Miriam Jiménez Román
I’ve spent most of my life trying to reconcile the many spaces I inhabit as a Black Puerto Rican woman. Raised in the projects in East Harlem during the 1960s, I received all of my formal education in public schools and universities (mostly at Binghamton University) at a time when race and ethnic studies was being imagined and demanded. I owe my less formal but likely strongest intellectual, professional and personal development to the African diasporic community of scholars and activists whose work continues to inspire me. I taught my first course on the African presence in the Americas in 1991 while employed as exhibitions coordinator at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and where I subsequently served as assistant director of the Scholars in Residence program. Questioning accepted wisdom and pushing established boundaries between theory and practice, scholarship and activism, Latinidad and Blackness has permitted me to contribute to a broader acknowledgement of the Black Latin@ experience, most notably through the advocacy work of the AfroLatin@ Forum (2005) and the publication of The AfroLatin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States (2010). I am also a co-editor of the AfroLatin@ Diasporas book series at Palgrave.