LaVidaEnBlack History Month Day 18

LaVidaEnBlack History Month Day 18

It’s important to know who we are, from whom and from where we were formed… by telling the stories ourselves, we see an example of how to live, how to inspire and how to honor our ancestors, Aguanile, Mai, Mai…

Graciás Professor Evo or Darwin Peña for your insights, your abundant intellect and all this very interesting information!

MimiTVA Posting from the DMV, Thursday, February 18, 2016

African people’s fight for freedom throughout the Americas began the minute we were illegally captured, stolen and enslaved in the motherland.  Africans who had escaped slavery in Brazil and created their own township or a Quilombo. Quilombo is a portugese word derived  from an Angolan language “Kilombo” and it means a warrior village or settlement. The Quilombo dos Palmares was actually  a country in South America and today it is located in the coastal region known as Alagoas, Brazil.

Quilombo dos Palmares was a self-sustaining settlement that was approximately the size of modern day Portugal.  At it’s most productive, Palmares had over 30,000 residents.  Their great king Ganga Zuma would free every African seeking refuge.

 

In the beginning the settlement of free Africans became a thorn in the side of the Portuguese.  The residents of Palmares sometimes invaded mills to liberate slaves, they would confiscate food, weapons and also abducted women, who were a rare commodity in the quilombo.  Diogo Botelho,the Governor General of Brazil  sent an expedition of 40, 60 soldiers or maybe more, according to some historians. After they destroyed their dwellings and had taken prisoners, the Portuguese thought they had won the battle. However   whenever the Portugese soldiers appeared, Palmares residents retreated into the woods, leaving destruction behind where plantations and cabins that were destroyed and burned. And shortly after new dwellings and plantations were erected.

This constant destruction and subsequent reconstruction was a very difficult way of life and severely stifled the growth of the Quilombo. And then a fortunate little war helped seal the fate of Quilombo dos Palmares. The Dutch landed at Pernambuco in 1630, and tried to rob the profits of sugar from the hands of the other opportunists, the Portuguese and the Spanish, who were at the time under the same king’s reign. This hostile invasion created an absolute uproar in the Northeast region of Brazil. With the Dutch initial victory in 1645, some of the second generation Brazilian Portuguese engaged them in guerrilla warfare. Subsequently these Plantation owners had to enlist their slaves to fight the Dutch, which in turn facilitated their escape. And amid the hostility and chaos, the Quilombo de Palmares grew, with thousands of new free African residents. When the Dutch were finally expelled in 1654, the township had become a powerful land formed by several populated settlements.

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Rumor has it that the population of Palmares was polygamous and possibly even polyandrous – meaning that a woman could have multiple husbands. To feed the growing population, their economy was a mixture of enterprises, including, hunting, gathering and agriculture.   The Quilombo farmers planted crops such as cassava, sweet potatoes and beans.  There was trade with neighbors. “The idea that Palmares was an isolated refuge in the woods may be true for the first few years of settlement. However, after mid-century, the relationship between blacks and their neighbors certainly evolved into an intense exchange with Indians and whites,” says Flávio Gomes, researcher at the Department of History of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).  A true community was created with belonging , residents and a thriving economy.  Supposedly whites did engage in the Quilombo dos Palmares and it is known that this happened later in quilombos of other regions. Despite their alleged hostility toward whites, there is evidence that livestock farmers brought their flocks to graze in the area of Palmares and maintained trade with the quilobolas to the point of being called, disdainfully “colonists of the blacks.”

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Map of Quilombo dos Palmares

The residents of the Quilombo dos Palmeres apparently did have a good relationship with the  Indians. Archaeological excavations have found Indian pottery, probably contemporary to the quilombo. “It is tempting to make this association and say that Indians were within the quilombo, but we could be dealing with some type of trade,” says American archaeologist Scott Allen, of the Federal University of Alagoas. According to Pedro Paulo Funari, historian and Unicamp archaeologist who joined the first team to take soundings at the site 15 years ago, pottery indicates that there were Indians in Palmares:  “The ceramic production was linked to the attributions of women. The presence of this material in Palmares may mean that the ex-slaves had Indian wives.” Something perfectly consistent with the lack of black women there. Anyway, mestiçagem (racial mixture) was on the tip of the tongue of Palmares inhabitants. Their language seemed to have an African base mixed with words and structures taken from the Portuguese and Tupi – the settlers needed interpreters to speak with them.  Illustrative of its complexity, Quilombo dos Palmares in 1640 was described as comprising several separate settlements which pledged their loyalty to one leader (chief).  Two of the settlements were mostly of Amerindian origin (Subupira e Tabocas); one of Portuguese colonists who joined the quilombo (Amaro), and seven Bantos, that is, settlements of fugitive slaves (Andalaquituche, Macaco, Aqualtene, Ambrabanga, Tabocas, Zumbi, Arotiene). With its capital in Macaco, Palmares possessed a complex social structure, replicating, in many instances, African political systems. – See more at: http://www.blackpast.org/gah/palmares-ca-1605-1694#sthash.WNeQThDC.dpufpark-2

LaVidaEnBlack History Month Day 10

LaVidaEnBlack History Month Day 10

It’s important to know who we are, from whom and from where we were formed… by telling the stories ourselves, we see an example of how to live, how to inspire and how to honor our ancestors, Aguanile, Mai, Mai… Gracias Profe Evo!

Posting from the DMV, February 10, 2016

María Isabel Urrutia Ocoró (born 25 March 1965) is a former weightlifter, athlete and politician from Colombia.  Raised in Valle del Cuaca, she was always a stellar athlete.  Starting out in shot put and the discus throw she represented Colombia in the 1988 Summer Olympics.

On the advice of her coaches, Maria Isabel switched to weightlifting  in 1989 became an amazing champion.  Urrutia won silver at the 1989 World Championships.   She went on to win gold at the 1990, silver 1991, gold 1994, silver 1995, bronze 1996, silver 1997, and bronze at the 1998 World Weightlifting Championships.

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Urrutia won a gold medal in the women’s 75 kg class in the 2000 Summer Olympics  becoming the second Colombian woman to win a medal and the first ever to win gold.  Maria Isabel Urritia is still the only gold medal winner to represent Colombia.  During these games she carried the flag of Colombia in the inaugural parade. Post her Gold medal win, she was honored through out Latin America.

URRUTIA
Colombian flag-bearer Maria Isabel Urrutia leads her team onto the field during the opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics Friday, Sept. 15, 2000, at Olympic Stadium in Sydney, Australia. (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser)

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Nowadays she is retired from sports but she also became a politician.   Urrutia held a seat in the Chamber of Representatives of Colombia from 2002 to 2010 (twice elected: 2002 and 2006).  A popular elected official she was noted for her excellent legislative results and transparency in governing.

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LaVidaEnBlackHistory Month Day 7

LaVidaEnBlackHistory Month Day 7

It’s important to know who we are, from whom and from where we were formed… by telling the stories ourselves, we see an example of how to live, how to inspire and how to honor our ancestors, Aguanile, Mai, Mai… Gracias Profe Evo!

By MimiTVA posting from the DMV, Super Bowl Sunday February 7, 2016

Today as we watch the Super Bowl the son of a Colombian man will head out to work as hard as he can for a Carolina Panther’s win in Super Bowl numero 50.

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Fernando Velasco

Velasco’s work ethic is a lesson instilled by his grandfather. Velasco credits this work ethic in the NFL and to be playing in the Superbowl today. Velasco has been a challenger for a roster spot in the past and is today competes for a Super Bowl ring and his place in Football history.

Velasco’s career in the NFL had him bouncing from team to team even at the beginning of this season he was playing with the Tennessee Titans.  An undrafted free agent in 2008, Velasco spent most of that year and 2009 on the practice squad. Versatility — his ability to play either guard spot and center — helped him make the team’s “swing” guy,  a backup interior lineman who is active on game days for the Titans.  He played with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Carolina Panthers before 2016 And the Titans released him in August.  And then on September 17, 2015, Velasco was signed by the Carolina Panthers to play center and be the back up to their 4-time Pro Bowl center, Ryan Kalil. After a ankle injury to Kalil, Velasco would start the week 8 contest against the Indianapolis Colts.

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“The thing about that area, everybody’s just hard workers, so that’s the thing that I definitely know is the reason I’ve been in the league this long, especially being an undrafted free agent, is just that work ethic,” Velasco said. “You come to work every day ready to get better. You don’t get content about being on the practice squad. You can’t get content about being a backup. So you always want to get better. You don’t want to be content.”

“Growing up in the household with my granddaddy, he went to work every day until he was 80-plus years old,” Velasco continued, “so seeing that from him, I can’t be content with anything less than being the best I can be.”

Velasco’s grandfather would be up and out at the crack of dawn to spend the day “loading and stacking” working for a grocery warehouse. Velasco’s Granddad would work late and then get up and do the same everyday until he passed away during Fernando’s freshman year in high school, “but that’s what he did to take care of the family.”

Velasco’s father is from Colombia and immigrated to America. He met Velasco’s mother in New York but was incarcerated for most of Velasco’s childhood and is prohibited from returning to America. Velasco’s grandfather filled the void.EAC4W9

“I had my granddaddy there, so it was a good learning experience,” Velasco said. “Sometimes it was frustrating, not having a dad to throw the ball around with, but it was a blessing and the Lord does things for a reason. It made me be the man I am today.” Velasco has reestablished a relationship with his father, who lives in Sweden. They’ve communicated through social media like Facebook and Skype and talked on the phone. Velasco met his father in Canada last year and Jamaica this off season and thinks he might go to Sweden after this season.

There’s work to be done before that, however, because of Tennessee’s commitment to add competition and depth on the interior of the offensive line and across the roster. In addition to tendering Velasco, the Titans brought in veteran free agents

LaVidaEnBlack History Month Day 3

LaVidaEnBlack History Month Day 3

It’s important to know who we are, from whom and from where we were formed… by telling the stories ourselves, we honor our ancestors, Aguanile, Mai, Mai…

Gracias Profe Evo!

Posting from the DMV, February 1, 2016

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Aspectos del corregimiento de San Basilio de Palenque, zona rural del municipio de Mahates. Imágenes para especial de turismo cultural

Benkos Biohó (late 16th century — 1621) was a young African King when siezed from his homeland, the Bissagos Islands off the Guinea Bissau coast by a Portuguese slave trader.  When the Spanish began to bring slaves from Africa to Colombia, there were some who escaped and formed free communities of Cimarrones and their enclaves were known as Palenques.

Benkos Biohó is the most famous of all Cimarrones. He arrived in Cartagena de Indias in 1599, where he was sold as a slave. Biohó made his first escape when the boat that was transporting him down the Magdalena River sank. He was recaptured, but escaped again in 1599 into the marshy lands southeast of Cartagena. He organized an army that came to dominate all of the Montes de Maria region.

The brutal mistreatment of slaves served as an impetus for rebellions.  Biohó, raised as a King in Africa used his leadership skills in Colombia with other slaves and bandeded together to rebel and flee their captors.  Bioho took his wife, three other men and three other women, plus an additional 22 slaves rebeled and fled with them. The group of 30 headed out into the swamps and camped near the village of Tolú over 50 miles away.

Bioho proceeded to organize the Palenque into a well guarded fortress, fit for a King. For years the group launched attacks on Spanish interests and were almost unstoppable. King Benkos formed an intelligence network and used the information to organize more escapes and guided the runaway slaves into their liberated territory, known as settlement. He used the title “King of Arcabuco“.

The Governor of Cartagena furiously tried to stop the Cimaronnes, but failed.  So on the 18th of July 1605, the Governor of Cartagena, offered a peace treaty to Biohó.  In this agreement the Spaniards would recognize the autonomy of the Matuna Bioho Palenque and accept his entrance into the city armed and dressed in the Spanish fashion.  The Cimarrones in turn promised to stop receiving more runaway slaves, cease their aid in escape attempts and stop addressing Biohó as “King”.  A Peace Accord was finally established in 1612.

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Statue of Benkos Biohos

 

In 1713 it became the first free village in the Americas by decree from the King of Spain, when he gave up sending his troops on futile missions to attack their fortified mountain hideaway. Biohó established the maroon community of San Basilio de Palenque some time in the 16th century. Unfortunately Biohó was betrayed and hanged by the governor of Cartagena in 1619.

The treaty was violated in 1619 when they captured Biohó as he was walking unguarded and unarmed into the city. He was hanged and quartered on 16 March 1621. Governor Garcia Giron ordered the execution and argued bitterly that “it was dangerous the respect Biohó generated in the population” claiming that “his lies and enchantment would drive the nations of Guinea away from the city.”  But the Palenque survived and by the end of the seventeenth century, the area of Montes de Maria had over 600 Cimarrones living freely.  While under the command of Domingo Padilla and his wife Jane, the team successfully challenged further attempts at relinquishing sovereignty from the colonial authorities.

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Los Cimarrones

Of their numerous significant contributions, palenques played an important role in the conservation of African traditions and culture in Colombia. The San Basilio Palenque, on the Atlantic coast, has survived centuries maintaining African social and cultural traditions in the Americas. Palenques and other Escaped slave communities are an important source for research of various historic, anthropologic and linguistic studies documenting the African significance and dominance in Colombian culture.

San Basilio de Palenque was declared Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005.[1] At about 50 miles east of Cartagena, on hills of strategic value were used as lookout posts, still hear the names of the runaway Neighborhood: Sincerin, Mahates, Gambote.

LaVidaEnBlack History 

LaVidaEnBlack History 

It’s important to know who we are, from whom and from where we were formed… by telling the stories ourselves, we see an example of how to live, how to inspire and how to honor our ancestors, Aguanile, Mai, Mai… Gracias Profe Evo!

Posting from the DMV, February 2, 2016

As a child from humble beginnings; Dr. Raul Cuero, studied and played with roaches in his family home in Buenaventura, Colombia.  Motivated by boredom he was inspired to use his expansive imagination to create and invent over 27 patented items. A National Hispanic Scientist of the Year, Dr. Raúl Cuero, Ph.D., today is a renowned microbiologist, inventor, and president/research director of the International Park of Creativity in Bogota, Colombia.

Dr. Cuero’s childhood memories of the behavior of roaches and lizards, which were abundant in his environment created his love of science.   Dr. Cuero was severely affected by the ravages of illnesses such as malaria, tuberculosis in his community. During the 1950s, more than 30 percent of the children in his hometown died from diseases like parasites, malaria, tuberculosis and viral infections before reaching the age of 10.

DrCuero

Dr. Cuero is also the founder, president, and research director of the International Park of Creativity (IPOC). IPOC’s soul purpose is to incubate young inventors under the mentorship of inventors.   IPOC was formed to nurture the invention of new technologies and products for global markets.  The young scientists implement scientific research and developments for diverse industries and other institutions seeking new technologies and products in a competitive global market.  Finally IPOC is a global “Think Tank” a center for economic, social, scientific and technological development.

Wit Ostrenko, MOSI president, stated “As the Director of the International Park of Creativity, we feel Cuero’s is essential to our mission and his core ideology of making science real and demonstrates the power of S.T.E.M. Education for our youth.”

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Dr. Cuero and his research team in Colombia’s, International Park of Creativity “IPOC” developed this novel technology over the span of six (6) years.

Dr. Cuero’s latest book in English is available in Amazon  is about creativity  where scientist and inventor R. Cuero, PhD, explains how to use your loneliness as a resource to ignite your imagination so you choose innovative action over sedentary reticence. Using creative experiences, history, philosophy, and sociology, Dr. Cuero presents a positive view of both loneliness and modern technology, and offers clear steps to overcome obstacles in order to achieve progress through creativity.

 

LaVidaEnBlack History Month 

LaVidaEnBlack History Month 

It’s important to know who we are, from whom and where we were formed… by telling the stories ourselves, we see an example of how to live, how to inspire and how to honor our ancestors, Aguanile, Mai, Mai…

Posting from the DMV, February 1, 2016

MimiTVA commits to post about different Afro-Latinos throughout Black History Month and beyond.  I’ll start out with my personal favorite … El Negro Primero, the Venezuelan soldier, Pedro Camejo!

In Venezuela, Simon Bolivar known as the liberator of South America realized the vital role Black men played in the colonies quest for freedom from the Spanish Crown. One of Bolivar’s fiercest soldiers was El Negro Primero, Pedro Camejo. Born a slave, Camejo’s nickname was a testament to his bravery for Pedro was always the first to enter the battlefield.

 Frightening the enemies with his vicious spear, Cameo rose to the rank of Lieutenant.

After fighting valiantly in the Battalla de Carabobo, Camejo was mortally wounded and before taking his last breath he uttered this unforgettable phrase to say goodbye to his trusted leader, General Josè Antonio Pàez, “Mi General vengo a decirle adiòs porque estoy muerto” (My General, I came to say goodbye because I am 
dead.)
Camejo has a municipality named for him as well as a statue in Caracas, the only such statue of a black man in all of Venezuela.  He fought for freedom and died a brave and unforgettable death.

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Me Gitaron Negra! #BlackHistoryIsGlobal #MimiTVA

FeaturedMe Gitaron Negra!  #BlackHistoryIsGlobal #MimiTVA

La Vida En Black History Month message today goes deep into the heart of Peruvian culture with the Heroine of Black Peru, Victoria Santa Cruz.  Victoria Eugenia Santa Cruz Gamarra was a poet, composer, choreographer, designer, and an exponent of Afro-Peruvian art.

imgresThe daughter of writer / playwright, Nicomedes Santa Cruz Aparicio and Victoria Gamarra, their family was famous for their excellence in creative pursuits including the development of Zamacueca an ancient colonial dance and music with a mixture of roots from Africa to the Andes.

Victoria was one of 10 children born into the family.  Her brothers are renown – Cesar is a musician and composer; Rafael the Bull Fighter isdeamed “untorero de gran clase” or the Wonderous Black Matador; and Nicomedes; the preeminent scholar of Afro-Peruvian culture & folklore. artworks-000077125313-5mm1bu-t500x500

Victoria received a scholarship to attend the Université du Theatre des Nations in Paris where she was educated in costuming and choreography.  She created unforgettable costumes for the play “The Altarpiece of Don Cristobal”. And made a triumphant return to Peru. In 1968 she founded the Teatro y Danzas Negras del Perú, / Black Dance Theatre of Peru, inspiring a new and diverse period in Peru for the study of black culture.

Her choreography became a part of the fabric of Peruvian culture so much so  that her talented group represented the nation at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.  Victoria won numerous prestigious awards including Best Folklorist at the Primer Festival y Seminario Latinoamericano de Televisión en 1970.

She was a special guest of the Colombian government at the Festival de Cali  in 1971. There she notably recognized that the black roots of Cali did not come from just one country of origin but from several African nations, so much like the various slaves brought to the Americas.

Santa Cruz’s name became synonymous  with the cultural identity of Peru and in 1973 Victoria became the director of the National Folklore for the National Institute of Culture (INC) /Conjunto Nacional de Folclore del Instituto Nacional de Cultura (INC).  She continued to spread her love of Afro-Peruvian culture throughout the world, teaching at Carnegie Mellon University, and in Europe at the Teatro del Sole, in Italy.

She passed away last year surrounded by her beautiful family, the legendary Ambassador of Peruvian culture was lain to rest at the Peruvian National Musuem.  Her poem “Me Gritaron Negra” They Screamed “Black” At Me, became a beautiful badge of honor for Afro-Latinos every where.  Performed here click the link.

Lyrics

Español                                             English

Tenía siete años apenas,                  Maybe I was seven years old
apenas siete años,                           Maybe seven years
¡Qué siete años!                                    What seven years old???
¡No llegaba a cinco siquiera!                  I wasn’t even five yet…
De pronto unas voces en la calle          when the voices in the street
me gritaron ¡Negra!                            screamed ¡Negra! (Black Girl!)
¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Negra!         Black! Black! Black! Black!

¡Negra! ¡Negra!¡Negra!                            Back! Black! Black!

¿Soy acaso negra?, me dije                   I thought, Am I? Am I really Black?

¡SI!                                                       Yes!

¿Qué cosa es ser negra?                  What does it mean to be black?
¡Negra!                                             Black!
Y yo no sabía la triste verdad         And I didn’t no the sad truth

que aquello escondía.                           That black was hiding
¡Negra!                                             Black!
Y me sentí negra,                           And I felt the black
¡Negra!                                             Black!
Como ellos decían                           Just like their screams
¡Negra!                                             Black!
Y retrocedí                                             And I regressed
¡Negra!                                             Black!
Como ellos querían                           Just as they desired
¡Negra!                                             Black!
Y odié mis cabellos                            And I hated my hair

y mis labios gruesos                           And my thick lips
y miré apenada mi carne tostada         I was ashamed of my toasted skin
Y retrocedí                                             And I regressed
¡Negra!                                             Black!
Y retrocedí…                                    And I regressed
¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Negra!         Black! Black! Black! Black!
¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Neeegra!                  Black! Black! Black!
¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Negra!         Black! Black! Black! Black!
¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Negra!         Black! Black! Black! Black!
Y pasaba el tiempo,                           And time passed by
y siempre amargada                           And always bitter
Seguía llevando a mi espalda         I carried this heavy load
mi pesada carga                                    on my back
¡Y cómo pesaba!                                    And how heavy it was..
Me alacié el cabello,                           I straightened my hair
me polveé la cara,                           I powdered my face
y entre mis entrañas siempre          And deep down inside of me

resonaba la misma palabra                  I heard the same resounding word
¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Negra!          Black! Black! Black! Black
¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Neeegra!                  Black! Black! Blaaaack!
Hasta que un día que retrocedía,         Until one day I regressed

retrocedía y qué iba a caer                  regressed until I was going to fall
¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Negra!
¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Negra!
¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Negra!
¡Negra! ¡Negra! ¡Negra!
¿Y qué?                                             So What?
¿Y qué?                                             So What?
¡Negra!                                             Black!
Sí                                                      YES!
¡Negra!                                             Black!
Soy                                                      Black I AM!
¡Negra!                                             Black!
Negra                                             Black!
¡Negra!                                             Black!
Negra soy                                             I AM Black!
¡Negra!                                             Black!
Sí                                                      Yes
¡Negra!                                             Black!
Soy                                                      I AM
¡Negra!                                             Black!
Negra                                             Black
¡Negra!                                             Black!
Negra soy                                             I am Black
De hoy en adelante no quiero                   from this day forward I do not
laciar mi cabello                                        want to straighten my hair

No quiero                                                     I do not want to!

Y voy a reírme de aquellos,                         & I’m gonna laugh at those
que por evitar                                              who by avoiding

–según ellos–                                             according to them
que por evitarnos algún sin sabor              “bad taste”
Llaman a los negros                                    call black people,

gente de color                                               people of color
¡Y de qué color!                                             And what color is that?
NEGRO                                                      NEGRO!
¡Y qué lindo suena!                                      And how beautiful it sounds!
NEGRO                                                      NEGRO
¡Y qué ritmo tiene!                                        And what rhythm it has!
NEGRO NEGRO NEGRO NEGRO
NEGRO NEGRO NEGRO NEGRO
NEGRO NEGRO NEGRO NEGRO
NEGRO NEGRO NEGRO
Al fin                                                               Finally
Al fin comprendí                                             Finally I understood
AL FIN                                                       FINALLY
Ya no retrocedo                                             I do not regress

AL FIN                                                       FINALLY
Y avanzo segura                                             move forward with pride
AL FIN                                                       FINALLY
Avanzo y espero                                             move forward and wait
AL FIN                                                       FINALLY
Y bendigo al cielo                                     I thank the heavens above

porque quiso Dios                                     because is God’s will
que negro azabache                                 like a black precious stone

fuese mi color                                           it was meant to be my color
Y ya comprendí                                        and now I understand
AL FIN                                                      FINALLY
¡Ya tengo la llave!                                     I have the key!
NEGRO NEGRO NEGRO NEGRO
NEGRO NEGRO NEGRO NEGRO
NEGRO NEGRO NEGRO NEGRO
NEGRO NEGRO
¡Negra soy!                                                      I am Black!