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Project September 21, 2019

A Revolution for Puerto Rico's Afro-Latinos

Natasha Alford
Natasha Alford

In the wake of devastating hurricanes and political disasters storming the island of Puerto Rico, the question of how to rebuild "la isla del encanto" is more urgent than ever. But there are communities within Puerto Rico who face harsh economic and civil rights disparities, further exacerbated by their race and class: Afro-Puerto Ricans and black Latinos.

This project documents the impact of the hurricanes and political unrest on Afro-Latino communities through the lenses of policing, education, and economic displacement. Natasha S. Alford interviewed more than 20 Puerto Rican and Afro-LatinX residents, scholars and community activists, with a special focus on Loiza, a predominantly black town in Puerto Rico, to report on their experiences with racism, police abuse, gentrification, and substandard schools. She also uncovers how a resurgence of black pride and identification in Puerto Rico is fueling a revolution of political consciousness for a new generation of Afro-Puerto Ricans.