Summer is officially upon us here in New York and, as expected, the festival dates just keep on coming. Next up on our radar is the annual Afro-Latino Festival, which takes place July 8-10 at various locations across Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Grounded in the reparative mission of the U.N.’s International Decade for People of African Descent, the festival brings together scholars, activists, musicians and other artists in a spirited celebration of the cultural identity of the nearly 200 million Latino people of African descent living in the Western Hemisphere.
The program kicks off at Harlem’s Schomburg Center, with a full day of roundtable discussions on Afro-Latino culture and identity, and a screening of the documentary Nana Dijo: Irresolute Radiography of Black Consciousness. Other Friday highlights include a downtown salsa extravaganza at S.O.B.’s, featuring performances from Tito Puente Jr. and well-loved Colombian band El Caribefunk.
Saturday and Sunday’s festivities are sure to be a looser affair, with festivities on both days centering on Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy Restoration Plaza. There’ll be plenty of local and global talent on display, including self-styled Dominican tropical punk sensation Maluca, Seattle-based funkeiro Sango and Afro-Panamanian group Los Rakas, who we featured in our recent program, “The Panama Beat.”
Adding to the feast of Latin and Caribbean food on offer, the organizers have arranged for a series of topical art installations and, of course, a no-nonsense dominos tournament.