BLACK IN LATIN AMERICA premieres tonight on PBS at 8 p.m.

When we think of Latin America, we think of a sprawling quilt of Hispanic cultures sewn in Spain. What we know much less about is the huge African-American population that has been in the region since the Spanish first brought African slaves there. premiers

“Upward of 120 million people of African descent live in Latin America today,’’ says Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who, even though he is a scholar of African-American history, says he was staggered by the number when he first learned of it.

Entertainment Sports

First African American Polo Team Wins National Title

A polo team from Philadelphia made history in central Virginia on Sunday when they became the first all African-American team to win a national title.

The Cowtown-Work to Ride team took home the gold after beating out the crew from Baltimore in the National Interscholastic Championship at the Virginia Polo Center.


A New Generation of Multi-Cultural Students Celebrate Kwanzaa

With the holiday season in full swing, students from different backgrounds are preparing to celebrate the customs and traditions of their native cultures.

Unlike religious holidays such as Christmas and Hanukkah, Kwanzaa is an African celebration of family, community and culture.

Maulana Karenga, Africana Studies professor at California State University, founded the holiday 34 years ago. Kwanzaa was created to ignite a sense of unity among the African-American and worldwide African community.

News Politics

First Somali-American to hold public office in Minnesota

Minneapolis voters have elected the first Somali-American to hold public office in Minnesota, and likely the nation.

Hussein Samatar fled the civil war of his East African homeland nearly two decades ago, with basic survival as his only concern. Last night, the nonprofit leader won a seat on the Minneapolis school board.

News Politics

No African Americans elected to U.S. Senate

Despite record election achievements by African-Americans in the House, the United States Senate will not have an African-American in its ranks.

All three black Senate candidates, Kendrick Meek (D-FL), Alvin Greene (D-SC) and Mike Thurmond (D-GA) are projected to lose tonight. The only incumbent black senator, Roland Burris (D-IL), is retiring.


600,000 people expected at Philly’s African American festival

Activities kick off on Friday leading up to Sunday’s Odunde Festival, one of the country’s largest African-American festivals.

Over 600,000 people are expected to attend Sunday’s Odunde Festival – 12 blocks surrounding 23rd and South Streets, where there will be over 200 vendors in African arts and crafts and food and two live stages.

“We’re saying come, get a piece of Africa.”

Oshubumi Fernandez is CEO of Odunde Incorporated, which has put on the annual festival for the past 35 years. With its roots based in West African culture, Odunde — which means Happy New Year — celebrates the African Diaspora.

“Odunde is an African-American street festival. However, it’s for everyone, no matter what your ethnic background is, no matter what your income bracket is, everyone can come and enjoy Odunde.”


Duke to host symposium on the African American experience

A symposium exploring freedom politics and the African-American experience from the Jim Crow era through the present will be held at Duke University’s John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI) on Wednesday, April 14.


Africans vs African Americans

africans in america

Africa is not a country, and Africans generally do not live in trees or hunt game with spears. Nor do they all walk around in the nude among lions and zebras.

African immigrants to the United States say cartoonish caricatures and a Western media penchant for reporting on Africa’s disease, hunger and war — rather than the continent’s successes — trivialize their cultures. They complain they have trouble dispelling the stereotypes once they arrive in the States.