This week I spoke to Gloriann Sacha Antonetty about Racial Justice… A topic that impacts Public Health in so many ways. This was one conversation I’d been wanting to do for so long. One of the interesting pieces of this conversation was around Images of Oppression in all, but especially Puerto Rican history books, and how the education system is in many ways biased – because it doesn’t provide stories that give a holistic picture of our African descendants that were brought to Puerto Rico and enslaved.
We spoke about the fact that this imagery matters because no child would want to associate with images of slaves and people who were chained. So she spoke about the need to highlight those Afro-Puertoricans that made great contributions in history and to the Puerto Rican community. Giving children a perspective that instead celebrates the accomplishments of our African ancestors is so important.
We also spoke about experiences of discrimination on the island. From experiences in the workplace, to simply visiting a pharmacy, and the salaries of black women – it’s clear that racism does exist everywhere and in Puerto Rico it is not acknowledged enough. Gloriann noted that it is important to value our African descendants and heritage, and I absolutely agree with her.
The interview highlighted also the need for solidarity and taking part in conversations with others on how to gain the tools to fight racism both externally and internally. I felt so glad to hear her suggestions on how to address racist sometimes subtle aggressions in your day to day.
And finally I spoke to her about what she’s most passionate about. We spoke about her youth, and constant search for magazines with women that looked like her and her family. The way her father would go everywhere he could to find her a copy of Essence. And in speaking to Gloriann about her passion, her dream of creating a magazine that represents afro-carribean women, I realized that her vision will change the lives of so many women and little girls. I’m excited to keep following her work and I hope you’ll pick up that copy of the first magazine here: www.revistaetnica.com.
Although much needs to be done, I truly believe Gloriann’s children, all children, will see a world that values and celebrates Black women/men and the impact of Afro-Caribbean people.
NOTE: I started the Episode with a Music recommendation from Gloriann – IFE
A powerfully progressive synthesis of electronic sound and Afro-Caribbean language, ÌFÉ is a bold new musical project from Puerto Rico based African American drummer/producer/singer Otura Mun. Mun, an Ifá priest or Babalawo in the Yoruba religion, has been a vanguard artist in the Puerto Rican music scene since his arrival there in the late 1990’s, producing critically acclaimed albums and songs for many of the islands most important musical voices. Founder and Director: Otura Mun. Musicians: Beto Torrens, Anthony Sierra, Yarimir Cabán
This is the Cover of the Book mentioned in the interview for the classroom, which is designed to address Racism and revise the way we speak of our African identity.