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A Black Latina Reading List: Social distancing readings by or about Black Latinas

I attach certain books to specific moments of my life. I see these books as portals that remind me of the va y ven of my journey. How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accent reminds me of the pre-teen angst and desire to fit in that I felt having just arrived to the United States. I remember reading Assata: An Autobiography and being immediately radicalized in college. All of a sudden, I could name the injustices of my life as more than bad luck. And of course, I felt joyous when I encountered the The Afro-Latin@ Reader in graduate school when I finally saw myself truly reflected in academic work.


What books will trigger memories of this pandemic? Yes, of the anxiety of the unknown, of course, but also of the pleasure of participating in mutual aid projects and of finally listening to the universe's call for us to slow down.


If you, like me, are looking to come out of this with a little more knowledge, a little more empathy, and a little closer to justice then I encourage you to read widely and deeply. Black Latinas Know emerged out of a deep desire to assert the knowledge of our communities and I hope this reading list gives you a place to start.


For many of us, books are trusted companions. May they continue to keep us company whether we're at home or on the frontlines.


Books & Articles by the Black Latinas Know Collective

· Bárbara I. Abadía-Rexach - Musicalizando la raza. La racialización en Puerto Rico a través de la música

· Danielle Clealand - The Power of Race in Cuba: Racial Ideology and Black Consciousness During the Revolution

· Ariana Curtis – “Museums and the Everyday Woman

· Zaire Dinzey-Flores - Locked In, Locked Out: Gated Communities in a Puerto Rican City

· Yomaira Figueroa – "After the Hurricane: Afro-Latina Decolonial Feminisms and Destierro"

· Miriam Jiménez Román & Juan Flores - The AfroLatin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States

· Jessica Marie JohnsonWicked Flesh: Black Women, Intimacy, and Freedom in the Atlantic World (coming August 2020)

· Laura E. Gómez & Nancy López- Mapping "Race": Critical Approaches to Health Disparities Research

· Hilda Llorénz - Imaging The Great Puerto Rican Family: Framing Nation, Race, and Gender during the American Century

· April Mayes - The Mulatto Republic: Class, Race, and Dominican National Identity

· Maritza Quiñones - From Trigueñita to Afro-Puerto Rican: Intersections of the Racialized, Gendered, and Sexualized Body in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Mainland

· Shantee Rosado – “Policing Cardi B’s Blackness: A Critical Analysis of “Commonsense” Notions of Race”

· Jomaira Salas Pujols – Black Latinos Are Almost Invisible In The Census. We Can Fix That.”

· Melissa Valle – Burlesquing Blackness: Racial Significations in Carnivals and the Carnivalesque on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast”

· Omaris Zamora – Black Latina Girlhood Poetics of the Body: Church, Sexuality and Dispossession”


Other Academic Books & Articles


· Solsiree Del MoralNegotiating Empire: The Cultural Politics of Schools in Puerto Rico, 1898-1952

· Milagros Denis –"Deciphering the notion of a raceless nation: Racial harmony and discrimination in Puerto Rican Society."

· Lorgia García-Peña The Borders of Dominicanidad: Race, Nation, and Archives of Contradiction

· Tanya Kateri-Hernandez Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination

· Sandy Placido A Global Vision: Ana Livia Cordero and the Puerto Rican Liberation Struggle

· Alaí Reyes Santos – Our Caribbean Kin: Race and Nation in the Neoliberal Antilles

· Zaira Rivera Casellas Bajo la sombra del texto: La crítica y el silencio en el discurso racial en Puerto Rico


Fiction Reads

· Elizabeth Acevedo – The Poet X, With the Fire on High, & Clap When You Land

· Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro Good Hair

· Veronica Chambers – Mama’s Girl

· Naima Coster Halsey Street

· Yvonne Denis Capá Prieto

· Margarita Engle – Drum Dream Girl

· Amina Gautier – Now We Will Be Happy

· Aracelis Girmay – The Black Maria

· Sonia Manzano The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano

· Daniel José Older Shadowshaper

· Nelly Rosario – Song of the Water Saints

· Excilia Salaña In the Vortex of the Cyclone

· Mayra Santos Febres Nuestra Señora de La Noche

· Ibi Zoboi – Pride

Biographies & Memoirs

· Amanda Alcántara Chula

· Raquel Cepeda Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina

· Celia Cruz Celia: My Life: An Autobiography

· Jaquira Diaz Ordinary Girls

· Selenys Leyva & Marizol Leyva My Sister: How One Sibling's Transition Changed Us Both

We encourage you to support Black Latina-owned bookstores including Café Con Libros and The Lit Bar


Jomaira Salas Pujols

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