Great interview w/ author and educator Marilisa Jiménez García about her book “Side By Side” which examines Pura Belpre, Puerto Rican historians such as Arturo Schomburg, US empire, and the beginnings of books and education for children in the US. This is a greta book for ethnic studies students in high school and college. And my artwork is on the cover 🙂 Big shout out to Marilisa for including it.
The way I first heard about Arturo Schomburg was from living in NYC. And I was 26/27 when I first moved to NYC. One of the reasons I think ethnic studies is so important in all schools at all levels is that both white and children of color are getting a fraction of their history. Imagine how many people still don’t know about him, the center, or his work. This brother was Afro-Latino. What does that mean? He was born in Puerto Rico, spoke spanish but was Black. Why? Because Africans were stolen from the continent and dragged to work in slavery in the US and caribbean and South America. Arturo was a journalist and a scholar who collected articles, papers, and books about who Blacks and Afro-Latinos are. He collected so much of it that it became the basis for a library in Harlem where countless people have gone to research and go back to find out who we are. One of the reasons why he searched for our history is because a teacher told him that he and his people had no history. And if you look out most forms of media today that depict or retell history-it is like they’re saying the same thing. One day we’ll see a narrative film about him.
I appreciate Rosa. I appreciate her commentary because whether its a political, hip hop, or cultural issue and she’s speaking…I want to hear what she has to say. She’s sharp, on point, and is proud of who she is. I know being proud to be Black and Latinx confusing some people still, but the fact that she claims both in her identity signifies a tiny part of a much larger changing tide. If you’re not familiar with this scholar/activist look her up. She ran for vice president with Cynthia McKinney in 2008 as a Green Party representative. She has written many articles as a journalist and I love that she loves hip hop and will challenge it. Respect for working on police brutality with the Malcolm X Grass Roots Movement as well.