Self-identified genderqueer artist/scholar/activist of African American and Boricua descent. Constantly questioning boundaries and definitions.

I found out late last night that Gabriel Garcia Marquez transitioned. I felt a strange sense of disbelief, as though he were one of my own beloved, elderly relatives. I saw post after post on the facebook pages of my friends reminding me of the magic Garcia Marquez could spin into pages. It’s been a couple of years since I read one of his books, but that wasn’t what came to mind when I learned of his absence. I thought of how I felt as a senior in high school when I was at the end of One Hundred Years of Solitude.

The book came to a flawless end and in its perfection opened up my consciousness to writing I never knew could exist. Magic realism gave validity to my life in a way that no other genre I had read up to that point could. Though fictional, there was a reality to its profound spirituality that I understood. Somewhere inside of me and people like me is a place where magic realism is nonfiction. Garcia Marquez gave me the eyes to see that even when framed as fiction, our experiences are valid and impactful.

On the flip side of that coin, the breadth and depth of Garcia Marquez’ literary body made space for other Latin@ authors to come behind him, unabashed, to tell their tales. Somewhere in this mix are the Latin@ authors, like my father, who were suggested by white mainstream publishing companies to try their hand at magic realism instead of whatever genre they had chosen, simply because they are Latin@. The blessing Gabo brought to be used as a weapon against some.

Even in the blatant stereotyping, we can’t deny the genius of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The reach of his writing is as wide as the hearts of his audience are full. He will be missed, but his contributions to the world of literature will live forever.

Check out this upcoming FREE performance! Mai Elka Prado is a multi-talented performer and artist. Come out to support this Afro-Panamanian sister. 
What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than with free poetry and music?

Check out this upcoming FREE performance! Mai Elka Prado is a multi-talented performer and artist. Come out to support this Afro-Panamanian sister.

What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than with free poetry and music?




Brides of Africa

How hard is it to specify that these brides are Nigerian, Tigrinya, sudani, Ghanian, from the Ivory coast, harari, Masai and afar

This is important. You can tell, not knowing anything about the cultures and/or countries, that they’re vastly different just based on these beautiful ladies’ clothing. Hard to find out more about a particular culture if it’s all lumped under one overly generalized word.

(via bigmacqueen)

A friend of mine recently asked me if Afrolatin@s will acknowledge any of the pain they may have caused African Americans when they used black as a pejorative before becoming conscious of their own blackness. While many people’s memories of that seemed to have magically disappeared, I knew exactly what my friend meant. Even in the midst of the differences in the construction of blackness between the United States and Latin America, which we never fail to mention as a community, there was and still is hurt that needs to be addressed. In the measures taken to escape the label of black in the United States and to use national identity as a way to distinguish oneself from African Americans, self-hatred isn’t the only issue, but a clear disdain for U.S. blackness due to assumptions based on harmful stereotypes. No one wants to take your blackness from you, but as you struggle to recognize yours (Afrolatin@s), help to repair, respect, and protect theirs (African Americans).

As a member of both communities, I’ve seen this from both sides and I think it’s important to say, “Yes, this happened and it needs to be addressed in order to build community.” I wrote a series of haikus based on the things I’ve heard from both sides of my own family, along with the sentiments of my friends. These are based on my experiences and the experiences of people I love. I’m down for discussion about anything that may strike a chord with you.

memba when you thought

spanish saved you from blackness

no negro aqui


rescued you from the hoses

cuz you weren’t that black

you found your negra

in the back of the closet

pale, without sunlight

memory shortened

your black, once seen as a curse,

now to be embraced

it’s so convenient

to take back the only thing

you so freely gave

shunning the mammy

fearing mistaken ID

thinking you’re better

now you want to share

the scraps you threw to the dogs

and hope they forgive

black americans

always being reminded

that they are “just black”

language barriers

unnecessary walls built

still no unity

Casting Call for Short Film about Afrolatinas (Philadelphia)

Hello, I’d like to share the information about a casting. Thank you!

Currently casting roles:
Daughter 1 (16-20 Y/O Afro Latina or Biracial Black Female
Daughter 2 (25 – 35 Y/O) Afro Latina or Biracial Black Female
Mother (36-45 Y/O Afro Latina or Black female)
Grandmother (56 - 65 Y/O) Afro Latina or Black female)
Daughter Friends (16 – 25 Y/O) Black or Hispanic females
Mother friends (36 - 35) Black and Latina Females
Granddaughter (6 – 10 Y/O) Afro Latina or Biracial Black Female

Auditions are being held at Temple University’s Annenberg hall on Saturday March 29th and Sunday March 30th from 9am – 2pm. Please email
to schedule an audition. In the email please state what day/time you are available along with a headshot and resume.

This short film follows a girl, 18 years old, on her journey to understand her multicultural identity as a descendant of African Americans.

Short film to be shot in the Philadelphia area on April 26th and April 27th.

Went to a great event on Racialized Microaggressions at Bryn Mawr College created by Leverage: The Zine. It’s a zine highlighting the voices of students of color on the campus. I appreciate its existence and the work the organizers are putting into it and their events.

If you want to learn more about Leverage:The Zine, you can follow them on tumblr @ leveragethezine!