I am raising money for my documentary series 'Negro' about Latino identity. Topics covered will be how Latinos personally identify with both American and Latinos in their respective countries juxtaposed to give a well rounded point of view, media portrayals, misconceptions about the ethnicity, racism and colorism among Latinos and the diasporas in Latin America, particularly the African Diaspora.
After some donations from family and friends and majorly depleting my own personal savings, I traveled to the Dominican Republic and Colombia for a 3 week trip. I had 2 interviews lined up and ended up with over 32 by trip's end. I have the capacity to do this because I have a vested interest in telling these narratives as a first generation American of Panamanian parents, these stories are my life's experiences.
Latinos are not a monolith. There is no one look or concept of race for us. We are as diverse as the colors of the rainbow and our experiences and identities reflect that. This will open the dialogue to conversations that have not been had out in the open thus far. This docu-series explores the history and present attitudes of race, color, self identification and social interaction among Latinos from Latinos themselves. Through candid interviews you will see the good, the bad, the ugly and the absolute beauty of Latinos' perceptions of their culture. This project aims to unite, it is to offer insight into a present and future united global community through candid dialogue, truth, awareness, acceptance and appreciation.
During my three week journey, I went to Santo Domingo, where I stayed with a fantastic lady and her two daughters. I visited Villa Mella, Boca Chica and San Pedro de Macoris, home of most of the Dominican descended MLB players. I interviewed people on the beach, on the street, attended the final (9th) day of an Espiritu Santo funeral in a batey, was a guest on CDN-La Radio's Haitian-Dominican radio talk show, 'Dialoga en la Isla' and was blown away by new insight and information.
I then went to Colombia, accompanied for a few days and was offered tremendous help from my dear friend Tee. We explored Cartagena and journeyed to San Basilio de Palenque, a maroon town established by a slave who ran away from the Port of Cartagena in the 16th century. I then continued on to Bogota then Cali, the salsa capital and where I met new friends and new insight into race relations and the war and displacement in Colombia. A 10-hour bus ride with tremendous views to Medellin before my last stop in Quibdo, in the Choco Region, where I was welcomed by a local woman who didn't leave my side. I observed the Afro-Colombian campaigns throughout the country as well as the negative reasons why the campaigns are needed.
After a missed plane and bout of a stomach sickness, I have a lot of work ahead but this is a labor of love and I thank you all for your support as I embark on my journey. I am currently working on the rest of the series and conducting interviews in the U.S. The candor and insight will continue to blow you away as it has done me.
The money collected will go towards traveling to the countries left, Salvador, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Cuba.
Supporters can also help by spreading the word and donating to this very important doc!