When Parsley Produces Sugarcane: A Blog

When Parsley Produces Sugarcane: A Blog

Yamilka Moreno, Editor-in-Chief

Our Editor-in-Chief, Yamilka Moreno created an Afro-Latina blog documenting the experiences, intersectionality, and history of Black Latinos. This blog is about the 1937 Parsely Massacre that resulted in the mass killing of Haitians. Here is an excerpt:

When Parsley Produces Sugarcane:

Prior to learning about it from Afro-Latinx scholars, I never learned of the 1937 Parsley Massacre in any of my history classes, nor was it mentioned in any of the history books I read. Although sympathetic to the fact that it was destructive and disappointing, me being Dominican made me feel comfortable enough to consider it something of little significance to me, and initially, I thought, to my family.

Like many historical events that I learn about, I fixated on the year of its occurrence and how my grandfather was not born too far from its date, which compelled me to ask my mother, who I doubted knew anything of the massacre. Like many of the topics that I tell her about, she was confused as to what I was talking about. This is a reaction I was accustomed to, as my mother has always been politically inactive, and wouldn’t have known that Obama was out of office in 2017 if I didn’t remind her that presidential terms did eventually come to an end. Even as a black woman, she did not know of notable Afro-Dominican historical figures from her country such as Mamá Tingó, a workers’ rights activist, or Yolanda Guzmán, who served as a combatant during the April Revolution, the war against the U.S. invasion of DR. Of course, she did not know her island’s legislative efforts to starve our sister island, Haiti, of its rights.

I recall how she was chopping sugarcane over the sink when I questioned her knowledge of the massacre, which was nothing of significance to me until now since there is almost never a time when there is no sugarcane against the kitchen wall in my home.

As I described what took place, she did not look away from her chopping until I mentioned the word, “perejil,” or “parsley” in English. She knew exactly what the Parsley Massacre was. From her, I learned very quickly that labels were a thing of insignificance when you have experience. She didn’t know colorism had a name, but she experienced it. She didn’t know about the angry, black woman stereotype, but her experiences are proof that it is well and thriving.


Click here to read the rest of the post. Also, check out the other stories posted on her blog