Bridging the Communication Gap between Afro-Latinos and African Americans: A Postion Paper on Interdisciplinary Curriculum Development

Dr. Paul E. Kuhl
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Dr. Vargas, Dr. Kuhl, and Dr. Cruz-Carretero developed a curriculum in Latin American studies with an emphasis on Afro-Latinos to afford future K-12 schoolteachers the opportunity to gain knowledge about the history, culture, geography, and traditions of the increasing number of Latino immigrants who are African descendants into North Carolina schools. This interdisciplinary curriculum development initiative, funded by a grant from the United Negro College Fund/Special Programs, lays the foundation, through the development of two courses (African Presence in Mexico and African Presence in the Americas), for future schoolteachers to bridge the communication gap between African Americans and Afro-Latinos. Students who have taken these classes have been astonished at the extent of the African presence in Latin America and at the struggles African descendants have endured to have their presence and contributions be recognized in the various nations. In an academic sense, the students draw comparisons with the conditions of African Americans throughout the history of the United States, and they wonder at the complexity and fluidity of ethnic identity in Latin America as they contrast it with the experience in the United States. The classes open students’ eyes to the changing demographics described above. They report conversations with Afro Latinos in the workplace, their children’s schools, and in the market place. These reports enhance, explain, and elaborate the materials presented in the readings and classroom presentations and contribute, in the long term, to lay the foundations for a dialogue between these two groups of Afro-descendants.

Keywords: Afro-Latinos, African Americans, Curriculum Development, Teacher Education
Stream: Education and Social Welfare
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Paul E. Kuhl

Professor of History, Department of Social Sciences, Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA

After receiving an undergraduate degree in history at the University of Texas Pan American, Mr. Kuhl taught junior high school classes in San Antonio, Texas. That experience convinced him to pursue graduate degrees at Southern Illionois University at Carbondale. Dr. Kuhl has since taught courses on Latin American history and U.S. military history at WSSU. When not in the classroom, Dr. Kuhl is portraying history as an Old English Country Dancer, an 18th century mounted militiaman, or a cavalryman in the American Civil War. This project is the third collaboration between Dr. Kuhl and Dr. Vargas.

Ref: I07P0274