The Survival of a PeopleBlack Boricua Life at the Edges of Empire
The Survival of a People traces the disappearances and excesses of Afro-Puerto Ricans in the colonial archive and in contemporary cultural memory from the late 19th century to the present. The talk will trace the precarity of archival material related to Black Puerto Rican communities in Vega Baja, PR and examines some alternative archives –including photography, ephemera, letters, and film– of Black Puerto Rican life produced in the archipelago and in the diaspora. In tracing these archipelagic and diasporic histories, Dr. Yomaira C. Figueroa Vásquez contends that these stories of survival constitute a living archive of the present past. By turning to oral histories, material culture, and memory, the talk suggests new ways of understanding the afterlives, specters, and trajectories of peripheralized Black diasporic people.