The Annual Festival Santiago Apóstol de Loíza in El Barrio, better known as Loíza Festival in El Barrio, commemorated 50 years of infusing Afro-Boriqua flavor into New York City on July 28-30. The three-day cultural event included traditional African diaspora costumes, music, dance, handmade crafts and food.
“This festival pays homage to our African ancestors and those forefathers and community leaders who paved the way and dedicated their lives to claiming their negritud so that we are able to preserve and celebrate today our Afro-Boricua roots,” said Dra. Marta Moreno Vega, founder and president of CCCADI, one of the festival’s organizers.“It is an important time to be an Afro-descendant, as our culture continues to provide safes paces, at a challenging moment when our Black and Latino communities are under attack. Spaces like the Loiza Festival connect us to our history of political resistance and struggles for civil rights. It strengthens our resolve to continue organizing as a community, defending our people, culture, and place in history.”
That Sunday, the Ain’t I Latina? team hit the festival streets to talk culture, identity and race with Afro-Boriquas. Check out what these Afro-descendant women shared, below:
Interviews by Major Nesby and Francis Carrero.
Important note: Hurrican Irma and Hurricane Maria, a powerful Category 4 hurricane, left Puerto Rico with no power, meaning there’s no water, limited food, fuel, and cell service. If you’re able to support current efforts, consider donating to organizations like CCADI, Fondos Unidos de Puerto Rico, Caritas Puerto Rico and Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico, among others. Puerto Rico needs our support.