February 11, 2014—Two campus organizations came together during Black history month to celebrate Afro-Latinas and their stories on campus by hosting Negra! A Night of Afro-Latina Performance. Umoja and Latin American Network are two great organizations that uplift communities of color on campus and coming together for this event represented an ever growing bond between the African American and Latino community at UT Austin. Negra was a night like no other. There were interactive performances, visual artists, performers, singers and Texas Latin Dance workshop. Each and every performer or speaker shared a piece of their experience as an Afro-Latina or an ally.
The biggest surprise of the night was the impromptu dance party at the end. After a wonderful workshop led by Texas Latin Dance representatives, the audience took over the floor and danced for thirty minutes after the show ended. Negra! was not only fun but it shed light on the diversity within the Black community. People were coming together to celebrate, learn and support Afro-Latina stories. I hope that Latin America Network and Umoja continue this program next semester and for many years to come. I feel like it can be a tool to ignite unity between Black and Brown communities.
The Line Up!
Irma Garcia-Experience Sharing
Temptese Wallace-Visual Art Presentation
Jasmine Gramhn-Experience Sharing
Rebecca Avila -Performance
Rachel Lee – Experience Sharing
Andrea Dos Santos-Theatre Performance
Ishia Adams – Poetry Performance
Texas Latin Dance workshop
I was extremely excited that this event finally happened because it was something I have been thinking about since 2010. With the help, assistance and guidance of wonderful leaders like Rocio Villalobos, Omaris Zamora, Asia Howard of Umoja and Ana Hernandez of Latin American Network, we were able come up with an event that would appeal to UT Austin’s students in a great way! I am really thankful to Ana for being so willing to take this project on and for Asia who connected Latin American Network to the Black community and to students who identified as both Black and Latino. There is truly strength in working together.