias máximas de 20 años, precisó la letrada. Esto, por ser identificado como el líder de la Fuerza Armada de Liberación Nacional (FALN), organización basada en Chicago a la cuál se responzabilizó por el bombazo al Fraunces Tavern en Nueva York, hechos en los cuales murieron cuatro hombres, entre otros incidentes. A López nunca se le acusó de participar directamente en la planificación o ejecución del siniestro y tanto él como los demás acusados se negaron a testificar durante el juicio argumentando que eran prisioneros políticos y que no se someterían a la jurisdicción de los tribunales estadounidenses."

Héctor Pesquera on the loose in Puerto Rico  3/29/2012 Machetera: "Puerto Rico’s governor, Luis Fortuño, has officially named Héctor Pesquera, the former head of the FBI in Miami and the mastermind of a conspiracy that led to the arrest of five Cubans who’d infiltrated terrorist groups in Florida, as the new Superintendent of the Puerto Rican police."

Political scientist rebuts myth of Puerto Rican natives’ extinction  12/2/2011 University of Hawaii: "The myth of Boricua extinction results from history written through colonial eyes, he explained. Castanha used ethnographical data, turning to family histories gone “underground” and accounts gathered from artisans, academics, activists, cultural practitioners, elders, campesino farmers, curanderos (healers) and espiritistas (shamans). The book, which draws on his research as a UH Manoa doctoral student in political science, documents five centuries of remarkable resistance and cultural continuity."

Forced Sterilization in Puerto Rico  10/23/2008 Faily Planning: "The Puerto Rican government and the International Planned Parenthood Federation ran a sterilization program with US government funding, and by 1968 the program had sterilized roughly one third of Puerto Rican women. Numerous studies have shown that misinformation about the procedure caused high rates or regret among sterilized women. Many women were unaware that the procedure was permanent, due in part to the euphemism of “tying tubes.” Additionally, many women had no alternative affordable contraceptive methods, so they opted for sterilization."

Samuel Lind desde Puerto Rico  8/25/2008 Boricua Africanos: Interview with Samuel Lind by Edmee Cappas, August of 2008 in Loiza, Puerto Rico

It's All About Vagueness - Puerto Rico, Obama and the Politics of Race  5/29/2008 CounterPunch: "Duany writes that Puerto Ricans have developed an elaborate racist vocabulary to refer to racially stereotyped characteristics. Kinky hair, for example, is referred to as “bad” (“pelo malo”). Meanwhile racial prejudice is apparent in folk humor, beauty contests, media portrayals, and political leadership. “In all these areas,” Duany says, “whites are usually depicted as more intelligent, attractive, refined, and capable than are blacks.” All of which is not to say that racism in Puerto Rico works in the same way as the United States. However, the island is hardly a “racial democracy” as some of the island’s boosters have claimed. Indeed, many Puerto Ricans deny their cultural heritage and physical characteristics and buy into an ideology of “whitening” through intermarriage with light skinned groups. Interestingly, a whopping 81% of Puerto Ricans called themselves “white” on the 2000 U.S. census."

U.N. racism investigator to visit U.S. from Monday  5/16/2008 Reuters: "The United Nations said Doudou Diene would meet federal and local officials, as well as lawmakers and judicial authorities during the May 19-June 6 visit. "The special rapporteur will...gather first-hand information on issues related to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance," a U.N. statement said on Friday. His three-week visit, at U.S. government invitation, will cover eight cities -- Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Omaha, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico."

Obama pledges self-determination to Puerto Rico – with independence as an option  2/24/2008 SF Bay View: "Puerto Rico's status must be based on the principle of self-determination. Puerto Rico has a proud history, an extraordinary culture, its own traditions, customs and language, and a distinct identity. As president, I will work closely with the Puerto Rican government, its civil society and with Congress to create a genuine and transparent process for self-determination that will be true to the best traditions of democracy. As president, I will actively engage Congress and the Puerto Rican people in promoting this deliberative, open and unbiased process, that may include a constitutional convention or a plebiscite, and my administration will adhere to a policy of strict neutrality on Puerto Rican status matters. My administration will recognize all valid options to resolve the question of Puerto Rico's status, including commonwealth, statehood and independence. I strongly believe in equality before the law for all American citizens. This principle extends fully to Puerto Ricans. The American citizenship of Puerto Ricans is constitutionally guaranteed for as long as the people of Puerto Rico choose to retain it. I reject the assertion in reports submitted by a Presidential Task Force on Dec. 22, 2005, and Dec. 21, 2007, that sovereignty over Puerto Rico could be unilaterally transferred by the United States to a foreign country, and the U.S. citizenship of Puerto Ricans is not constitutionally guaranteed."

Puerto Rico sues US over killing of militant  3/24/2006 Reuters: "Puerto Rico has sued top U.S. law enforcement officials for allegedly failing to cooperate with a probe into the killing of a militant independence activist in the U.S. Caribbean territory. The lawsuit was filed on Thursday and names Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller as defendants in the case along with Luis Fraticelli, the FBI special agent in charge of the San Juan division."

Anti-FBI protest in Puerto Rico  2/26/2006 AP: "More than 1,000 demonstrators, chanting anti-FBI slogans and carrying Puerto Rican flags, marched through the capital of this U.S. island territory on Sunday. Many of the marchers favor independence for the island and accuse the FBI of persecuting the movement and of letting Filiberto Ojeda Rios bleed to death during a September FBI raid."

FBI says Puerto Rico sweep aimed at stopping domestic terror  2/11/2006 AFP: "Norberto Cintron Fiallo, a human rights activist who was in charge of organizing Ojeda Rios' funeral in September, told the daily El Nuevo Dia: "This was an operation to crack down on the surge of pro-independence sentiment on the island after the death of Filiberto Ojeda Rios." For Luis Abreu Elias, a former defense attorney for Ojeda Rios, "it is absurd for them to say they are investigating a terrorist plot. They are trying to turn public opinion against the pro-independence forces," he told the daily."

"Hasta siempre Comandante..."  9/28/2005 IndyMedia Puerto Rico: "El 27 de septiembre de 2005 cientos de miles de puertorriqueños se lanzaron a las calles del país a saludar la caravana fúnebre que escoltaba al guerrillero boricua Filiberto Ojeda Ríos hasta el pueblo de Naguabo, su última trinchera física." [con photos]

Assassination in Puerto Rico - The FBI Murders a Legend  9/26/2005 CounterPunch: "Filiberto, she says, knew that the FBI was there to kill him and did not talk at any time about surrendering himself. After all, that is what happened in Cerro Maravilla, where the local police -acting allegedly in cohort with the FBI- executed two unarmed independentistas, well after they had surrendered to the authorities. The Attorney General for Puerto Rico has already corroborated Elma's story. The FBI fired more than a hundred rounds of bullets. Filiberto was able to respond only ten times. There was no attempt to arrest him; they came to kill him with premeditation… From 1990 to 2005, Filiberto was running loose in Puerto Rico, outsmarting the FBI on an Island that is smaller than the State of Connecticut and where everybody, through means of gossip, can easily find out what the other islanders are doing, even in their bed. So, the FBI knew for sure that Filiberto was being protected by the community at large. The FBI had a motive for their assassination. Filiberto Ojeda will be buried the afternoon of September 27, 2005, as a hero in his hometown of Naguabo, Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rican Bar Association has announced that it will conduct a full investigation -together with the Government of Puerto Rico- to determine if the FBI murdered Ojeda."

Puerto Rico rebel dies in hideout  9/24/2005 BBC: "Early reports suggesting the death of the Macheteros leader triggered protests in San Juan, the capital of the Caribbean island. Some 500 people blocked the city's main avenue to demonstrate against "Ojeda Rios' assassination". "This was done on purpose... to try to humiliate us," Socialist Front president Jorge Farinacci said. "It's to tell us 'You do not have the right to independence'." "

Puerto Rico's Gubenatorial Election in the Courts  12/14/2004 Moritz Law: "Think old-fashioned paper ballots guarantee election integrity? Think again."

100 Years of Terror - Cuba and Puerto Rico in the News  5/3/2003 CounterPunch: "The fact that Vieques registers a 73 percent higher incidence of cancer than Puerto Rico as a whole has environmentalists and health experts wondering about the effects of so much bombingSespecially the use of depleted uranium (DU), which is considered by many to be a factor in the Gulf War Syndrome. "Depleted uranium burns on contact," says Helen Caldicott, "creating tiny aerosolized particles less than fice microns in diameter, small enough to be inhaled." These minute particles can travel "long distances when airborne," Caldicott explains."


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