The Space for Afrolatin@ Theatre and Art

It’s been a while.

I appreciate the constant comments and emails with ideas and reflections.

I’ve been working writing plays, plays and more plays.

That work has given me the revelation that I need to do something a bit different with Black Girl, Latin World. Continue reading


SPOTLIGHT Of the Month: Q &A with Artist/Photographer Hakeem Adewumi

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 Visual Artist/Photographer Hakeem Adewumi.  Check out this interview where Hakeem goes in on diaspora, art and why he pursues his passion!

PHOTO CREDIT: Hakeem Adewumi

PHOTO CREDIT: Hakeem Adewumi

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9 Negra Writers Who Inspire Me


This year, I put aside my pride and set out to be the best writer that I could possibly be.  That means sending my drafts out to magazines, writing plays, articles and whatever else I can.   It means asking for help, advice and critiques from those who are better than I am.  It means writing everyday even when the facet of inspiration drips slowly.  It means giving it my all.

I am moved by the women on this list.

Seeing these 9 advocates write, share, explore and be all types of fierce helped me come into my own as a writer.  These 9 Negra artists are a sampling of the many women who motivate me to pick up the pen everyday.  To each of you, whether I know you personally or not, this is my way of saying “Thank you”.

1. Ariana Brown



I met this talented Afro-Mexicana poet at a talent show during my sophomore year.  She took home a well-deserved first place.  Ariana’s talent for using words to describe place, space and her existence is (for lack of a better word) freakin’ awesome.  It would be a lie to say that I have not cried while listening to one of her poems.  She is the embodiment of Black girl/Brown girl power!  Ariana is not afraid to speak her truth, say her piece and stand firm in what she believes in.  That’s why audiences and writers like me feel her work so much.

2. Janel Martinez


When I discovered Janel Martinez’s amazing website dedicated to Afrolatinas, I was hooked.  Martinez has a way with words that grabs the reader’s attention.  I kept going back to her blog, Ain’t I Latina?    because I loved her heart-filled stories about taking pride in her identity.    Not to mention, she uplifts everyday Afrolatinas doing big things by telling their stories through interviews and features.  Martinez shows us that as a writer you are given your platform not just to showcase your talents but to empower others too.

3. Jacqueline Lawton


This list would not be accurate without one of the women who inspired me to pursue theatre when I was thinking of giving it up.  Lawton’s work and writing champions diversity because she includes characters from a variety of cultures.  But it isn’t just her writing that inspires me.  It is her dedication to being an advocate for diversity in the American Theatre sphere, a place that has been white-washed, that has kept me coming back to her work.  Lawton shows that African American women from Texas can and do have the power to tell incredible stories on stage.

4. Insurgent Prieta

Vocero Aug 2013


I came across Insurgient Prieta’s blog space a few months ago but it turns out we were a part of the NYC Latina Writers Facebook group months before.  What I enjoy about this woman’s work is the cutting-edge honesty.  Something I have struggled with in my own writing.  I also admire her use of two languages and her lack of apology or disclaimer for doing so.  Everytime I read an Insurgent Prieta post, I know I’m going to get something “Real” not sugar-coated and flour-baked.

5. Dr. Omi  Jones


This is another woman that I cannot complete this list without including.  Dr. Jones has taught me, guided me and given me advice on my work.  It is because of her African American Theatre History course that I continue to write.  Before that course, the only Black plays that I knew of were A Raisin in the Sun and maybe the Wiz.  This women introduced me to the work of Amiri Barraka and in addition to being a scholar and performer, Dr. Jones is a writer whose musings on African American Theatre are cited in just about every Theatre Ph.D’s thesis.

6. Shonda Rhimes


Shonda is epic.  Although she missed me on Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, Shonda has me all over How to Get Away With Murder.  No, she didn’t write it.  But she is a screenwriter whose work has provided places and spaces for marginalized folk (especially BLACK WOMEN) to live and thrive.  Shonda is my hero.

7. Tyece from Twenties Unscripted


PHOTO CREDIT: Twenties Unscripted

I don’t remember the moment I met Twenties Unscripted but we have been inseperable ever since.  Tyece has a knack for saying the things outloud that most keep in their heads in a creative way.  She is truly fearless.  I will never forget her riveting piece “The Thing About Women Like You” because I was snapping and saying “yasss” after every line. So many 20 something Black women frequent her blog because her writing resonates with them.  Tyece rants and roars and scripts blogs posts with a determination that is refreshing.

8. Alicia Annabel Santos


Santos is one of my favorite writers because she believes in the power of dreams.  Every post she releases, tweet she tweets or drop of wisdom she releases out in the world is a ray of sunshine for your darkest hour.  Writing should not only recount the happenings of the world but it should provide hope and healing.  That’s what Santos provides with her blog and by creating spaces for women of color to write with the NYC Latina Writers group.

9. J.A. Smith


Last but not least, is my 9th grade teacher whose work has grown in the past six years from one play to many.  J.A. Smith’s   knack for creating characters that remind us of family and friends is magical.  I’ve had the opportunity to read some of her works and each time I am in awe of her ability to create strong and relatable characters that make the audience laugh, cry and want for more.  She is not just a writer but a mentor, teacher and trailblazer whose footsteps I hope to follow one day.


Thank you ladies for writing your world as you see it.  For raising your voices loud and clear for the world to hear.  Escribelanegra (Write it, Black woman).  Who inspires you to write?  Share below.

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Latin American Network and Umoja host Negra! A Night of Afro-Latina Performance


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.


Maria Andrea Dos Santos performs an interactive Theatre piece.


Ishia Adams performs poetry.


Omaris Zamora performs poetry.


Tempeste Wallance talks about her artwork.


Irma Garcia shares her story!


Rebecca Avila performs a song.


Texas Latin dance merengue workshop!


Texas Latin Dance Leader Kassandra Cardenas teaches the crowd how to dance.


Our host Ashley Rivera (right) and Umoja member.

The Line Up!

Irma Garcia-Experience Sharing

Temptese Wallace-Visual Art Presentation

 Omaris Zamora-Poetry

 Jasmine Gramhn-Experience Sharing

 Rebecca Avila -Performance

Rachel Lee – Experience Sharing

 Andrea Dos Santos-Theatre Performance

Ishia Adams – Poetry Performance

Texas Latin Dance workshop



The organizers of the event: Jasmine G., Asia H. and Me.

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.