Historic Black Latino Summit Previews Power of Solidarity- & Intimacy

October 8, 2008

I had the privilege and pleasure to attend this week’s Black-Latino Summit (BLS) held in Los Angeles on Sunday and Monday. Organized by Policy Link and the William C. Velazquez Institute, the BLS brought together more than 500 black and Latino leaders and activists who spent 2 days debating and discussing the history and future and concerns and shared agenda of our respective communities.

To their credit, BLS organizers opted not to include the media in their event, which , I think, says much about the commitment to go beyond much of the foto op opportunism that usually passes for “Black-brown unity.” I believe they are sincerely trying to develop an agenda. While I’m not at liberty to provide details of the intense planning that took place, I can say that they distributed and discussed position papers (see the Summit web page) around a number of critical issues including criminal justice, education and jobs, immigration and several other issues. And issues of the spirit and heart were also at the center of discussions.

One preliminary learning I bring back with me has to do with the enormous challenge we have before us in terms of moving the ripples of such momentous events beyond the local discussion of the 500 attendees. More specifically, I realized that one of, perhaps the, primary antidotes to the mediation of black-Latino relations by the MSM is obvious, fundamental, yet elusive: intimacy. Listening to the attendees articulate and struggle with feelings, thoughts and plans, it became clear to me that we need to short circuit the electric organization of our senses and thoughts by our increasingly noxious media system, especially around race. The struggle to allow ourselves to be vulnerable within our selves and with others, is the best way I know to dispel and decimate the racial workings that really do divide us. More on this later. For now, stay tuned for the next, more public events of the BLS beginning with a followup meeting in Washington DC in the Spring, when the new President will be greeted with a well-thought out and defined agenda for the Blacks, Latinos and the entire country. Stay tuned to the BLS website.

2 Responses to “Historic Black Latino Summit Previews Power of Solidarity- & Intimacy”

  1. Catherine Scott Says:

    Please send info , I work at the Museum of Latin American Art and produce afro latino programing.

  2. Nandi Says:

    I am so excited about the Latin Summits! Can anyone outdo the G20 summit? we will see. I do pray that the Latin leaders act like mature rulers and not be uptight for that is what made the G20 summit so great! For the last eight years we Americans have been told the Muslims, the gays, Iran, N. Korea, Russia and the Hispanics were just plain evil and now we find out that the only evil was those devils running the white house for the last eight years excluding President Bush I love him and new light is shining that Beezelebub aka Cheney was actually running the country with his evil terrorists. Mexico and the Hispanics are really cool people. I am so falling in love with that race and culture and I and my child are learning Spanish now and we never miss Las Tonas no van al Cielo everyday on Univision and since Primer Impacto now has a black hispanic as one of the anchors we go there for news along with Keith Oberman and the new Ed show on MSNBC and CNN American Morning. And my child stays on MTV 3 were they play both hispanic and american music and news. The last eight years we have been anti immigration because we were told the hispanics were evil but no more we are now pro immigration reform and we do not want immigrants legal or illegal booted out of the country we want to now help these suffering people and although I am a Republican I love that President Obama is now showing that we have nothing to fear from the Hispanics and that the time is now that all Americans must help and come together with our Hispanic brothers and sisters especially the poor. Like I said I am so excited about the Latin Summits and for the world to be introduced to these 34 rulers, especially Pres. Chavez I love him and he is one of my favorte rulers along with Pres. Obama and Pres. Medevedev, Pres. Hu Jintao, President DeSilva and Pm Gordon Brown. We Americans do not know many latin leaders so these latin summits like the G20 and Nato summits will get not only Americans but the rest of the world will not get to meet and Latin America rulers which is good seeing that most American children does not know the difference between Mexico, Central and South America and now will they not only be introduced to their rulers but also the rulers people and their cultures and please Pres. Chavez quit being so mean spirited we love you and trust me we Americans have had enough mean spirited leaders in the last eight years please show the world why we love you so much and you do not have to be mean spirited anymore for you to continue and not even give Pres. Obama and the American people a chance to make right of the last eight years is just plain wrong sir. And one more thing President Ahmadinejao and President Kim Jong II contrary to popular belief I never believed either one of you were evil and I am sorry that we Americans listened to these hypocrite evil devil leaders for the last eight years who were the ones that were really evil but give praise to God for he has released America from the depths of hell and the old rulers are now just waiting for their day of judgement!

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