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Manteca: An Anthology of Afro-Latin@ Poets edited by Melissa Castillo-Garsow
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Manteca: An Anthology of Afro-Latin@ Poets edited by Melissa Castillo-Garsow


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Containing the work of more than 40 poets who self-identify as Afro-Latino, ¡Manteca! is the first poetry anthology to highlight writings by Latinos of African descent. The themes covered are as diverse as the authors themselves. Many pieces rail against a system that institutionalizes poverty and racism. Others remember parents and grandparents who immigrated to the United States in search of a better life, only to learn that the American Dream is a nightmare for someone with dark skin and nappy hair. But in spite of the darkness, faith remains. There are love poems to family and lovers. And music—salsa, merengue, jazz—permeates this collection.

Editor Melissa Castillo-Garsow writes “the experiences and poetic expression of Afro-Latinidad were so diverse” that she could not begin to categorize it. Some write in English, others in Spanish. They are Puerto Rican, Dominican and almost every combination conceivable, including Afro-Mexican.