Latin America Essay

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My main focus is the following: to exchange experiences regarding the struggle and visibility of the contributions of Africans and their descendants in the formation of Latin American nationalities and cultures, to highlight that historical legacy and its actual presence, to obtain a foundation that will allow us to reclaim our rights at all levels of society, and to attempt to eliminate the history and social omission perpetrated by the eurocentric political and cultural influences inherited from colonization. It is very important that we recognize how this struggle began long ago, when we did not call ourselves “Negroes,” “African-Americans,” or “Afro-descendants,” as has been used more recently, but as “Cubans,” “Mexicans,” “Colombians,” “Brazilians,” identified, rather, as citizens of our respective countries, and as such, rightfully evidenced in our constitutions. Beautiful words, which, in practice, have been mostly lies not exempt from some exceptions. We should keep in mind that what is now considered an indisputable achievement of this campaign is the result of the great struggle of black Colombians, of the Afro-Colombians for their rights to fight against obscurity and against the silenced relevance of the Afro-Colombian presence in history and society. Similarly, we cannot overlook that Colombia’s work, rather, its struggle, has been come to fruition jointly with similar social movements of our Afro-descendant brothers present in all our American countries, with a large visibility in some more than others. In the case of Colombia, that effort contains a profound and paradigmatic lesson because the country has the largest population of Afro-descendant men and women who speak Castilian, in addition to a beautiful, brave and lengthy social and political struggle for their rights. The progress of Colombia’s Afro-descendants struggle, their

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