Black is Beautiful: A Celebration of Afro-Latinas
02/11/2009 - 19:30 | 137 Comments|
In honor of Black History Month, we decided to tackle a subject that comes up again and again in our community; the issue of racism. It has long caused controversy among Latinos, and it’s important to illuminate what it really means to be Afro-Latina. We will shine a spotlight on some beautiful Afro-Latinas in the process.
Wondering what the term "Afro-Latina" means? Miriam Muley, an Afro-Puerto Rican and CEO of The 85% Niche, says being Afro-Latina is, "Not just defined by skin color, because the Afro-Latino experience is such a mixture of different ethnicities. I see being an Afro-Latina as someone whose roots are primarily of African descendant." On the question of racism Muley adds, "There’s an undercurrent of racism, there’s no question about that. There is definitely a ranking that occurs in our community based on skin tone, as well as our hair type and our facial features."
Kafayat Aromashodu, of Nigerian and Honduran descent, also highlights the difficulty of finding acceptance, "People don't really know how to act. Around fellow Latinos, you're seen as the morenita. Around Blacks, you are seen as 'The one who speaks Spanish'. I am raising my children with the understanding of both of our rich cultures. Latin-America and Africa are not different, they go hand in hand."
We've noticed, in our efforts to make the magazine and website as diverse and representative of the whole Latina experience as possible, how truly difficult it is to find prominent Afro-Latina actresses and models to grace our covers and fashion shoots. In that spirit, we gathered a group of notable Afro-Latinas who have made inspiring contributions to our community.
Be sure to check it out below and let us know: What do you think about racism in our community? Have you ever been discriminated against because of your facial features, skin tone or hair type?
by Mariela Rosario