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They Are We: Educator Guide

Grade Levels: 9–12, College

Subject Area(s): Spanish, Social Studies, Dance, Music
This thorough guide to the documentary film They Are We discusses the African Slave Trade in Latin America and the Afro-Cuban culture and influence. Four classroom applications about Afro-Cuban Culture, cultural identity of Afro-Latinos, Afro-Cuban music and influences, and contemporary Afro-descendants in Latin America. This guide includes a list of discussion questions to accompany the film, as well as an extensive glossary and appendix of activities.

  • Director's Note
  • African Slave Trade in Latin America - overview
  • Afro-Cuban Culture and Influence - overview
  • Classroom Applications
  • 1. In this lesson students will explore Afro-Cuban Culture and the connections between the Gangá-Longobá community in Cuba and their ancestral homeland in modern-day Sierra Leone.
  • 2. In this lesson, students will engage with the cultural identity of an Afro-Cuban community through the documentary They Are We. Students will research and analyze an additional Afro-Latino community to compare and contrast it to the community featured in the film.
  • 3. In this lesson, students will explore Afro-Cuban music styles and groups to understand the influences that culture can have on music.
  • 4.  In this lesson, students will research and present on contemporary life of Afro-descendants in Latin America or on a famous Afro-Latino person.
  • Film Discussion Questions (General, Language, Culture, Music & Dance)
  • Standards Addressed
  • Glossary
  • Works Cited and Resources
  • Appedix A- Q


Krishauna Hines-Gaither, Holly Knox, Kristi Neuroth, Kristina Deal


Lesson Plans

Grade Levels

9–12, College


World Geography, Spanish, World History, Social Studies, Cultural Studies, Language Arts, Music, Speech, African American History, Cuba, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Latino, Slave Trade