October 3, 2016 ~ Issue 13
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This issue of Es Mi Cultura marks the one year anniversary of the newsletter.
THANK YOU to all the loyal readers who have been here from the beginning or joined in on the fun along the way.
This past year Es Mi Cultura has featured some wonderful women. And in the coming year, the newsletter will continue to provide the engaging features you have come to love and expect. But there will also be some new stuff, such as: specialized issues that will focus on specific genres, countries, or topics that concern us as Afro-Latinas.

Don’t forget to tell your amigas to subscribe
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. And stay tuned, because as the months go on new stickers (with different text) will be available!
Casandra Rosario is hustle personified. Whether it's developing hospitality base brands through digital marketing, events or driving the business results of numerous companies, Casandra Rosario keeps food at the heart of everything she does. Straight out of East Harlem, this Afro-Boriqueña is a serial entrepreneur with an affinity for experiencing life out of her suitcase.
She's currently the Founder and CEO of The Rosario Group, a NYC based consulting firm with a focus on hospitality. She thrives at building brands from the ground up and supporting other creative entrepreneurs build their story. Casandra is a magnetic communicator who uses her platform, Food Before Love, to connect with food lovers and introduce them to the culinary experiences life is made of. Food Before Love serves as a hub for where and what to eat in NYC and beyond. 

As unapologetic as her Afro, Casandra has learned the power of being and identifying as Afro Latina. Learning to not negate but rather to embrace, her blackness, is a huge part of who she is and who she hopes to become. She has been featured in Remezcla as one of the top 10 Afro Latina's to know, as well as, Essence magazine, as one of the top 10 Millennial Food Entrepreneurs to know.  To find out how you can get to know her, connect with Casandra by following her story on or view her professional services on 

"There's a poem by Elizabeth Acevedo that says "I know I come from stolen gold. From Coco. From sugar cane. The children of slaves and slave masters. A beautifully tragic history. A Sancocho of erased history" She also goes on to say "Our stories cannot be checked into boxes" This is what being Afro-Latina means to me and I've never been more proud." ~ Casandra 

As a classically trained dancer, vocalist, and actor, NK Gutiérrez has dabbled in many facets of the entertainment world. She’s played Joanne in the hit musical RENT, graced the pages of Kohl’s, and her work has been featured on HBO Latino and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Her mentors inspired her to write and create in between gigs, and she did just that! About a year after finishing a writing course, she attended the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, where Ava Duvernay became the first African-American woman to win Best Director. It was in that weekend that not only the idea for TLNY was born, but more importantly, the audacity to dream bigger was ignited in NK’s being. Since finishing TLNY, NK has made her directorial debut with music video, One by One, and is currently working on her first foreign language feature, Las Palabras.

"Navigating the world of film & acting can be a tough road but one Chicagoan is prepared for the challenge. As an Afro- Latina actress, NK Gutiérrez has encountered many road blocks. Some of those started during childhood when she was ostracized for her bi-racial background or, as of more recent, dealing with men that have issues taking directions from a woman." - Continue Reading
As she refers to herself, "A bulldog in a ballgown," NK keeps pushing herself and exploring the different facets of all her creative talents. Recently she was casted in La Gringa, a play by Carmen Rivera. Click HERE for more details and ticket information. NK will be playing Iris in the Urban Theater Company's  Fall production!
As a DIASPORADICAL cultural advocate and social entrepreneur, Nati "conrazónLinares creates visibility for the world's wildest creators who are re-balancing the world. Hailing from Staten Island, New York City raised by immigrant Cuban mother and Colombian father, she is a digital nomad splitting time between the West Coast and the East Coast - the center and the edge - connecting hearts to minds with her big mouth & open eyes.

A diosa with a decade in the music biz working with artists from Manu Chao to Bomba Estereo to Los Rakas to Zuzuka Poderosa and festivals like NYC's SummerStage, she's worn various hats as a manager, producer, publicist, organizer, promoter and more. Having learned the realities and limitations of the culture industry within the Capitalist structure in her twenties, she's always worked with young women interested in the marketing field to 
re-balance the industry one new narrative at a time and she's dedicating her 30s to contributing her communication skills to building economic alternatives by investing in new paradigms.
Conrazón is a space to explore all my intersecting interests as a native New Yorker from an Outerboro who has grown up around a global spectrum of people and who is carving a space for new narratives in the culture industry that are about building collective ownership. Beyond showcasing my work as a space maker, publicist and artist manager in the culture industry - I am evolving the site as a place for cultural appreciation, visibility for women of color and more. I'm also working on getting stickers and merch up and providing an example of what a cultural worker can look like in 2016 - only 25 years after the birth of the internet. 
"My favorite quote is by one of my sheros, the African-American playwright Lorraine Hansberry. She says: "The continents of the world met in her blood." It's how I feel as a daughter of a Cuban mom from Havana and Colombian father from the Caribbean coast - who was brought to Staten Island after they researched the "whitest part" of NYC, which in my parents logic meant the education would be the best or at least better in Jackson Heights, Queens where they landed.

I am not the origins of where I come from be them Spaniard, Arabic, Indian, Black, Cuban, Colombian, nor am I of Staten Island even if I was raised there - I am a new synthesis of all of them. A New Yorker. A New Latino. I love what writer Raquel Cepeda said: "In you is everything. Being Latino in an American, kind of new world way is basically being the physical embodiment of how America began as we know it. For me, being Latino is being phenomenal.”  Or I've dubbed it - DIASPORADICAL - a word to describe my active identity as someone who embraces this idea articulated by my amazing partner: "If I am not at home anywhere then I must be at home everywhere." I walk with that as an Afro-descendant mixed-race woman and will work to re-balance the world one story, song and new system at a time!" ~ Nati
Afro-Latina Necklace
Whatever your reasons are for choosing to embrace your natural hair pattern, it’s important to understand that this decision involves more than just choosing to no longer relax your hair. The process is often called a journey because that’s exactly what it is. And while on that journey you learn new things about yourself; you become fearless and less self-conscious. These Afro-Latina naturalistas have all made it their mission to share the good, the bad, the ups, and the downs that go along with having natural hair.
Miss Rizos does provide product and styling information, but creator Carolina has a platform that touches a little deeper. As a way to fight against the negative images of Afro-textured hair, her “vision is to change our society’s standards of beauty through individual self-acceptance for women and girls through their hair.”
En Español, Steph of Afro Mío graciously uses her platform to “pay it forward” and share everything that she’s learned while on her personal path to natural.
Simply Bianca Alexa is your destination for all, as her videos cover many topics. But they are especially helpful in the areas of DIY hair treatments and products, in addition to low-cost store bought products for those of us on a budget. 
Anyiné of AfroLatina Natural is a wife and mother who is also sharing her natural hair journey. Of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent, Anyiné shares all aspects of her hair transition, which include things like self- acceptance, soul searching, and embracing her true beauty.
Melshary Love-Arias: In 2010, this Dominicana made the “Big Chop” and started chronicling her natural hair journey on YouTube. Her purpose: “If I can help one person then this will all be worth it.”

Penned  By, About, and For Us!

18 Latinx Creators Speak On Identity, Passion and The Pursuit Of Greatness

A Celebration of Afro-Latino Music That Doesn't Ignore Hip-Hop

Why I Stopped Relaxing My Hair

Dominican Pageant Queen Wears Black Face to Imitate Another Famous Dominican  

Not Speaking Spanish Does Not Make Laurie Hernandez Less of A Boricua

9 Young Central American Creatives & Thought Leaders You Should Be Following

Latinx Artists Shine On Twitter

Black Latina, The Play (NYC) Recap

Pelo Malo Y Pelo Bueno 

AfroLatinx Carve Out Their Space of Social Media 

What is Latinx and AfroLatinx?

6 Women Open Up About Being Black and Latina 

Afro-Latinos Have A Well-Deserved Place at the New National Museum of African
American History

Brazil is Measuring Government Applicants' Physical Features to Determine Their Blackness
Daughters of the Stone ~ Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa
It is the mid-1800s. Fela, taken from Africa, is working at her second sugar plantation in colonial Puerto Rico, where her mistress is only too happy to benefit from her impressive embroidery skills. But Fela has a secret. Before she and her husband were separated and sold into slavery, they performed a tribal ceremony in which they poured the essence of their unborn child into a very special stone. Fela keeps the stone with her, waiting for the chance to finish what she started. When the plantation owner approaches her, Fela sees a better opportunity for her child, and allows the man to act out his desire. Such is the beginning of a line of daughters connected by their intense love for one another, and the stories of a lost land.

Es Mi Cultura is published every first Monday of the month by Tamika Burgess. Tamika is a Afro-Panameña, NYC- based Writer and Educator. Learn more about her by visiting
View past issues of Es Mi Cultura: HERE
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Copyright © 2016 Es Mi Cultura, All rights reserved.

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