There’s Nothing Wrong With Her… #AutismAwareness

MimiTVA on....

There’s Nothing Wrong With Her… by Mimi Machado-Luces

#MimiTVA #LaVidaEnBlack #BlueDivaDesi

My mother droned this into our heads when we confirmed my daughter’s autism. “That child is brilliant you know, Mimi,” she repeated in her sing song-y West Indian accent, “you ent’ have to worry about she,

DesiMummyLouisLenaDesi goin’ an’ change dee world you know. God give ya’ dat child for a reason.” And she was right as mothers always are, magically so.

It was a process. Excited and relieved, I felt Autism was something that she could live with, that we could handle, some studies even said we could “cure” it. But that whole “cure” talk sounded like there was something wrong with my little ray of Sunshine, Mi Solita (little sun in Spanish.) My clone (everybody says she looks just like me) would babble, laugh and communicate in that special baby way until she was practically a toddler…

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Chile’s Encomiendas = 40 acres and a mule…

#BlackHistoryIsGlobal
Todays La Vida En Black History Month message comes from deep in South America. Chile’s first Afro-descendants were brought as slaves and soldiers in 1536, with the explorer Diego de Almagro. The African Slaves worked in farming and agriculture, mined gold and worked on construction projects. The quality of the slaves’ lives was so low the mortality rate was high. Africans were enslaved to supplement the native labor population. Being that Chile is far and islolated, their slave population did remain small.  They were taken mainly from Angola, Congo, and the Guinnea Coast. importing them was costly, due to the long routes, which encouraged smuggling.

Bimagesut as time passed the Afro-Chilean were not just slaves, they also became soldiers. Those that served with distinction, earned “encomiendas”, or land grants. Some notable Afro-Chilean encomiendas owners were Juan Valiente, (the first to own an encomiendas) Juan Beltrán, Leonor Galiano, Gomez de Leon, and Cristóbal Varela.

Another specific group of Black people in Chilean history were members of the 8th Regiment of The Andean Liberation Army that fought the Spaniards in Chacabuco. That Army, organized in Argentina was led by San Martin to liberate Chile and later, Peru. San Martin was a fan of black soldiers because “blacks were the only people capable of success in the infantry.” The Afro-Latino soldiers received their freedom after crossing the Andes and fighting the Spaniards. Inevitably being on the front lines brought the greatest risk of death in battle. This history of Chile is never recognized and those black soldiers did not received the proper commendation for their contribution to the liberation of Chile.

Maestra; Norma Guillard #BlackHistoryIsGlobal

Maestra; Norma Guillard #BlackHistoryIsGlobal

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Today’s La Vida En Black History Month message comes from Cuba and is about a woman who as a teenage girl, helped a revolution teach her entire nation to read. Norma Guillard is a Social Psychologist and a former brigadista with the 1961 Cuban Literacy Campaign or La Campaña Nacional de Alfabetizaciòn.

I am proud to say my friend, NORMA GUILLARD was just 15 years old in 1961, living in Havana when she joined the national campaign that would change the course of her life forever.

The Cuban literacy campaign took 250,000 young volunteers from the city (Habana) and sent them out to the countryside to live with families to teach them how to read and write. In the end they taught over 700,000 people to read and write in one year. 100,000 of the teachers were under 18 years old. Over half were women.  One of them was Norma Guillard.

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I met Norma when I was promoting the award winning film about this tremendous time in Cuba’s history… MAESTRA is a 33-minute documentary that features as one of its central characters, La Maestra, Norma Guillard.

At the UN General Assembly in September of 1960, Cuba announced that they would eradicate illiteracy in one year. They launched a massive national media campaign and over 250,000 Cubans volunteered. It was the “most important time in my life” Norma explained. She was a courageous young woman who teamed with thousands of Cuban teenagers to teach their own people to read and truly changed the world.

Facing a bevy of dangers, Norma stayed in the community where she was teaching, and completed the year-long course. In the end the Campaign was enormously successful raising Cuba’s literacy rate to 95 percent in 1962 and then maintaining literacy at 98 percent to this day.

Today, Guillard is a social psychologist. She was one of the first Cuban women of her generation to call herself a Feminists and works on issues of gender, race, sexual orientation in Cuba. Guillard has contributes regularly to the discourse on race and racism in Cuba.

An adjunct professor at the University of Havana teaching psychology and gender, she is also one of the past presidents of the Cuban Association of Psychologists. Norma Guillard is also an advisor to United Nations Development Program and UNESCO on gender and HIV/AIDS prevention. She is a principal collaborator at the National Center for the AIDS Prevention and the National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX), which spearheads work to educate against homophobia and lobby for civil unions in Cuba.

She is an avid speaker at conferences, educational, social and cultural forums worldwide. Norma currently collaborates with CENESEX championing the rights of LGBT Cubans. And Norma Guillard is La Vida En Black History continuing to teach and expand the breath of knowledge about Afro-Latinos throughout the world.

 

 

 

Chilean Encomiendas, like 40 Acres and a Mule…

Chilean Encomiendas, like 40 Acres and a Mule…

#BlackHistoryIsGlobal
Todays La Vida En Black History Month Message comes from deep in South America. Chile’s first Afro-descendants were brought as slaves and soldiers in 1536, with the explorer Diego de Almagro. The African Slaves worked in farming and agriculture, mined gold and worked on construction projects. The quality of the slaves’ lives was so low the mortality rate was high. Africans were enslaved to supplement the native labor population. Being that Chile is far and islolated, their slave population did remain small.

They were taken mainly from Angola, Congo, and the Guinnea Coast. importing them was costly, due to the long routes, which encouraged smuggling. But as time passed the Afro-Chilean were not just slaves, they also became soldiers. Those that served with distinction, earned “encomiendas”, or land grants. Some notable Afro-Chilean encomiendas owners were Juan Valiente, (the first to own an encomiendas) Juan Beltrán, Leonor Galiano, Gomez de Leon, and Cristóbal Varela.

Another specific group of Black people in Chilean history were members of the 8th Regiment of The Andean Liberation Army that fought the Spaniards in Chacabuco. That Army, organized in Argentina was led by San Martin to liberate Chile and later, Peru. San Martin was a fan of black soldiers because “blacks were the only people capable of success in the infantry.” The Afro-Latino soldiers received their freedom after crossing the Andes and fighting the Spaniards. Inevitably Being in the front lines brought greater risks in battle. This history of Chile is never recognized and those black soldiers never received the proper recognition for their contribution to the liberation of Chile.

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One step from the Danza… Miguel Faílde #BlackHistoryIsGlobal

La Vida En Black History Month
Cuban composer and creator of the danzon; Miguel Faílde Pérez was born in Guacamaro, Matanzas, on 23 December 1852 – and died on the 26th of December 1921.

Unknown-1The founder of the Orquesta Faílde was born into a musical family, where Faílde’s father was a Galician immigrant, and his mother apard a  or in Cuban terms a darkmulatt a.  Taught to play music by his father, a trombone player, that by the time he was ten Faílde, played cornet in the Fire Fighters Band orLa Banda de Bomberos de Matanzas.  Under the tutalege of French musician Federico Peclier Miguel mastered harmony and composition along with learning the classical instruments; viola and double bass.

As a young man Faílde, was one of many musicians who actively conspired against the Spanish colonial rule. His musical influences at the time used African rhythms like the clave beat in Contradanza to relay messages and continue traditions under the guise of entertaining the masses.  Faílde even spent time fighting during the Cuban War of Independence.

Unknown-2His orchestra was highly successful and his major achievement was the creation of the danzón.  The danzón was, in his own words, a continuation of the contradanza, “De la danza al danzón había un simple paso.” The distance from the danza to the danzón is a simple step.”

A Miracle in his own right Saint Martin de Porres #BlackHistoryIsGlobal

La Vida En Black History Month ‪#‎BlackHistoryIsGlobal‬

Wedensday February 4th’s feature is for the first black canonized Catholic Saint Martin de Porres. Born in Lima, Peru in 1579, St. Martin de Porres mother was a free black woman from Panama and his father was of Spanish Aristocracy. A 15 year old Martin became a lay brother at the Dominican Friary in Lima where he remained working for the rest of his life. His kindness was legendary, he performed a multitude of miracles during his lifetime including having such a way with animals it is said he had a dog, cat, bird, and mouse eating from the same plate.
St. Martin was known for his care of the sick. Miracles were consistently attributed to him where he also cared for the sick outside his convent, often healing the sick with only a simple glass of water. He ministered without distinction to Spanish nobles and to slaves recently brought from Africa. Once, An elderly beggar, covered with ulcers and practically naked, stretched out his hand, and Martin took him to his own bed. One of his brethren reproved him. Martin replied: “Compassion, my dear Brother, is preferable to cleanliness.”
He was canonized in 1962 by Pope John Paul 2, the first Black Saint from Latin America.

La Vida En Black History Month #BlackHistoryIsGlobal

Today's feature is The first black canonized Catholic Saint Martin de Porres.  Born in Lima, Peru in 1579, St. Martin de Porres mother was a free black woman from Panama and his father was of Spanish Aristocracy.  A 15 year old Martin became a lay brother at the Dominican Friary in Lima where he remained working for the rest of his life.  His kindness was legendary, he performed a multitude of miracles during his lifetime including having such a way with animals it is said he had a dog, cat, bird, and mouse eating from the same plate. 
St. Martin was known for his care of the sick. Miracles were consistently attributed to him where he also cared for the sick outside his convent, often healing the sick with only a simple glass of water. He ministered without distinction to Spanish nobles and to slaves recently brought from Africa. Once, An elderly beggar, covered with ulcers and practically naked, stretched out his hand, and Martin took him to his own bed. One of his brethren reproved him. Martin replied: “Compassion, my dear Brother, is preferable to cleanliness."
He was canonized in 1962 by Pope John Paul 2, the first Black Saint from Latin America.

“Pelo Malo” Speaks To Us All #BlackHistoryIsGlobal

‪#‎BlackHistoryIsGlobal‬

Todays La Vida En Black History Month message hails in the form of a film I just watched and had been hearing about for months. There are several themes coming up in Latino Cinema that have to deal with identity, relationships and how we see one another. In this award winning film by Venezuelan director, Mariana Rondon we are transported to Caracas today. A little boy, Junior just wants to straighten his hair or Pelo Malo (Bad Hair) and his mother… She just wants to get a job + she thinks her son is wierd. Excellent film, amazing look at Venezuela now, poignant story. Available on demand on HBO Peliculas! Pelo Malo is a fantastic example, that Black History truly is Global!