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March 6, 2017   Issue #18

I understood how difficult sacrifice is.
I thought about my children, my life and my history.
But close to death, I felt love, too,
that love I now feel for you,
my children and my people,
and I felt life rise within me again.

In spite of the deep sorrow I might cause,
I had lived the best years of my life. …

I recall the interminable and innumerable marches
and the women—organized.
Our happiness, pain and accomplishments …

Then I continue to remember
and know I’ve already lived the most beautiful years of my life.
My children,
the tenderness of David and the shyness of Gustavito.
This infinite love
for my children,
for my people whose souls are consumed,
yet they are happy at the barbecues and sport celebrations.

My God, how I’ve lived.
Thank you for giving me so much!
Love,
the opportunity to give my all —
Everything.
 

~María Elena Moyano Delgado

Maya Carr is a Camden, NJ native and founder of Around The Way Girl, a non-profit organization focused on enriching the lives of young women of color in marginalized communities. Through Around The Way Girl, Maya develops unorthodox projects that provide a safe space to address identity, cultural, and societal matters. Most recently, Maya launched Around The Way Girl’s 3rd Annual Hygiene Tour in Washington, DC and is preparing to launch their new initiative in 2017.

Additionally, Maya directs and produces multi-media projects that focus on sparking fruitful conversations about identity, culture, and the arts. Maya was recently awarded by BET's Bronze Lens Film Festival for her lead Directorial work with the new hit series "Cream X Coffee" (creamxcoffee.com). Maya studied radio, television, and film production at Rowan University where the Society of Professional Journalist honored her for her In-Depth Radio reporting. She took her collegiate radio experience and lively personality to the professionals at Radio One Philadelphia, under the mentorship of Dyana Williams and Q Deezy and served as a production/promotions intern. Currently, Maya is working full time in the nonprofit sector and is working on hiring new members for the Around The Way Girl leadership team.

"As an Afro-Latina of Puerto Rican and African American descent, my unique life experiences were curated in a systematically arrested culture. Over the years, I realized that this reality endowed me with the desire to obtain true consciousness and freedom which inspired me to influence the urban youth of the many cultures that represent the African Diaspora. So this is my purpose and my calling as an Afro Latina, to give back and educate my people our our true rich Afro-Latino history." ~Maya Carr
"We [Around The Way Girl] have an annual Hygiene Tour that caters to educating young women of color in marginalized communities about self-care. 

I founded this organization to help empower young women of color to write their own life narrative despite how the media demoralizes their character relentlessly.

We are looking to hire a new member for our ATWGirl Leadership team. Someone who has experience with project development, project management, event planning, higher education, or community engagement. We want someone who would love to create projects for young women of color within urban areas. 

 
"My name is Collene Lineth Kelly-Alexander. I am a Black-Latina (Afro-Latina) born in the capital of Panamá, Panama City. I migrated to the United States, California, in December of 1989 during the Manuel Noriega dictatorship and before the U.S. invasion of Panamá. I was 6. And while I was too young to remember much about the time leading up to those days; I do remember the silence in the streets and having to leave behind my family; more so, my grandmother who I love dearly and helped raise me. My parents came to the U.S. about a year before I did. My father came to help establish a home for us here in the U.S. prior to returning to Panamá to get my brother and I to the U.S. before the invasion arose.
 
I'm pleased with all I've accomplished. I’m a Systems Analyst and Photographer; and a proud graduate of the community college and California State University school system.  I have two Associates degrees and a Bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems, and began my college courses at the age of 16. Education is empowering and educating myself was my primary goal from a very young age. While in college my mission was to find courses beyond the “normal” school curriculum. I found that I loved Information Technology however I was also passionate about learning about cultural roots, in general, and topics such as the African diaspora. Having to explain why I am Black and speak the Spanish language will continue to be an eye-opener for me. The best question I've ever had: How did you learn my language?
 
I am a proud wife and mother who understands that understanding who I am and where I come from is most important because it helped mold me. I now have a daughter who is Black, American, and Panamanian. And while she was given a name that resembles her grandmothers, Adelina Carryn will make a mark in life in resembling who she is: An Afro-Latina. She is enriched by a diverse background; from the Southern and Eastern States of the United States America, to the Caribbean islands where her great-great-great-grandparents originated. She has the opportunity to learn two languages from a young age; and the diversity to listen to Salsa music, Reggae, and Rhythm & Blues in one afternoon. That is culture, and that is a blessing."
 

Alondra Bodden (ah-LON-drah) is a 20-year-old Honduran-American Broadcast Media student at FIU. She co-hosts a biweekly podcast titled Generation: Y Me? A millennial roundtable discussing news, issues and pop culture, it is available on Soundcloud and iTunes. A South Florida native, Alondra loves to go to the beach, visit art galleries, and of course, write.

"As an aspiring Afro-Latina journalist and business woman, I want to broaden the worlds view of what a Latina should look like. Latino's of all shades should be included in the media and in entertainment however THEY want to be labeled, not whatever box the world wants to place them in." ~ Alondra

Read more of Alondra's work on Elusive Mulatta
 
Twitter: @ElusiveMulatta      Instragram: Elusivemulatta

Noëlle Santos wants the the Bronx to get lit, with literature. 

The Afro-Boricua launched a crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo last month in hopes of opening The Lit. Bar in her borough. The Bronx was left with no bookstores after the Barnes & Nobles at the Bay Plaza Shopping Center recently closed.

Santos envisions her business as both a bookstore and a wine bar, “a social hub for people to come together and talk about social issues,” she told PIX11 News. “That’s something amazon cannot provide.”

The way Santos sees it, The Lit. Bar is an opportunity to change perceptions about her community.   

“Lit like literature, Lit like drunk. Lit with passion to kill stigmas... and prove, once again, that the Bronx keeps creating it,” Santos says in one part of her campaign video, above. “And we are worthy, that we are more than just sneaker stores and we support the arts, so I stand here today and ask you to open your hearts and help us show the world what many fail to see: that the Bronx is no longer burning, except with a desire to read.”

And the 30-year-old Human Resources professional and blogger says her bookstore will reflect the diversity of her neighborhood. 

Read More: HERE

The Lit. Bar will be a bookstore and wine bar located in the South Bronx. We will offer general interest multilingual books, dope gift items, events, and programs with a particular focus on local and women’s interests. Our venue will encourage curious readers and welcome local art and community gatherings while connecting the great pastimes of social drinking and introverted reading. 

What better way to loosen our tongues and talk about the books we love? Bronxites and visitors may partake in wines, craft beer and ciders, coffee, and light bites at our bar made of books, chillout in a chic and comfortable environment tailored for reading, creating & discussing, and enjoy a variety of stimulating events including author greets, wine tastings, poetry slams, game nights, and book club meet-ups. Ourchildren’s nook, Kiddie Lit'r, will offer children’s literature, story readings, workshops, and more.
Support
LAIS RIBEIRO – VOGUE BRAZIL – FEBRUARY 2017

"Mixed"

I don't speak out enough but when I open my mouth you silence me

I don't speak loud enough but when I raise my voice you quiet me

I am not dark enough but when I sit in the sun for ten minutes you become
uncomfortable with the shade my skin turns

You tell me to get mad and I am told to relax

You shame me for not knowing Spanish but don't know that my ancestors didn't either

You ask me how I feel then question if my experience is even real

You erase my identity because it makes you uncomfortable

Your racist jokes "aren't for me"

Only who I am entirely

If my stomach can't handle spicy food

It's because I am too much like you

And undeserving of the blood, tears, rape, murder and violence my ancestors went through

You tell me to "get over it"

How can I forgive what you continue to do

Christina Navarro

"Are you of Latina decent? Regional Director Síbrena Geraldino is looking for the next Miss Latina NY, NJ, DE, PA (20-29 yrs); Teen Latina NY, NJ, DE, PA (14-19 yrs);
Ms/Mrs Latina NY, NJ, DE, PA (30-50 yrs) to compete for
the National title this Spring!

This is an excellent modeling and pageantry opportunity to represent your State and if you win, you'll go on to compete at the national pageant competition in Las Vegas, Nevada in October. Contact Síbrena Geraldino at #570-778-3347 or Email Sibrena@MissLatina.com for details and requirements!"
 

Show your Afro-Latina pride with the official
Es Mi Cultura, Afro-Latina sticker.

 
To receive your free sticker simply email your name and address.

Penned  By, About, and For Us!




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Juliet Takes a Breath ~ Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn't sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that's going to help her figure out this whole "Puerto Rican lesbian" thing. She's interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women's bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff. 

Es Mi Cultura is published every first Monday of the month by Tamika Burgess. Tamika is a Afro-Panameña, California- based Writer and Educator. Learn more about her by visiting TamikaBurgess.com
View past issues of Es Mi Cultura: HERE
Follow Es Mi Cultura on Instagram & Facebook
Copyright © 2017 Es Mi Cultura, All rights reserved.


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