Professor Simon Akindes, Latinos Unidos and the Black Student Union collaborate for the 2nd Annual Afro-Latino Night
On Sept. 27 at 5 p.m., Professor Simon Akindes from the Political Sciences department led a discussion about Afro Latinos aptly named “Afro-Latino Night.” The event was hosted by members from both the Latinos Unidos and the Black Student Union with the intent of educating students on Afro-Latinos, people that have both African and Latino heritages.
Professor Akindes began by saying that there are Afro-Latinos and African-Americans that try to distance themselves from their African roots and identify with their other cultural background. Professor Akindes went on to discuss Africa’s rich history, giving attention to the linguistic and ethnic diversity.
According to Professor Akindes, Afro-Latinos are the result of the transport of millions of enslaved persons from Africa to Latin America and the two groups of people producing children with each other. The cultures also came together as a result of this, with one example being that African drumming techniques have found their way into the music of the Dominican Republic, resulting in something new and different.
Afro Latino culture and music
After giving some background knowledge about Afro-Latinos, Professor Akindes showed the group a music video that captures the struggle of living as an Afro-Latino. The song was entitled “A la Mina No Me Voy,” which means “I Won’t Go to the Mine” in English. There is no known author of the song because it was a folk song that was passed down orally.
The song described the life of a person that does not want to continue working as a slave and go to the mines. This both depicted the struggle that Afro-Latinos had to overcome in their lives as well as the determination they had to not give in to their oppressors.
UW-Parkside offers many opportunities to expand students’ cultural knowledge. Afro-Latinos Night is an important event at UW-Parkside for its cultural significance and its ability to bring knowledge to the community.