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Museum gives lessons on Afro-Latino experience


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Courtesy photo. An “Early Keeper” with her parent shows off her artwork.

Courtesy photo. An “Early Keeper” with her parent shows off her artwork.

Published on: Thursday, September 12, 2013

By Wanda Jackson

Afro-Latino influencers like Roberto Clemente, Celia Cruz, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg and Jean-Michel Basquiat are well known. Today, many Afro-Latinos — including actress Zoe Saldana, journalist Soledad O’Brien, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz and musician Mariah Carey — grace the covers of major magazines, star in hit TV shows, lead art and literary movements, and excel on the gridiron.

But, that hasn’t always been the case.

Understanding the Afro-Latino experience is part of a three-year series of programs that The Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center is presenting to explore the African diaspora in Prince George’s County.

Photo by Wanda Jackson. Parents register for the Early Keepers Program Saturday at The Mall at Prince Georges.

Photo by Wanda Jackson. Parents register for the Early Keepers Program Saturday at The Mall at Prince Georges.

At its monthly Early Keepers Program held Saturday at The Mall at Prince Georges in Hyattsville, the museum celebrated Afro-Latino culture in conjunction with its exhibit “Voice of the African Diaspora: The Afro-Latino Experience in Prince George’s County.”

For nearly two hours, families with young children were invited to learn about Prince George’s County history through storytelling, art, music and dance.

Early Keepers is a fun, interactive program and a family-bonding activity, according to the museum’s education director, Chanel Compton.

“Parents spend quality time with their children, while engaged in fun and culturally rich activities that incorporate problem-solving, math and reading,” Compton said. “Parents really appreciate that they can come to the mall to shop and also provide fun and educational activities for their little ones.”

Admission is free, and parental participation is mandatory. The program is tailored to children ages 3 to 7, but families with children of all ages are welcome to participate.

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