Ok here's part 2 of the story of why decided to study Spanish and even do an immersion program in Mexico back in the summer of 1992 (see earlier post). Yesterday I talked about going to meet an Afro Dominican sister named Pilar who was a contestant in a regional Ms. American contest in south central Pennsylvania. This happened in the early spring of 1992. After the contest, which she lost, I met her family in the lobby where the contest was held. Her mother, who looked like a very attractive older African American women, greeted my colleague, who is also a Dominican, and then turned to me and greeted me in Spanish too. Pilar’s mother assumed I was Dominican. The chance encounter began my interest in speaking Spanish. I had never considered life in other African diasporas before and I wanted to know about Afro-Latin Americans and needed Spanish to do so. In short, I ended up study Spanish because of an article I read that informed me about an attractive and intelligent Afro-Dominican sister who I never dated. Pillar and her family probably don’t remember the introduction but I will never forget them. When I went to Mexico to study Spanish I went highly motivated to learn about another world that Speaking Spanish would open up to me. I just never realized how difficult learning a foreign language would be in my late twenties.
Video on Afro-Latin American history: http://www.datzhott.com/2009/09/23/afro-latinos-the-untaught-story/