The Afrolatin@ Theatre Series:Actress, Writer, and Theatre Mogul Florinda Bryant

Addressing the call to action in the article “Why We Need Afrolatin@ Theatre,” this series highlights many outstanding Afrolatin@ theatre artists around the United States who diligently offer the world their art. This first installment profiles actress, writer, and Salvage Vanguard Theater’s Managing Director Florinda Bryant.

  Florinda Bryant. Photo courtesy of Florinda Bryant.

I met the vibrant Florinda Bryant in May of 2015 when she was performing in a staged reading of my play The Stories of Us. I knew that I wanted to continue working with her the moment she took a line that I had no intention of being humorous and made the audience laugh. There is something about certain people who have a spark and Bryant has it. After the performance, I got the chance to speak with her and was deeply inspired by her passion for theatre and telling Black and Brown stories. Continue reading


Spotlight of the Month: Black Women Latino Men on Instagram


It wasn’t to long ago that I stumbled upon Black Women Latino Men Connection on Instagram.  I just knew I had to feature the page! Founded by Bianca, the space boasts over 13,000 followers and counting.  What I enjoy about BWLM is the beautiful couples featured on the blog.  Black Women-Latino Men couples are nothing new, but the representation via the media are few and far in between.  Seeing the many BWLM couples reminds me of the wonderful bonds between Black, Brown and Afrolatino communities that need to be shared.  Check out what Bianca has to say about why she started the page, the responses and challenges of intercultural dating. Continue reading

Meeting Afrolatina Writer Icess Fernandez Rojas


Photo Credit: Icess Fernandez Rojas

A few weeks ago, I got the chance to sit down with one of my favorite writers and pick her brain.  I’ve been following Icess Fernandez Rojas for a few years via her blog, retweeting her twitter jewels for quite someone time. Icess is a fierce Afrolatina whose journalistic work has been featured in the Guardian and The Huffington Post Latino Voices and All  Digitocracy. When I found that she was in my city, I had to set up a meeting.  To my surprise, she agreed to spend a portion of her Saturday with me chatting about her career. Continue reading

Why I Cried While Watching Celia


via Wikimedia

Celia will always hold a special place in my heart.  She was one of the first visions of Blackness and Latinidad that I had ever seen.  I only appreciated her greatness in college.  Discovering her “La Negra Tiene Tumbao” during my student breaks in the Spanish and Portuguese building.  Celia was a beckon of hope for las negras all over the world.  So when Telemundo was all set to do a show loosely based off La Reyna’s life, I was a bit excited.

You all don’t know what Celia means to me.  As a Black woman Spanish speaker, seeing Mama Celia on a youtube video being the light that she is brought a happiness to my life like none other.

 I saw unapologetic Blackness take centerstage


Celia shows brown faces on a network that has historically excluded them.  There are three visibly Black characters in leading roles on this show.  Werquelo.

 It’s a show honoring a Black woman


Black women are fierce, astounding and astonishing.  #blackgirlsaremagic Celia is the queen of lifting up us Negras!

“Esa negrita no pasa de moda.”

For more information about the show, check it out here.

© Black Girl, Latin World



Film shines light on “Invisible Roots” of Afromexicans in Southern California



Mexico is finally woke ya’ll.

For the first time in history, Afromexicans are counted on the Mexican census.

Maybe now my lovely Mexican compadres can stop looking at Black people weird when we utter “Hola, como estas?” with less of an accent than expected.

One step at a time.

I had the opportunity to view a film called “Invisible Roots: Afromexicans in Southern California”.  What really drew me toward the film was the fact that it detailed the lives and experiences of Afromexicans IN the United States.  It’s great to see documentaries about the abuelas in Costa Chica or to learn about Yanga, but I believe that learning about this history in a United States context adds another layer to el mundo complicado de la diaspora.

The film “pays homage to the “third root” of Mexico” and it puts a face to the Afro-descendent experiences.  We follow the Herrera family in Pasadena, the Cisneros family in Santa Ana and a young college student at UC Santa Barbara.  As we dive into specific stories, specific families and specific culture, we find that we can all relate to trying to find a sense of belonging, family and future.

Another cool thing about this film is that it takes the viewer into the intimate celebrations.  One scene is at a neighborhood get-together where many of the attendees are interviewed about their stories.

Now, I have my qualms about coming into a personal space and conducting research.  It can be very hard to the community to trust you.  The people are there to enjoy themselves and be around their loved ones. However, with a little time talking to Tiffany Walton, the producer of this film, I found that she made sure to get the blessing of the people in charge of the party before invading their personal space.  She also made sure to have people who identified as Afromexican in the center of creating this piece.

Invisible Roots is making quite the splash.  Infact, it will be featured in the Pan African Film Festival this February!

Whether through film, social media or the theatre,  Afromexican stories need to be told. There are still people out there who question the existence of Black Latin@s.  I am so glad that the Invisible Roots team is doing the work to make sure that history is at the forefront.

Seen Elsewhere:Why We Need Afro-Latin@ Theatre


Photo via Black Girl, Latin World

When my play The Stories of Us was chosen for the Teatro Vivo’s annual Austin Latino Play Festival 2015, I was shocked to say the least. My play was Black—Blacker than Black. It called out African Americans, Latin@s, and Afro-Latin@s for the broken bonds between us, racism, and many things that we fail to say in normal conversations. I confided in a colleague about my nervousness about work being in that space and he told me, “It’s needed there.” Although I am not Afro-Latin@, I identify with Afro-Latin@ experiences. Being a Black American and speaking Spanish in Texas, I am often met with the question “You know Spanish?” or “How did you learn Spanish?” These questions reflect the lack of exposure to Afro-Latinidad and the hidden erasure of these stories. Why is my language ability even a question?  Continue reading

Seen Elsewhere: 4 Ways to Cope with Wanderlust


via Black Girl, Latin World

You did it! You went on an amazing study abroad trip to South Africa.  Or maybe you took a 2 week vacation in Spain.  Now, you’re back home reliving your experience through Instagram photos and conversations with your fellow travelers. It seems that your family and friends don’t understand and you are itching to see some place new and interesting.  However, you have to be responsible.  Either you haven’t racked up enough vacation days or you don’t have the funds at the moment. You can’t travel right now and it’s driving you loca!  Wanderlust is incurable.  You will always be tempted to spend your rent money on a plan ticket to India, but you don’t want to end up broke. Luckily, there are ways to cope.

Join a travel club

Did you spend a summer in Rio? Have an unforgettable vacay in China? You can connect with a travel club to cope with your wanderlust. Can’t locate one? is the perfect place to start your own. Nine times out of ten there are others in your city who share your passion for travel.

Embrace where you are

It has been said that we need to learn to be content with our present in order to be truly happy. It makes no sense to spend time wishing you could cuddle with your study abroad fling. Embrace your family, friends and current situation and use your experience to inspire their travel bug. Get them excited and on board to accompany you on your next escapade.

 Read more here.

© Black Girl, Latin World