While Black History Month may be an American holiday it allows us to recognize the contributions of all Black people throughout the diaspora, not just African Americans. In that spirit we’re recognizing the stand out Afro-Latino icons we believe have impacted the world. Although this is by no means an exhaustive list, it’s a small way to honor the LLERO’s that have left their imprint on us.
The Great 21 was a legend in his own time and certainly beyond. As a right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Roberto Clemente played for 18 seasons, was a 12-time All-Star, Golden Glove winner and made it to the World Series with his team twice, one time being series MVP. Off the field he was a dedicated family man to his wife and three sons. His other passion was helping others and regularly delivered food and baseball equipment to the poor throughout Latin America. Clemente was en route to Nicaragua, to deliver supplies to earthquake victims there, when his cargo plane crashed shortly after takeoff on New Year’s Eve in 1972. Clemente was the first Latino player to be inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1973 shortly after he passed.