Spotlight of the Month: Musician X’ene Sky



Every month, Black Girl, Latin World likes to showcase beautiful Black artists that make us think and feel.   This month’s addition to the Spotlight of the Month is none other than the fabulous musician, writer and activist X’ene Sky.  Check out what she has to say about her musical journey, Afro-Mexican roots and why art is important.

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3 Lessons the Austin Latino New Play Festival Process Taught Me

The Austin Latino New Play Festival came and went.  On May 16th, I was wisked away to Austin, Texas  to see the brilliant work of the actors and creative team that took my play The Stories of Us and mounted it on stage.   I was nervous, excited and overwhelmed but all of that went away when I saw mentors, friends and classmates (that I had not seen since moving from Austin almost a year ago) there to support me.  To have my family’s support was paramount.  Although they were shocked at the play’s use of profanity (even though I warned them before hand), they enjoyed my work.

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Thank you, Professor Stephen Gerald

Stephen Gerald walking around us as we acted a class party scene in 2009.

Stephen Gerald walking around us as we acted out a class party scene in 2009.

Professor Gerald, one of my dearest mentors, passed away last week.  I was broken up when I heard the news.  I had been knowing him for six years and everytime I needed encouragement or advice he was there to help. Gerald had a Morgan Freeman-like voice and a sly smile. His skin was a deep brown and his heart was always warm. I remember spending many meetings in his office, which was a collage of his expereinces and inspirations, listening to him answer my countless questions with sincere honesty. Continue reading

A Guest Post on Las Morenas de España: Anxiously Awaiting My Move To Spain

I got the chance to write for Las Morenas de Espana.  Check it out below.

Anxiously Awaiting My Move To Spain

Ever since the fifth grade, I have longed to visit Spain. Maybe it was my long time crush on Enrique Iglesias or the project that I did on Spanish culture in the sixth grade. Whatever it was, Spain was always on my list of places to experience. When I finally got my chance to travel out of the country during my junior year of college, I thought that spending six weeks in Spain would be a no-brainer but I choose Brazil because of the opportunity to work with and learn about Afro-Brazilian culture. It proved to be a grand experience that lit my travel fire.

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The Play I Had to Write: The Stories of Us


These lovely actors helped me with the first reading of Untitled Stories, the original The Stories of Us script.

This is a journey that has been a long time coming.  The Stories of Us is the play that I have been writing for six years but I never knew that I was writing it.

All of the stories share some Afro-Latin@, African American, Choco-taco realness that has been boiling up inside of me and situating itself around me ever since I was 13.
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The Austin Latino New Play Festival May 14 – 16, 2015

The announcement on the Teatro Vivo website.

Teatro Vivo

Teatro Vivo Presents Fifth Annual Austin Latino New Play Festival

at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center May 14-16, 2015

Playwrights Andrew Valdez, Adriana Garcia, and Jelisa Jay Robinson

Create Fresh Takes on the Latino Experience.

Teatro Vivo presents the fifth annual Austin Latino New Play Festival (ALNPF) in collaboration with ScriptWorks May 14-16, 8 p.m. at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center. The festival includes three evenings of staged readings of new Latino plays with nightly general admission that is “pay what you wish.” A $40 festival pass is available for those attending all three evenings, and reserved seats may be purchased for $15 each evening. Visit for information.


ALNPF is a theater event that brings playwrights and audience members together in conversation surrounding three new workshop productions that bring insight into the Latino experience. After each reading, the playwright and director participate…

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My play The Stories of Us at the Austin Latino New Play Festival



A few months ago, I got the news of my life.  The Austin Latino New Play Festival called and they wanted to do a staged reading of my play The Stories of Us .  This piece has come a long way since a small workshop in 2013.  But more on the process later.  If you are in the Austin-area, check out the festival.  My play is May 16th at 8pm.

The Stories of Us is a collection of stories that dig deep into the intercultural conflict between African Americans and Latinos, African diaspora identity, and Afrolatinidad. This scrapbook of experiences, histories, and feelings takes its audience through African roots in Mexico, the time you told your brother you were dating a “black girl,” and that moment you were proud of your heritage, combining to reveal people of color trying to navigate each other’s worlds and build one together.

May 14-16 3 nights, 3 great new Latino plays Austin Latino New Play Festival with ScriptWorks at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center Get your tixs on line –


Teaching My African American Brothers Spanish


“I think music is a good way to learn Spanish,” he said after he completed a lesson on Jeremih and Pitbull’s “Don’t Tell Em’/No le diga”. My youngest brother hit the nail on the head with that one. Music can take anyone’s language learning from 10 to 100 real quick. It was only after listening to “No Tengo Dinero” by Los Kumbia Kings that I understood the “yo” form of “tener”. Music and media are great ways to make a language come alive.

My younger brothers and my mom sit at the dining room table that doubles as a classroom desk and we learn together. We discuss colors, numbers, phrases and everyday terms. Terms that will not only help them to chat with neighbors down the street but learn about a new culture. I love to teach the language but it is our talks about Afro-Latinidad that inspire me the most.

The dominant narrative on Blackness may be African American but this is my little way to counter it. For one class project, I had my family research and present Latinegr@ figures to the class. My mother showed us singer Maxwell. One of my brothers presented actor Laz Alonso. I was stoked that they were recognizing that the Black diaspora is diverse.

When I was a teenager in Spanish class, I learned nothing of Latinegr@ histories. That is why my goal is for them to see how learning Spanish relates to them. In addition to talking about Latinegr@s, we talk about African Americans who travel. We recite phrases like “Yo soy inteligente” because they are Black excellence. Spanish class is a memory for the laughs, jokes and moments we share. But most importantly, it is something they can take with them. A skill that will lead to jobs in the future and cross-cultural connections.

A skill that will become a part of their being and experience.

A moment that we will cherish forever.

This was originally published on the LatiNegr@s Project.