Presentation Title

Afro-Latinos in the United States: Their Experience Narrated Through Slam Poetry

Presenter Information

Gicela Diaz MaravillaFollow

Faculty Mentor

LaVerne Seales

Start Date

23-11-2019 9:15 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 9:30 AM

Location

Markstein 107

Session

oral 1

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

humanities_letters

Abstract

According to data gathered from the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, in 2017, the United States population was composed of more than 3 million Afro-Latinos, of which 73% were native-born citizens. Within this generation, along with music, art, and social media, slam poetry is becoming more and more a preferred and popular form of expression. Elizabeth Acevedo (1988), who is a New York Times bestselling author, slam poet, and also a second-generation Afro-Dominican, has a strong message. Through her slam poetry, Acevedo echoes the same words, the same sentiments, the same rhythm, and the same experiences of her counterpart Afro-Latina poets who wrote from Latin America decades before her, but she does so through her personal experience as an Afro-Latina born and raised in the United States. Through her slam poetry, we can hear how her experience as an Afro-Latina woman is shaped not only by her Latin American heritage and culture but also by her upbringing in the United States, which she acknowledges is also inherently a part of who she is. Elizabeth Acevedo uses her personal story to declaim some of the experiences of many second-generation Afro-Latinos living in the United States. Through her poem “Afro-Latina,” the poet highlights many of the issues faced by second-generation Afro-Latinos, which stem from the merging yet separation of their two different cultures, which in turn shape their identities. By focusing on her American culture, where she physically grew up, and also on the forgotten history of where her ancestors came from, Acevedo successfully portrays the realities of her generation, specifically how Afro-Latinos have navigated and continue to navigate between two intertwining cultures which shape who they are today.

Keywords: Slam poetry, poetry, Afro-Latinos, Poetry, Literature, Latin America

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Nov 23rd, 9:15 AM Nov 23rd, 9:30 AM

Afro-Latinos in the United States: Their Experience Narrated Through Slam Poetry

Markstein 107

According to data gathered from the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, in 2017, the United States population was composed of more than 3 million Afro-Latinos, of which 73% were native-born citizens. Within this generation, along with music, art, and social media, slam poetry is becoming more and more a preferred and popular form of expression. Elizabeth Acevedo (1988), who is a New York Times bestselling author, slam poet, and also a second-generation Afro-Dominican, has a strong message. Through her slam poetry, Acevedo echoes the same words, the same sentiments, the same rhythm, and the same experiences of her counterpart Afro-Latina poets who wrote from Latin America decades before her, but she does so through her personal experience as an Afro-Latina born and raised in the United States. Through her slam poetry, we can hear how her experience as an Afro-Latina woman is shaped not only by her Latin American heritage and culture but also by her upbringing in the United States, which she acknowledges is also inherently a part of who she is. Elizabeth Acevedo uses her personal story to declaim some of the experiences of many second-generation Afro-Latinos living in the United States. Through her poem “Afro-Latina,” the poet highlights many of the issues faced by second-generation Afro-Latinos, which stem from the merging yet separation of their two different cultures, which in turn shape their identities. By focusing on her American culture, where she physically grew up, and also on the forgotten history of where her ancestors came from, Acevedo successfully portrays the realities of her generation, specifically how Afro-Latinos have navigated and continue to navigate between two intertwining cultures which shape who they are today.

Keywords: Slam poetry, poetry, Afro-Latinos, Poetry, Literature, Latin America