|(timesleader.com) - The potential for tension between African-Americans and Dominicans in Wilkes-Barre has increased dramatically over the last decade just based upon population changes, U.S. Census data show.
tudents at GAR Memorial High School have said a recent machete attack by a Dominican against a black student was racially motivated.
Census data shows the black population in the city has doubled in the past decade, with about 4,500 African-Americans living within city limits in 2010. The Dominican population, on the other hand, went from about a dozen in 2000 to more than 600 just 10 years later.
Data also show neighborhoods closest to the school have the highest numbers of Dominicans living in them compared to elsewhere in the city.
In the census tract in which GAR lies, the black population grew 67 percent in the last decade, climbing to 567. The Dominican population there grew more than tenfold, climbing from six to 70.
In 2000, blacks comprised 5 percent of the city’s population while Dominicans accounted for .3 percent. Ten years later, blacks accounted for 10.9 percent of all Wilkes-Barre residents, while Dominicans accounted for 1.5 percent.
In other areas of the Wilkes-Barre Area School District outside the city, the numbers drop dramatically.
Elsewhere in Luzerne County, Hazleton has seen its Hispanic population grow exponentially over the last decade.
There, Dominicans outnumbered blacks 6 to 1 in 2010, with 6,266 Dominicans living in city limits compared to 1,003 blacks, according to Census numbers.
And while the number of blacks in Hazleton grew by 500 percent over the last decade, the number of Dominicans in the city increased 19-fold.
HOLA shows film revealing different attitudes to same background
(hofstrachronicle.com) - Hofstra Organization for Latin Americans (HOLA) screened the first installment of the PBS documentary series Black in Latin America on Feb. 9 as part of Black History Month 2012 at the University.
The documentary by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. examines how African and European influences shaped the cultures in Latin America and the Caribbean. The first installment of the documentary focuses on the tense relationship between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which are both located on the island of Hispaniola.
On the west side of Hispaniola, the Dominicans shun their African roots and embrace their European ancestors.
"Unfortunately, many people of the nation neglect their African ancestry," said Jasmin Fortunato, the current president of HOLA. According to the documentary, about 90 percent of Dominicans have some African ancestry, but this heritage is not always acknowledged.
On Hispaniola's east side, the Haitians accept and respect their African heritage, which has led to racial conflicts between Dominicans and Haitians.
"I read the book by the documentarist himself, and I was shocked by the racial attitudes of the Dominicans," said Vanessa Smith, an Elmont resident, who has been attending Hofstra events for years.
Furtunato came across the documentary when her friend posted a link to the first episode of the series on Facebook. She shared the film with her grandfather because he does not embrace his African ancestry, and decided she wanted to share the series with the Hofstra community in order to educate them.
"I want Hofstra students to learn more about possibly their own historical roots and that of others and also share their knowledge and show the documentary to their family members as I did with my grandfather," said Furtunato about her reason for screening the documentary at Hofstra.
"I hope people take away that they can accept their African roots and that they do celebrate Black History Month because it is part of their history," said Joel Abreu, secretary of HOLA.
According to Abreu, the next three installments of the documentary series will screen every remaining Thursday in February in the Student Center Theater from 8 to 9 p.m.
A calendar of Hofstra's Black History Month 2012 events can be found on the University's website.
“The Dominican elite sees their Black selves in the faces and bodies of the Haitians, are embarrassed by it, and have been trying for more than two hundred years to kill it.” - “A deep-seated racism in Dominican society which affects dark-skinned people in general and Haitians and Dominico-Haitians in particular.” ......
They were called "whites of the land" and Santo Domingo, being the oldest Spanish colony in the Americas, held onto its "most Spanish" reputation, despite the fact that most everyone on the island was anything but European....... "Between the 17th & 19th centuries more than 11-million Africans were taken to Latin America as slaves — 25-times the number sent to the United States.".....!!