afro puerto rican


Wish my grandmomma was here so I could celebrate blackout day with her… Thank you grandma for making me one amazing afro haired Native American, Puerto Rican and African American. You gave me one of my best traits.


Bomba is an Afro-Puerto Rican folkloric music style developed throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries by west African slaves brought to the island by the Spanish. It is a communal activity that still thrives in its traditional centers of Loíza, Santurce, Mayagüez, Ponce, and New York City. The traditional musical style has been diffused throughout the United States following the Puerto Rican Diaspora, especially in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, California, and Florida. It also became increasingly popular in Peru, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil, and has largely influenced Afro-Latino music styles within these countries.

More than just a genre of music, it’s most defining characteristic is the encounter and creative relationship between dancers, percussionists, and singers. Dance is an integral part of the music. It is popularly described as a challenge/connection, or an art of “call and answer,” in which two or more drums follow the rhythms and moves of the dancers. The challenge requires great physical shape and usually continues until either the drummer or the dancer discontinues.

There are several styles of bomba, and the popularity of these styles varies by region. There are three basic rhythms, as well as many others that are mainly variations of these: Yubá, Sicá and Holandés. Other styles include Cuembé, Bámbula, Cocobalé, and Hoyomula.

Vintage Afrolatino

Here’s my father’s band from the mid-70s playing in their Brownsville, Brooklyn livingroom. Papi is in the back right on drums, my uncle on guitar, and a cousin on bass. That’s guelo’s bald head shining in the bottom right corner. How tio tryna play guitar and maracas at the same time, though?

Puerto Ricans… I tells ya…

anonymous asked:

Do you have any videos i can watch on afropuerto ricans I know you do!

Of course! 


En La Punta de la Legnua-Nuestra Herencia Africana <-Hour and a half long documentary about Afro Puerto Rican history and culture In Spanish (no subtitles)

Afro Puerto Rico: The Islands Ties to Slavery <- 3:06 Short clip. In Spanish with English Subtitles. 

Puerto Rico’s African Influences <- 22:37 MIN long clip. Note* the folks who made this do not seem to be Puerto Rican. They sound European, But there’s some good information in this 

Music/ Dance 

Documental : Puerto Rico, Raíces(Bomba y Plena)<-1:39:11  Documentary in Spanish (no subtitles) Explaining Bomba and Plena 

Bomba Puertorriqueña<- Street demonstration of Bomba 

Siembra Maestra - Virginia <-Yard demonstration of Bomba  (my favorite, plus i know some of the drummers!) 

Plena Callejera <- street performance of Plena 

Las Caras Lindas Ismael Rivera- Salsa!!  Las Caras Lindas de mi Gente Negra

Al Natural - Tego Calderon HD <- Puerto Rican Rap/ Reggaeton 

TEGO CALDERON NI FU NIFA <-Puerto Rican Rap /Reggaeton (He literally says “AFRICA AFRICA”) 


Por amor en el caserío Trailer <- Puerto Rican Play turned movie set in the largest housing projects El CASERIO  Luis Llorens Torres (Llorens Torres, where a lot of my family is from) 

There are plenty of others but heres a healthy start. Enjoy!! 




Happy Birthday, Brandi Quiñones!

Brandi Quiñones (born January 25, 1977 in New York City, NY)  is an American model of Puerto Rican, Afro-Cuban, and Sicilian origin.

Quiñones began her modeling career after having been recognized by a talent scout in 1992 at a mall in Florida, when she was just fifteen years old. Within a few days, she had returned to New York and signed a contract with the Next Modeling Agency. She began appearing in fashion shows in Los Angeles, New York, and Paris. A breakthrough in her career came in 1993 when she was sent to Europe. Within a few weeks of signed contracts, Quiñones was in Paris , London, Madrid and Barcelona, catching the eyes of designers who were very quick to recognize the potential of Brandi and began to invite her to their shows. Brandi began to walk the runway for the following labels: Chanel, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Lolita Lepmickiej, Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfield, among others. She also appeared many as four times on the cover of the Spanish edition of Elle Magazine and repeatedly graced the cover and posed for pictures of the American and French editions of Vogue Magazine. In 1997, her photo appeared in the Pirelli calendar. Brandi’s career started to dwindle after the late 90’s, reportedly due to a drug addiction. Quiñones had been arrested numerous times in the early 2000’s for cocaine possession, which lead to her absence from modeling. However, Brandi began to resurface in 2009, appearing on the runway at a show for Givenchy’s Fall 2009 line. As of 2014, Quiñones is rarely seen in the public eye, but still models under the Traffic Modeling Agency, located in Barcelona and Madrid in Spain.

Black (Latinx!) History Month at ALU! February 16th

Jean-Michel Basquiat was born on December 22, 1960, in Brooklyn, New York. He first attracted attention for his graffiti under the name “SAMO” in New York City. He sold sweatshirts and postcards featuring his artwork on the streets before his painting career took off. He collaborated with Andy Warholin the mid-1980s, which resulted in a show of their work. Basquiat died on August 12, 1988, in New York City.

Early Years

Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in Brooklyn, New York, on December 22, 1960. With a Haitian-American father and a Puerto Rican mother, Basquiat’s diverse cultural heritage was one of his many sources of inspiration.

A self-taught artist, Basquiat began drawing at an early age on sheets of paper his father, an accountant, brought home from the office. As he delved deeper into his creative side, his mother strongly encouraged to pursue artistic talents.

Basquiat first attracted attention for his graffiti in New York City in the late 1970s, under the name “SAMO.” Working with a close friend, he tagged subway trains and Manhattan buildings with cryptic aphorisms.

In 1977, Basquiat quit high school a year before he was slated to graduate. To make ends meet, he sold sweatshirts and postcards featuring his artwork on the streets of his native New York.

Commercial Success

Three years of struggle gave way to fame in 1980, when his work was featured in a group show. His work and style received critical acclaim for the fusion of words, symbols, stick figures, and animals. Soon, his paintings came to be adored by an art loving public that had no problem paying as much as $50,000 for a Basquiat original.

His rise coincided with the emergence of a new art movement, Neo-Expressionism, ushering in a wave of new, young and experimental artists that included Julian Schnabel and Susan Rothenberg.

In the mid 1980s, Basquiat collaborated with famed pop artist Andy Warhol, which resulted in a show of their work that featured a series of corporate logos and cartoon characters.

On his own, Basquiat continued to exhibit around the country and the world. In 1986, he traveled to Africa for a show in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. That same year, the 25-year-old exhibited nearly 60 paintings at the Kestner-Gesellschaft Gallery in Hanover, Germany—becoming the youngest artist to ever showcase his work there.

Personal Problems

As his popularity soared, so did Basquiat’s personal problems. By the mid-1980s, friends became increasingly concerned by his excessive drug use. He became paranoid and isolated himself from the world around him for long strethes. Desperate to kick a heroin addiction, he left New York for Hawaii in 1988, returning a few months later and claiming to be sober.

Sadly, he wasn’t. Basquiat died of a drug overdose on August 12, 1988, in New York City. He was 27 years old. Although his art career was brief, Jean-Michel Basquiat has been credited with bringing the African-American and Latino experience in the elite art world.



Understanding Afro-Puerto Rican and Other Afro-Latin@ Culture

Happy birthday, Sylvia del Villard!

Sylvia del Villard (February 28, 1928-February 28, 1990), was an actress, dancer, choreographer and Afro-Puerto Rican activist.

Del Villard was born in Santurce, a section of San Juan, Puerto Rico. As a young child, Del Villard would entertain her parents, Agustin and Marcoline Del Villard, with her dances. Her family considered her very talented and she was also a good student at school. She received her primary and secondary education in Santurce and when she graduated from high school the government of Puerto Rico awarded her with a scholarship to attend college.

Del Villard studied Sociology and Anthropology at Fisk University in Tennessee. However, Del Villard had to deal with the anti-black discrimination which was rampant in the southern regions of the United States at that time. She returned to Puerto Rico and enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico where she earned her degree.

Upon graduating, Del Villard traveled to New York City and enrolled in the City College of New York. It was during this period that she was to develop a passion and love for Africa. She joined the song and ballet group called the “Africa House”. She was also able to trace her African roots to the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Del Villard took dance and voice lessons with Leo Braun at the Metropolitan Opera.

Among the theater productions in which Del Villard has participated in Puerto Rico and abroad are: La Muerte (Death), La Tempestad (The Storm) and Let My People Go. She danced as a bailarina in the following American productions: Valley Without EchoWitches of SalemThe BoyfriendThe Crucible and Kwamina. In Puerto Rico she joined the Afro-Boricua Ballet. With the ballet she participated in the following Afro-Puerto Rican productions, Palesiana y Aquelarre and Palesianisima.

In 1968, she founded the Afro-Boricua El Coqui Theater, which was recognized by the Panamerican Association of the New World Festival as the most important authority of Black Puerto Rican culture. The Theater group were given a contract which permitted them to present their act in other countries and in various universities in the United States.

Del Villard’s favorite poet was Luis Palés Matos. In 1970, she established a theater/school in San Juan and named it after him. However, it wasn’t long before she closed the theater because of the continuous complaints she received from her neighbors. Although many, including herself, felt the complaints were politically motivated and marked the beginning of a voluntary exile that eventually brought her to Hollywood, California.

She moved back to New York where she founded a new theater group which she named Sininke. She made many presentations in the Museum of Natural History in that city. In 1981, she became the first and only director of the office of the Afro-Puerto Rican affairs of the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture. She was known to be an outspoken activist who fought for the equal rights of the Black Puerto Rican artist.

In 1989 in California, Del Villard was diagnosed with lung cancer and returned to the island to receive treatment for her condition. Sylvia del Villard died on February 28, 1990 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In 1993, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico produced a musical with the participation of many noted artists titled Ocho Puertas: Un Especial para la historia (Eight Doors: A Historical Special), which paid tribute to Del Villard among other artists. In the East Village of New York City, there is the Sylvia Del Villard Program of the Roberto Clemente Center, a Spanish day treatment program named after her. In Chicago, there is a Sylvia Del Villard Hall at the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center.