Undoubtedly, one of the tools to combat racial discrimination on the island is education and the amplification of Afro-descendant voices that expose the obstacles they have had to face just because of the color of their skin.
need to make visible testimonies of black people in Puerto Rico, Emil Medina —CEO of Buena Vibra— created the initiative 'Frente en Alto' a project that seeks to show how different personalities Afro-descendants have battled racism on the island from their respective disciplines. For the young Afro-descendant businessman, there are many voices on the island that have had to arm themselves against the stigmas of racism and very little is known about these obstacles that they usually face in society.
“I would like these people since the 1970s and 80 that have marked the space of our culture and at the same time give a space and a voice to these people who have had many actions in our culture, but who perhaps have not expressed themselves about the vicissitudes or the impediments they have had to achieve their recognition "Medina indicated.
As part of the initiative of 'Frente en Alto' – in alliance with Metro -, They will publish 20 stories of Afro-Caribbean personalities who will tell how they faced racism and discrimination in Puerto Rico. .
Medina, also said that the idea to launch 'Frente en Alto' emerged at the end of last year, but had to stop due to emergencies due to the earthquakes in January and then due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that, after the murder of George Floyd in the United States and the resumption of the discussion on racism in the United States and Puerto Rico, he understood that it was time to restart the project and make these Afro-descendant voices visible on the island.
" It arises from a process of introspection where I begin to analyze that I grew up with some role models such as Roberto Clemente and Nelson Mandela and suddenly I began to analyze the new role models that exist in Puerto Rico for current generations and I think that they have remained the same and rarely mentioned young people or more contemporary people being black, "said Medina.
And amid the protests in the United States after the Floyd's death, Medina opined that the discussion about racism in Puerto Rico is framed in the educational refrain that we belong to a mixture of three races and how it has enacted different elements of systemic racism on the island and to the point of intersecting with gender inequality on the island.
The businessman also commented that he is betting that the publication of these narratives become a piece that can be studied in classrooms and spaces educational and that serve to promote the Afro-Puerto Rican culture in Puerto Rico. "My vision with the project is that it is a bibliographic example of our identity and dignity and that the work of Afro-Caribbean men and women and our heterogeneous composition are also recognized because we have everything, that diversity is seen",
For his part, Félix Caraballo general manager of the newspaper Metro pointed out that the link to tell the story of these people stems from the need to re-educate people on racism on the island.
“We decided to come together as black professionals to expose and present these powerful stories of these extraordinary human beings and how this issue in one way or another has always been present in the lives of these people. The objective is to give continuity and greater visibility to these issues that in the past generally remained alive in a few days and then passed into oblivion, ”said Caraballo.
He also emphasized the social responsibility of the media in educating and fighting racial discrimination. "My responsibility as a professional and as a newspaper executive is to have that long-term voice alive by educating the growing generations and future generations to grow in a world of equality," he noted.