Marta Moreno Vega

Author, professor, arts administrator, expert in Yoruba culture, education and cultural activist on the African diaspora

Marta Moreno Vega (born January 3, 1952) is the founder of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute.


  • I think without question there’s room for progress. Probably the question you asked was there with Rita Moreno when she did “West Side Story.” I don’t think the question would have been very much different than the questions being asked of Lin-Manuel. The fact that these events happen 40 or 50 years apart and the conversation is a recurring conversation as to being the first, right, in 2016, speaks to the lack of parity, the lack of equity, the lack of access. Every time there is a small breakthrough, it’s seen as, that’s phenomenal, when it should be part of our lives to have equity, to have inclusion, to have diversity in the workplace – and maybe have equal access to resources.
  • I think you can’t talk about Puerto Rico without saying the colony of Puerto Rico and the colony of the United States. What is the purpose of having a colony? Historically, you own property or you own a colony because you exploit it. That’s not a benevolent relationship and it has not been a benevolent relationship historically, so that the United States still owning a colony in 2016 is horrific. The exploitation by the United States of Puerto Rico is horrific, and therefore the financial condition that Puerto Rico finds itself in is horrific. It’s a direct result of being a colony of the United States.
  • I think the biggest challenge for people is to understand still that we are result of 500 years of enslavement. And that the process of education has been one to erase us. And it can erase you intellectually and convince you that you don’t exist. So it doesn’t matter the color you are phenotypically, you don’t see yourself. And the challenge is for us to see ourselves as rooted in one experience…

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