negra como soy

Negra Como Soy: Garifuna Culture with Emilio Sasamu Thomas

Negra Como Soy: Garifuna Culture with Emilio Sasamu Thomas

In this episode, Doni and Dr. Rhonda chat with Emilio Sasamu Thomas about Garifuna history and culture.

A professional musician and educator, Sasamu is the youngest member of the Garifuna Collective, a band based in Belize. He plays the guitar, piano and a variety of percussion instruments.

Sasamu talks about how the Garifuna people are a mixture of indigenous and African, and about the various tales of how Africans arrived on the shores of the Western Hemisphere. He also talks about his efforts to preserve the Garifuna culture, particularly the importance of preserving the Garifuna language, which even though it may be spoken among small groups around Central America, it’s still "alive."

"The Garifuna language is alive, even if it's just five people who speak it, the mere fact remains that it is alive," he says. "And so our responsibility now is to teach the other generation to continue the language. It is very important that we recognize that we have a responsibility, and saying that it's dying instead of doing something about it means that we intend to let it die."

There’s the story of who we are as individuals, what we know and walk with, and the story other people create in their minds about who you are. We’re here to set the story straight…

Negra, como soy: I’m Afro-Latina is a show that explores the intricacies and flavors of the AfroLatin experience throughout the Spanish colonized world. We understand that the direct translation is “black like me,” in the feminine. Again, often life is about interpretation, and we’re here to help expand those interpretations, in this corner of life at least.

Join Doni Aldine and Rhonda Coleman as they celebrate foods, dance, clothing, language, and customs of their own cultures and others from the diaspora.

Check out the episode below!

Reading next

Negra Como Soy: Why Antoinette Lee Toscano thinks CHRIS ROCK should know better: Politics of Hair.
Negra Como Soy: Music with Emilio Sasamu Thomas

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.