August 1, 2016 ~ Issue 11
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Afro-Latina ~ A woman with roots from any Latin American country
that is of, relates, or celebrates African a

Es Mi Cultura spreads awareness of the wonderful contributions Afro-Latinas are making to further advance our presence. Each month this newsletter spotlights Afro-Latinas and all their sabor, provides links to various articles and personal stories penned by, about, or for Afro-Latinos, along with book features, and additional information.
While this newsletter is aimed towards Afro-Latinas— we need to see people who look like us. Es Mi Cultura is for readers of both genders, all races, cultures, and backgrounds.

New Yorker by birth + AfroDominican by bloodline, Suhaly Bautista-Carolina is an artist, educator + cultural advocate. She earned her B.A. in English and American Literature from NYU and her MPA from the Wagner School of Public Service at NYU, where she was named one of “NYU’s 15 Most Influential Students.” Her attention to environmental justice earned her the artist name, The Earth Warrior. The Earth Warrior is interested in the way humans interact with and re(imagine) themselves in natural spaces. Her recent artwork explores themes of womynhood, the preservation of memory and the AfroLatinX experience.

Suhaly is the founder of Black Magic, an all womyn's book club and collective and a space to envision, imagine and create other possible futures. Since 2011, she has served as an Executive Board member of FOKUS (Fighting Obstacles Knowing Ultimate Success), an arts advocacy organization designed to educate, empower and unite communities through the arts in NYC. Suhaly has worked in various capacities with organizations such as Artspace, The Artist Archive, The Walls-Ortiz Gallery and The Brooklyn Children's Museum. She was recently awarded the Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellowship with the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI) as well as the 2016 "The Many Worlds of Black" fellowship with Columbia University's Institute for Research in African-American Studies (IRAAS). Her photographic documents and writings have been published in Insight Magazine, the United Nations’ International Museum of Women and Caribbean Vistas Journal. In 2015, she was a panelist at ArtPrize7's "Reflecting the Times: Arts & Activism" alongside Dread Scott and Arts.Black. She has enjoyed solo exhibitions at NYU, Emperial Gallery, La Casa Azul Bookstore, T/PSY Art Gallery and most recently at Gnarly Vines as part of Black Artstory Month. As of 2016, she is also a Weeksville Heritage Center Ambassador. Suhaly is currently serving as the Engagement & Education Manager at the public art nonprofit organization, Creative Time.

She is living + loving in Brooklyn with her wife, Naiema.
Suhaly is currently working on an AfroLatina Portrait Project. "This forthcoming series of portraits + interviews (project name tbd) aims to catalogue how we (as self-identifying AfroLatinas) speak to/honor/dismiss/deal with the memory and existence of our African ancestry.  

The final goal is to produce a catalogue of 100 portraits and interviews of AfroLatinas in New York City for a published book. I expect this to be a journey of several years + look forward to sharing this process, time and energy with you all."
Commissioner Yvette Colbourne and her husband have lived in the City of Miramar for 20 years where they raised their 2 children. Commissioner Colbourne, a Jamaican descendant, was born in Panama and raised in New York before moving to Florida. Yvette Colbourne was elected to the City of Miramar Commission, Seat 2 on March 12, 2013. As a Commissioner, she represents all of the City of Miramar residents.

Soon after being elected, Commissioner Colbourne was selected by her City of Miramar Commission colleagues to serve on the Broward County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Board. The MPO Board is responsible for policy-making, planning and funding allocation for transportation programs in Broward County. Her colleagues also selected her as an alternate to represent Miramar on the Broward League of Cities.

Commissioner Colbourne has 30 years of public service experience with Miami-Dade County. During her tenure she served as a member of a County executive team that successfully managed a $600 million budget and up to 2,000 employees. Commissioner Colbourne has a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Nova Southeastern University and an Associates Degree in Business Administration from Miami-Dade College.
Jenay Wright is a New York City native who was born and raised in the Bronx. She spent the last four years living in Chicago working on her Bachelor’s Degree at Columbia College Chicago. This past May Jenay graduated with a BA in Journalism, with a focus in Multimedia Magazine & Editing. Writing has always been a gateway to express herself and who she is.

Jenay is half Panamanian and African American. Her mother was born in the Republic of Panama and her father was born in the US. Jenay always knew she was black, but she was also very cultured and connected to her Panamanian roots. 

Jenay went to a predominately all Latino high school that had a small Black population. She identified more with the Latino culture because of the similarities with music and traditions. It became challenging because Jenay did not fit the ideal representation of a Latina, with fair skin and soft hair, and people were very prejudice. 

It wasn’t until her senior year of college that Jenay finally became comfortable with her cultural identity. She came across the term “Afro -Latina/ Black Latina” which she never really knew existed. This was really essential because it described exactly who Jenay is. She was able to embrace being both Black & Latina and didn’t have to explain herself to anyone.

"I really hope to inspire a young Afro-Latina out there who might be struggling with her identity and loving herself. I want her to know I am here and #IAMENOUGH blog is like a never ending novel that can be used as a guide on this journey." - Jenay

Infusing Self-Assurance , Pride and Confidence
into the lives of all Afro-Latinas.

"We are devoted to giving our readers a gateway to self-assurance, pride and confidence in who they are. It is essential for Afro-Latinas to embrace their shade while still preserving their culture and traditions like any other Latina women would. Our audience should know that are somebody and through saying I am enough it will remind them every day. 

I Am Enough serves as a guide to every Afro-Latinas individual experience. Each story is crafted with passion to give Afro-Latinas a voice to express themselves and love the skin they are in. This is a movement that will be acknowledged and will prove its eminence."  

Elizabeth Acevedo - "Hair"
Dominican model Lineisy Montero covers the June 2016 issue
of Pandora Magazine 

Xiomara Marie, better known as DJ Bembona is one of the latest female DJs to emerge in the underground music scene. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, DJ Bembona rocks parties by blending the sounds of her neighborhood with the sounds of her culture.

Growing up in a Puerto Rican and Panamanian household, DJ Bembona was exposed to many different genres of music, including: Salsa, Funk, Merengue, and so much more. It was that exposure that created the theme of her mixtapes, including La Sala.

Released last October, the mixtape is a true representation of DJ Bembona’s Afro-Latina heritage. Her desire is to “… bring her Latino community one step closer to embracing their blackness.” And she does that with every mixtape she releases and every party she DJs.

Read more about DJ Bembona: HERE

Penned  By, About, and For Us!

3 Afro-Latina Musicians Making Waves

Miss Rizos Stands Up For Teen Shamed By School For Rocking Natural Hair 

Afro-Latina Rapper Princess Nokia on Police Brutality, Identity, and Humor

Afro-Latino Festival of NYC

The Importance of NYC's Afro-Latino Festival

Meet Laurie Hernandez: Young Boricua Gymnast Who Earned a Spot on U.S. Olympic Team

Meet Veronica Chambers: Author & TV Writer

Latino Community Stands in Solidarity With Black Lives Matter

Start Creating a Pro-Black Latinx Culture

Celebrity Trainer Massy Arias On Being Black and Latina

Why Caribbean History Matters

What It Means to Celebrate Afro-Latinidad in the Time of Black Lives Matter

US Largest Latino Art Collection in San Francisco 

20 Beautiful Women, Vol 3: 20 More Stories That Will Heal Your Soul, Ignite Your Passion And Inspire Your Divine Purpose is a collection of personal short stories from 20 more authors, speakers, and life coaches bonding together for the common goal of sisterhood, and to transform women from the inside out.

Contributing Co Author, Sahsha Campbell-Garbutt displays valor and vulnerability in her chapter as she delves into one of biggest challenges of her life. Intensely private when comes to family matters, Sahsha allows readers to take a front seat into circumstances that still affect her to this day, although the effects of the situation have allowed her to blossom into the dynamic woman she has now become. 

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

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