Afro Latinx Historical Figures

SPOTLIGHT ON

Afro-Latinx Historical Figures

Vicente Ramon Guerrero

VICENTE RAMON GUERRERO

Mexico

Quick Fact: Guerrero’s rise to power began with his job as an “arriero” – a mule driver that transports goods, as he became more familiar with the the increasing independence movement in Mexico.

Historical Impact: Guerrero led Mexican soldiers to victory in the Mexican Revolutionary War, gaining Mexico its independence from Spain.

Maria Grajales Coello

MARIA GRAJALES COELLO

Cuba

Quick Fact: Coello and her husband incorporated the art of self-defense in raising their children, prompting two of her sons to eventually become generals in Cuba’s Liberation Army.

Historical Impact: Coello symbolizes the women’s struggle and the fight for Cuban freedom from slavery.

 

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Clara Ledesma

CLARA LEDESMA

Dominican Republic

Quick Fact: Ledesma was one of the first women to enroll in the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes (National School of Fine Arts) and graduated in 1948.

Historical Impact: Ledesma displayed the beauty of Native and Afro-Latino life in her artwork, a concept that was not popular or existential in because of the Eurocentric views of the post-World War II era.

Piri Thomas

PIRI THOMAS

Puerto Rico & Cuba

Quick Fact: Thomas is known for being a poet and a best-selling author for his book Down These Mean Streets (1967).

Historical Impact: Thomas dedicated his time after prison to the Youth Development Incorporated, an organization that helped children understand that people can change for the better.

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Jean Michel Basquiat

JEAN MICHEL BASQUIAT

Puerto Rico

Quick Fact: Basquiat’s artwork addressed personal angst in his self-portraits, as he was an abstract expressionist painter.

Historical Impact: Basquiat utilized his art to highlight motifs from African, Aztec, Hispanic, and Caribbean cultures, as well as African American historical figures.

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Thomas Vincent Ramos

THOMAS VINCENT RAMOS

Honduras

Quick Fact: After moving to Honduras, Ramos focused his efforts on teaching and being a visionary leader.

Historical Impact: Ramos was leader and spokesman of the Garifuna people, requesting and successfully establishing a public and bank holiday to observe the Garifuna arrival in Belize, called Garifuna Settlement Day.

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Mamá Tingó

FLORINDA MUÑOZ SORIANO (MAMÁ TINGÓ)

Dominican Republic

Quick Fact: Mama Tingó worked on her own farm for years with her husband, until a landholder reclaimed her land, sparking her fight for farmworkers.

Historical Impact: Tingó fought for the rights of farmworkers, winning the rights of more than 300 families to own their own land.

 

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María Elena Moyano

MARÍA ELENA MOYANO

Peru

Quick Fact: Moyano was assassinated by the Maoist Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) terrorist group in 1992, resulting in over 300,000 people in attendance at her funeral.

Historical Impact: Moyano served as a community organizer, feminist, and Afro-Peruvian activist who publicly entered open conflict with a terrorist group in order to achieve her dream of peace.