My Black History is Global

A poem by Mimi Machado-Luces My Black History is Global I am a proud Afro Latina with ancestors hailing from the most flavorful places on the planet, Trinidad, Venezuela, India and Africa… My Black History is Global, I have a soundtrack that is both western and worldly, an aficionado of Jazz y Son, Hip HopContinue reading “My Black History is Global”

The turban is not a style – it is a legacy, a heritage passed down from 17th century enslaved black women to today’s progressive woman wearing her culture with pride. A tignon (spelled and pronounced tiyon) is a headcovering. A piece of material tied about the lady’s head to form the turban (see video below) that looks like the West African Gele. It was worn by Creole women of African descent in Louisiana during the Spanish colonial period, and continuing to the present day. This beautiful headdress was the result of laws passed in 1786 under the administration of Governor Esteban Rodriguez Miró. The tignon laws, enforced “appropriate” public dress for black women in colonial society. In Louisiana, and around the world, women of African descent vied with white women in beauty, dress and manners. One of the most standout physical attributes that separated us from the white counterparts was our hair. We would adorn our hair with colorful jewelry, beads and other accents, demonstrating an enticing appearance which attracted the white male suitors. Many of us had become openly kept mistresses of white, French, and Spanish Creole men. This perceived threat to white women’s relationships with French and Spanish Creole men incurred the jealousy and anger of their wives, mothers, sisters, daughters and fiancées. With the looming threat to the social status of white women growing and the attention garnered as a result of the jewelry adorned hairstyles from women of African descent, action was required. To correct this, Governor Miró decreed that women of African descent, slave or free, should cover their hair and heads with a knotted headdress and refrain from “excessive attention to dress” to maintain class distinctions. Historian Virginia M. Gould notes that Miró hoped the law would control women “who had become too light skinned or who dressed too elegantly, or who, in reality, competed too freely with white women for status and thus threatened the social order.” Miró’s intent of having the tignon mark inferiority had the opposite effect, according to historian Carolyn Long[3]who noted: “Instead of being considered a badge of dishonor, the tignon…became a fashion statement. The bright reds, blues, and yellows of the scarves, and the imaginative wrapping techniques employed by their wearers, are said to have enhanced the beauty of the women of color.” The women who were targets of this decree were inventive and imaginative. They decorated tignons with their jewels and ribbons, and used the finest available materials to wrap their hair. In other words, “[t]hey effectively re-interpreted the law without technically breaking the law”[4]—and they continued to be pursued by men. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!

Maestro Cheo Feliciano!

It’s important to know who we are, from whom and from where we were formed… by telling the stories ourselves, we see an example of how to live, how to inspire and how to honor our ancestors, Aguanile, Mai, Mai… MimiTVA Posting from the DMV… Cheo Feliciano’s smooth distinctive voice was loved and revered by salsaContinue reading “Maestro Cheo Feliciano!”

LaVidaEnBlack History Month 

It’s important to know who we are, from whom and where we were formed… by telling the stories ourselves, we see an example of how to live, how to inspire and how to honor our ancestors, Aguanile, Mai, Mai… Posting from the DMV, February 1, 2016 MimiTVA commits to post about different Afro-Descendants throughout Black HistoryContinue reading “LaVidaEnBlack History Month “

The Baby Catchers, Las Parteras, Doulas, Midwives… “Aminata Diallos” of the Americas

#BlackHistoryIsGlobal Today’s La Vida En Black History Month features the Baby Catchers, Las Parteras, the doulas, the midwives.   These women keep our people alive… they do the work of nurturing our women through the single most important event of their lives: dando luz a un ser humano or bringing to light another human being. OnContinue reading “The Baby Catchers, Las Parteras, Doulas, Midwives… “Aminata Diallos” of the Americas”

El Maestro Rafael Cordero, La Vida En Black History Month #BlackHistoryIsGlobal

Todays La Vida En Black History Month Message comes from Borinken… or the Beautiful island of Puerto Rico…  One of the most renowned Puerto Ricans of African ancestry was Rafael Cordero (1790 – 1868), a freeman born in San Juan into a poor family, his father Lucas Cordero worked in the tobacco fields and his motherContinue reading “El Maestro Rafael Cordero, La Vida En Black History Month #BlackHistoryIsGlobal”

Yanga’s Successful Mexican Revolt… La Vida En Black History Month

La Vida En Black History Month… #BlackHistoryIsGlobal During the Spanish colonial period in Mexico the indigenous people enslaved by the Colonists was greatly diminished by disease. In order to replace their labor shortage, the Spanish brought in African slaves to Mexico to toil the sugar fields and work the underground mines. Worth much more than the indigenousContinue reading “Yanga’s Successful Mexican Revolt… La Vida En Black History Month”

El Negro Primero A La Vida En Black Black History Month Moment

In Venezuela, Simon Bolivar the great liberator of South America realized the vital role Black men played in the colonies quest for freedom from the Spanish Crown. One of Bolivar’s fiercest soldiers was El Negro Primero, Pedro Camejo. Born a slave, Camejo’s nickname was a testament to his bravery for Pedro was always the firstContinue reading “El Negro Primero A La Vida En Black Black History Month Moment”