Afro-Latin experience theme of Black Cultural Center’s fall series

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Exploring the Afro-Latin experience is the theme for the Fall Cultural Arts Series at the Purdue University Black Cultural Center.


Africaribe Bomba will perform Nov. 13 in Fowler Hall in Stewart Center as part of the Purdue Black Cultural Center's Fall Cultural Arts Series. The group performs Puerto Rican music, song and dance that reflects the African influence. (Photo provided by the Purdue Black Cultural Center)

“Rhythm of Hope, Power of Heritage: Exploring the Afro-Latin Experience” will feature a play, speakers, information fair, music and other performances as well as a research tour.

“Approximately 11 million Africans survived the trans-Atlantic slave trade, just 450,000 made it to the United States. The rest were dispersed throughout the Caribbean and Latin American countries,” said Renee A. Thomas, director of the Black Cultural Center. “The Latin and African-American cultures have been linked to each other in so many ways for hundreds of years. Through music, cuisine, art, dance, poetry and politics, the BCC will explore the connection to Africa.

“We think these events provide an excellent opportunity to explore and learn more about what they share and how they intersect.”

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Upcoming events include:

  • Aug. 25.  15th annual Boilerfest New Student Orientation
    The new student orientation festival introduces new students to the Black Cultural Center, campus leaders, various student organizations and support services. The event will feature live entertainment by the center’s Performing Arts Ensembles.

    • Time: 4:00p-6:00p
    • Place: Black Cultural Center, 1100 Third St.
  • Sept. 16. Jorge Arce will bring Puerto Rican and Afro-Caribbean culture to life…
    through an interactive, multimedia presentation of music, dances, lore, stories and history handed down for more than two centuries. A Harvard graduate, Arce is an actor, dancer, singer, cultural historian and researcher.

    • Time: 7:00p
    • Place: Black Cultural Center, 1100 Third St.
  • Sept. 17.  Annual BCC Friends and Family Day with Jorge Arce.
    Live music, activities and games will be featured in this event immediately after the Southeast Missouri-Purdue football game.

    • Time: 3:00p
    • Place: Black Cultural Center, 1100 Third St.
  • Oct. 7-11. BCC Research Tour in San Juan and Loiza, Puerto Rico.
    Students will explore the African influence on Puerto Rican culture. They will visit the historic district of Old San Juan, the El Yunque rain forest and the town of Loiza. “Born free” blacks and those who escaped enslavement founded the town. It is the birthplace of the African-inspired musical form of Bomba.
  • Oct. 13.  “Platanos and Collard Greens”
    A comedy about two college students, an African-American and Latina, who fall in love. Their families are forced to confront and overcome biases while the couple defends their bond to family and friends.

    • Time: 8:00p
    • Place: Fowler Hall in Stewart Center.
  • Oct. 20-21.  BCC Coffee House featuring the Performing Arts Ensembles.
    A glimpse of the material acquired during the research tour to Puerto Rico will be presented.

    • Time: 7:00p
    • Place: Black Cultural Center, 1100 Third St.
  • Oct. 21-23. Homecoming Weekend.
    The national centennial anniversaries of Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi fraternities will be celebrated.

    • Place: Black Cultural Center, 1100 Third St.
  • Oct. 25. “Howard Dodson – in Motion: The African-American Migration Experience.”
    Dodson, retired director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, will talk about the nation’s cultural shift during what was known as the “Great Migration,” when 2 million African-Americans moved from the southern United States to the Midwest, Northeast and West from 1919-1930. He will discuss the migration’s impact on blacks and the nation’s political, economic, social and cultural development.

    • Time: 7:00p
    • Place: Fowler Hall in Stewart Center.
  • Nov. 13. Africaribe Bomba
    will present Puerto Rican music, song and dance that reflects the African influence. The Bomba is a Puerto Rican music and dance genre.

    • Time: 3:00p
    • Place: Fowler Hall in Stewart Center.
  • Dec. 2. Cultural Arts Festival.
    The festival is a culmination of the BCC’s exploration of Afro-Latin culture and the Diaspora featuring the BCC Performing Arts Ensembles.

    • Admission: General public, $7; Purdue students, $5.
    • Time: 7:00p
    • Place: Loeb Playhouse in Stewart Center.

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 October 2020