Afro-Colombian Resistance Culture

Providence Black Studies Syllabus recently hosted a zoom interview with María Elvira Solís Segura, Elena Hinestroza Vente, and Angélica María Sánchez. They are brilliant Afro-Colombian poets, singers, scholars, actors, and keepers of a cultural archive of African-centered traditions and memory in Colombia.

This podcast is about Nat and Sambo in the 1800s. Nat (a real person) was the white man’s greatest fear: an intelligent, self-sufficient, and rebellious black individual. He contradicted the socially constructed idea of blacks as unintelligent, irresponsible, and incompetent slaves—personified by Sambo (a fictional character). So basically, Sambo was created to legitimize the farce of “black dependence” on the paternalistic slavemaster. Moreover, white people justified slavery by perceiving it as caring for the incompetent and unintelligent slave. This fictional character Sambo was incarnated through minstrelsy, where audiences could actively engage with the dehumanization of black folks.

The recording for this unique collaboration between Providence College and Providence Black Studies Syllabus on Dr. King's Letter From a Birmingham Jail is archived here.