Tag: Emilio Navaira

Dominican_Republic_Bl_Broa.jpg

International

Artists, educators laud Black heritage in DR

In this Sept. 27, 2013 photo, Dominican actresses Clara Morel, left, and Luz Bautista Matos, of the theater group “Arbol Maravilloso,” or “Wonderful Tree,” pose for a photo after their performance for school children in Moca, Dominican Republic. Their theater group has visited schools across the country to spread the word among Black children that their features and heritage should be a source of pride. (AP Photo/Manuel Diaz) by Ezequiel Abiu LopezAssociated Press Writer SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — In a school auditorium filled with laughing students, actresses Luz Bautista Matos and Clara Morel threw themselves into acting out a fairy tale complete with a princess, a hero and acts of derring-do. Morel had wrapped a white plastic sheet around her multi-colored blouse, while Bautista donned a brown paper bag over her blue tights. The two Black actresses wore their hair free and natural, decorated only with single pink flowers. “Yes, you’re a princess,” said Bautista to Morel, who fretted that she didn’t look like a traditional princess with her dark complexion and hair. Bautista then turned to a young girl sitting in the front row, who shared the same African-descended features as both actresses. “And you too,” Morel said as the child smiled back at her. The theater group Wonderful Tree has visited schools all over Santo Domingo and some in the countryside to spread the word among Black children that their features and heritage should be a source of pride. That message, though simple, has been nothing less than startling in this Caribbean country, where 80 percent of people are classified as mulattos, meaning they have mixed Black-White ancestry, but where many still consider being labeled Black an offense.