Radical media, politics and culture.

Autonomous African Communities in Latin America?

Autonomous African Communities in Latin America?

New York City, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday September 24, 2006

MXGM Unity Brunch
388 Atlantic Avenue 3rd flr
Brooklyn, New York 11217

A or C train to Hoyt [Hoyt-Schermerhorn]

What is the status of Latin Americas Quilombos and Palenques in the 21st century? What are their current political, cultural, and economic challenges? How can communities in the Diaspora work more effectively to achieve Pan-African and revolutionary unity?

A screening of "Quilombo Country" @ 11:30 and Unity Brunch @ 1 p.m. beginning with MXGM general updates and discussion with activists Jesus Chucho Garcia and Gilberto Leal.

"Quilombo Country," a documentary film shot in digital video, provides a portrait of rural communities in Brazil that were either founded by runaway slaves or began from abandoned plantations. This type of community is known as a quilombo, from an Angolan word that means "encampment." Contrary to Brazil's national mythology, Brazil was a brutal and deadly place for enslaved Africans. But they didn't submit willingly. Thousands escaped, while others led political and militant movements that forced white farmers to leave. As many as 2,000 quilombos exist today. "Quilombo Country" provides a glimpse into these communities, with extensive footage of ceremonies, dances and lifestyles, interwoven with discussions about their history and the issues most important to them currently.

Unity Brunch: Discussion with Guest Speakers

Working extensively in Venezuela's palenques, Jesus "Chucho" Garcia is the founder and director of the Afro-Venezuela Network (Fundacion Afroamerica), and a world expert on the impacts of globalization and militarism on Latin America.

Gilberto Leal is a geologist and founder of the Bahian NGO, NIGEROKAN, which works closely with numerous quilombo communities. Mr. Leal also works closely with the Palmares Cultural Foundation in Brasilia.

Nicole Lavonne Smith, who will be facilitating the discussion, has taught language arts, financial education, neighborhood development, urban design and capoeira from Brooklyn to Brasil. Her masters thesis is entitled "Brasil's Disenfranchised: Quilombos and Agrarian Reform Black."