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👨🏻🙋🏽👱🏾👩🏾👧🏻 The Latinx Collective - Issue #28
THIS WEEK'S SIX:
Beautiful photography and story by Walter Thompson-Hernández (who you read about last week) about the memory and complicated identity of descendants of African-Americans who migrated to the Dominican Republic in the 1800s. This was when President Jean-Pierre Boyer (one of the leaders of the Haitian Revolution) used land and resources to lure black Americans from the U.S., many who were freed slaves, to the island that he and his compatriots had just overtaken.
Ms. Wilmore and many of the descendants of the 1824 wave of African-Americans, have a complicated definition of their Dominican identity. While they were born in Samaná, and in many ways feel Dominican, they acknowledge their roots in African-American history and have yearned to connect with distant relatives in the United States.
This is an ~18 min episode about the rise of actor Raúl Castillo. Castillo has appeared on the Netflix series “Atypical” (I love that show), landed a spot on Starz show “Vida” (I really, really love that show) and most recently played one of the leads in the breakout film “We the Animals.” Host María Hinojosa sits down with Castillo to discuss how he went from bassist in a punk band in Texas to a playwright in Boston to a celebrated actor in New York City. Castillo shares some stories about growing up: he's the son of Mexican immigrants & grew up in McAllen, Texas (its residents are 90% Mexican-American).
This is a 4 minute video story celebrating Carlos Contreras, NASCAR’s first Mexican-born driver to race full-time in any of NASCAR’s National Series. He comes from a family of drivers, including his grandfather, father and even his older brother (who was one of the top drivers in Mexico). Carlos won 8 championships in Mexico before coming to the U.S. to compete. Contreras has been credited for setting the stage for another Latino trailblazer in NASCAR: Daniel Suarez.
Written by Boston Globe writer Marcela García, I think this piece tells a really incredible story of a bond between 2 women with different circumstances despite other similarities (like age, language or immigrant status) and the impact of that. Rosa Yanes is a janitor who cleans the floors of the high-rise the Boston Globe occupies in downtown Boston. Rosa's special immigration designation (called TPS or Temporary Protected Status) allows Salvadorans and immigrants from a few other countries ravaged by natural disaster or civil strife to live and work legally here for humanitarian reasons. Rosa is one of roughly 6,000 Salvadorans in Massachusetts with such protected status. Boston's state economy would take a $400 million hit every year if these Salvadoran workers were forced to leave. It's funny too!
As two Latina immigrants of the same age, Rosa and I quickly bonded over the experience of being foreign-born in Boston. We talk about the best grocery stores to find Mexican or Salvadorian specialties. We talk about the food that we miss, the music we grew up on, even old boyfriends. She marvels at the fact that I get away with not cooking dinner for my husband every night. “¡Ay! ¡Usted sí es fresca!” — You’re so cheeky! — she tells me with equal parts fake contempt and delight.
The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) launched a new fund in November to underwrite dedicated exhibitions and programs at the museum around work by Latinx and Latin American artists. It's a natural fit for an institution in Miami, where the local population is 70% Latino and many Latin American expats have chosen to live. The effort follows the launch of two other successful affiliate groups at the museum: one dedicated to acquisitions of work by African American artists & another dedicated to female artists.
Thank you for reading this week’s issue of The Latinx Collective. If you find this work valuable, please feel free to forward it to others. They can sign up on the website and join you in celebrating the every day contributions the Latinx community is making. If you want to share this issue (or any past issue), you can find all the links in the archive. You can also find us on Twitter @emrosario or @latinxcollectiv. Gracias! 💖