New Collective Seeks to Affirm the Experiences of Black Latinas Within Latino Studies

Apr 30, 2019
4:50 PM

Black Latinas Know Collective (Image via Facebook)

“WE ARE… a collective of Black Latina scholars, producers of innovative and important intellectual contributions to the intersectional study of race within Latinidad and Blackness,” is the opening line in a statement just released by the newly-announced Black Latinas Know Collective. A group formed by some of the most outspoken names in academia, they seek to center the knowledge of Black Latinas within the field of Latino/a/x studies, particularly in the face of erasure—both as researchers and as those with experiences that have been key to the field. They made the announcement via and through various social media pages.

Some members include Vanessa K. Valdés, PhD, whose seminal work has shed light on the life of Arturo Schomburg; April Mayes, PhD, who focuses on the Dominican Republic and Haiti; and Bárbara Idalissee Abadía-Rexach, PhD, known for her work on blackness in Puerto Rico.

“Scholarship on Latinas/os/xs and race is increasingly highlighting the role that race plays in producing unequal conditions,” part of their website statement says. “Yet, time and again, neither Black Latinas or our knowledge production are embraced by scholars who benefit from our work and our experiences.”

The formation of the group comes at a time when many have been critical about the lack of black folks in Latino spaces, not only in academia but also in poetry, arts, and music.

Since the group announced their existence, some have shown their support (and excitement!) on Twitter:

“We stand together to name Black Latina women as central to the popular and formal scholarship on race within Latinidad,” says the group on their website.

Read the full statement here.


Amanda Alcántara is the Digital Media Editor at Futuro Media. She tweets from @YoSoy_Amanda.