Personal Insights: Who is M. Tony Peralta? And the Demand for Afro-Latinx Representation in the Visual Arts

Earlier this year, the world watched on as playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda conveniently forgot to cast Afro-Latinx people in his blockbuster depiction of New York City. As an Afro-Latinx person, I took this personally. Of the eight years I lived in Harlem in the 2000s, I spent two in Washington Heights. Suffice it to say that I felt the absence was deliberate. While recent data from the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy shows that the demographics of New York City neighborhoods have changed considerably between the 2000 to 2010 Census, the fact still remains that it is hard to walk a mile in any direction between 155th Street and Fort Tryon Park without passing a botanica, seeing a Dominican doobie shop, or hearing bachata on blast. The Heights is not only the epicenter of Dominican culture in America, but it is also the heart of Afro-Latinx communities, which extend into the Bronx and East Harlem. While the City is known to have many Black Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Garifun...

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