I know it’s been a while!!
This season has been chock-full of events celebrating and informing on Afro-Latino culture, and I could not be happier. One such event I had the pleasure of attending was the Inaugural Afro Latino Festival of New York, held this year at one of the Caribbean epicenters of New York City- none other than Flatbush, Brookyn!
Conceived and produced by Tania Molina and Mai-Elka Prado Gill in conjunction with Brooklyn’s Arts & Culture Festival, the Afro-Latino festival occupied the large entry space on the Parkside Avenue Q line facing Prospect Park. This year’s theme was Listen to the Echo of the Drums in Latin America, and they did not disappoint! What the fair lacked in size it more than made up for in energy as crowds gathered and stayed to take in the numerous musical acts, as well as traditional folk dance performances. Onlookers were encouraged to join in as many Afro-Latinos chose to take a turn on the stage themselves and show off their own dance moves.
Vendors were also on hand to compliment the performances offering food, accessories, clothing and media highlighting the Afro-Latino experience as well as addressing the unique identity challenges Afro-Latinos face in the United States.
I had a blast! I ran into old friends, made some new ones and finally got to put a face to the co-creators of the Afro-Latino Movement (hola, y’all!). The atmosphere was welcoming and inclusive, and it was wonderful to see people from all ends of the Diaspora come together and appreciate our differences and similarities. I have no doubt that the Afro-Latino Festival will continue to get bigger and better, and I can’t wait for next year!