Lesson #1 of being AfroLatina:

Everyone apparently signed a secret contract to secure the eternal right to tell you what Latinidad and/or Blackness looks like. And guesss wahhhh, neither is youuu!



of course, i believe AfroLatinidad is a consciousness and awareness of ancestry, history, and culture pero let’s not play like every person who identifies as AfroLatinx will be read as Afro or Black & i do think this is important to note because it accounts for another layer of complexity to the reality of AfroLatinxs who are read as Black cus their experience will be shaped by how they’re perceived and how they will be treated based on that perception & what resources//opportunities//points of access will be allotted to them. and along the same vein, of course we gotta be aware of structural and personal obstacles created by shadeism.

I’m not trying to belong and seek liberation with a community and movement that does not see and act on these realities and intersections.


The question becomes, Whose femininity do we seek to question and most obsessively seek to uncover its “dirty secrets”? Are other women’s beauty so readily dissected and probed in private boundaries made public? Whose beauty is a deceit, needing to be uncovered, and whose is seen as simply an extension of an inherently beautiful and awe inspiring womanhood? And finally, what does it say about the way we view not only Black women, both cis and trans, but women across the board? What does it say about how mistrustful we are of our own femininity and unsure of our own standing in the context of a patriarchal gaze. When womanhood is so readily deconstructed by the very purveyors of its infinite power and mystery, what hope is there for a feminist revolution?

In a society in which womanhood, blackness, and trans womanhood are all pathologized we would do well to collectively challenge hierarchies. What would it look like if we as women collectively pooled our best cards and challenged patriarchy for the grand kitty? How do we expand the definition of womanhood to serve our lives and not the whims of a world that sees us as inherently less than human cut out dolls? Perhaps we can take the bra off womanhood so she breathes a little easier, knock out the wall, and make the powder room a little roomier. Its 2014 and we all need space to fix our makeup and fluff our Lena Horne inspired curls, to take over the World.

Shaadi Devereaux, Rollersets & Realness: Black Womanhood Defined as Drag Performance (via ethiopienne)

announcing mobmaterial!

hiiii a friend and i have been working hard together to start a new blog, and i’m excited to announce that it’s launching!! it would be great if you could help promote us! (: (if not, i understand)

the blog is called mobmaterial and the point is to create a place that celebrates poc in counter culture/youth subcultures, which are spaces that usually represent only able-bodied, thin cis white people, thereby erasing the presence and contributions of poc. this is a space for all of us to gather, celebrate each other, and share inspiration/art. this is NOT a space for yt’s or cis-males!

moreover, we want to help provide a platform for poc artists, esp those who are just starting out and want more exposure for their work. are you an artist? do you have short stories, spoken word, dance, art, etc that you want to share? this is the space for you!!

please support us as we work to make this blog grow! thank you guys! (:





protestants seemed much more effective than the catholics at completely severing a people from themselves…


ok so this was so not my field when i was formerly formally studying history, but one thing i remember being struck by in my Atlantic World History course was how Catholics took such a completely different attitude towards slaves, not so much to the point that they considered them full human beings but like, yeah, there was a lot more room given to folks to keep cultural practices and spaces………oh god, maybe jmjafrx can explain better why?

I feel like a part of it is because, as fucked up as the church has historically been, there’s a certain level of syncretism in their practices.
I mean, there’s still lots of brainwashing involved in their colonial efforts, BUT
there’s also a distinct history of incorporation in how they approached a lot of indigenous belief systems they encountered.
There are some religious historians who argue that’s part of why Saint worship became/is such a crucial part of Catholicism. It was a way to link this ~new~ religion to pantheist, animist, and polytheist (among others) religions and practices.
Unfortunately that never stopped them from being horrific, BUT
there was often more wiggle room in terms of non-Catholic practices’ existence as compared to Protestant missionary/colonialism.
(I mean, none of this is to let them off the hook, natch; nor is it to ignore that the church is responsible for the eradication, and near eradication, of countless religions and spiritualities).

Definitely.. I was thinking about other peoples in the diaspora who are not on the continent and how those africanisms are MUCH more prominent partly because of how lax catholic colonizers were… It’s definitely not to let them off… but to point out how much more detached black people are from african belief systems and practices where they were colonized by protestants… I’m also sure that the steady stream of african folk has something to do with it too.. Even the process of detaching them from their cultures started before they got here.. colonizers weren’t able to severe those ties completely but especially in catholic colonized places..

Another piece: the presence of institutions in Europe itself, such as the “cabildos” of Saville—see Isidoro Moreno, “Festive Rituals, Religious Associations, and Ethnic Reaffirmation of Black Andalusians: Antecedents of the Black Confraternities and Cabildos in the Americas,” in Representations of Blackness and the Performance of Identities, edited by Jean Muteba Rahier (Westport: Bergin and Garvey, 1999), 3-17—that were spaces for people of African descent to congregate and supposedly adopt Catholic modes of worship, which just as often became incubating cells for the renaissance of Afro-Diasporic religious practices. These types of institutions were exported to the “New World,” as in the case of Cuban cabildos that gave rise to houses of orisha worship and Brazilian irmandades. The Catholic tolerance for and promotion of images and rituals like processions also provided opportunities for enslaved people and their descendants to reconstitute and re-envision their religiosity within African frameworks (whether of Yorùbá, Kongo, Ewe/Fon, or Cross-River derivation). 

It is time that we systematically expose the pervasive operative presumption that general theory or conceptual reflection is formulated elsewhere than in African Diasporic (American) studies, and that it is only applied here.

Nahum Chandler, 2000, ‘Originary Displacement,’ boundary 2 27.3: 251. (via james-wasnt)