Celebrating Beautifully BLACK Latinas @afrolatinas_

 

Capture 1Social Media is an essential platform in order to gain attention to a topic or subject. The power it holds is endless and there are so many different types of social tools to utilize. So knock yourselves out! Instagram is a photo sharing app , which allows you to discover and explore new things. This is exactly how I came across one of my favorite authentic Instagram handles.

A very good friend of mines who is Afro-Latina, as well of  Honduran descent, tagged me in a photo which highlighted Afro-Latinas. I immediately followed the page and fell in love and spent some time going through the content. This  was imperative because it was one of the only pages which highlighted Afro-Latinas. I have came across many several pages which celebrated Black women and Latina women separately. Hence, I felt most content with  this one because it celebrated all women who were like me.

AfroLatinas_ is dedicated to shining the light upon the Afro-Latina community, which in their bio reads “Beautifully BLACK Latinas.” There are some steps in order to be featured which is not challenging at all, you just tag or direct message (DM) the instagram page in or of a picture of yourself.

@AfroLatinas signifies diversity, celebration and most of all empowerment which reflects all shapes and forms of the Afro-Latina identity.

Thankfully we were able to speak to the person all behind it! Check out the interview below.

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What influenced the “afrolatinas_” Instagram handle?

This is something I’ve actually touched upon very briefly in a post. I was on Facebook one day, and a friend (who happened to be Cape Verdean) shared Elizabeth Acevedo’s(@acevedowrites) poem entitled “Afro Latina.”

 

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It really hit home, as I have struggled with my own racial identity very recently in life. I have grown up in a pretty Americanized Dominican household, where my father had more light skin, wavy hair, and a long pointy nose, while my mother had nappy hair, and more tan brown skin. Being black was something that was never brought up in my house really, and it was made to seem as something foreign and not innate.

I went to a primarily white private high school and college, and encountered many people who just thought I was black. I found myself hanging out with the Black crowd more than the Hispanic crowd. The confusion within myself, as well as from other people telling me what I was, made me begin to self reflect. At this time, I had also recently begun embracing my hair for what it was; a pajon. I had relaxed it for about seven years, until junior year of high school, and straightened regularly, so this was the very beginning of me really having to deal with my natural hair myself.

Being black is very often regarded as something negative within our Hispanic culture, but I couldn’t deny my caramel skin color, hair texture, or dark grandfather. Lol… I soon realized that I could not dismiss the simple fact that I was…both.

I guess I just wanted a platform where others could feel appreciated and realize that it’s okay to be both Latina and Black, as the Native side is more accepted (and claimed, in my experience) It was something that I felt that our community needed, but it was something that I needed, as well. Seeing these beautiful, proud, women empowers me each and every day.

How important is shedding a light on the Afro-Latino community?

I think it’s something that is extremely important. Although it is true that we have European, African, and Native roots, “Afro-Latino/a” is a term we’ve had to come up with to justify our status as Latinos/Hispanics. As I said before, our Native roots seem to be much more accepted (not necessarily fully appreciated, as we seem to just say we’re “Indio” and call it a day) than our African roots, unfortunately.

This is something we shouldn’t have to do, but that’s a whole other can of worms to open. We are ALL Latinos, no matter what. For now, I’m very happy that people are showing their pride in being AfroLatino/a. Hopefully, one day, we will all love, accept, and claim all of our roots, as well as everyone else’s, and feel that they are important enough to research and appreciate. This is a way to appreciate us, in the meantime. I hope one day, we can all just be “Latinos”.

 

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When was this Instagram created?

October 1, 2015

Do you see a lack of recognition upon our community?

Yes!

As I stated earlier, I feel that just the fact that we had to put “Afro” in front of Latino shows the lack of recognition and the effort that we have to put in to validate our Latino identity and be recognized by the rest of the Latino/Hispanic community.

Most of your content reflects other Black Latinas, will you ever reveal who you are?

I might…eventually.

What are your AfroLatino roots?

I am Dominican, born in the United States. My parents were both born in the Dominican Republic. My maternal grandfather is black, but I haven’t done much digging through my family tree. I hope to, someday.

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How did you go about promoting your account when it was made?

I wouldn’t really say I promoted the account aggressively. It was more of a passive promotion process. I really just tried to think of tags that went with what I was trying to promote, and started off with well known celebrities or social media account holder who identified as Afro-Latina. I also searched through tags on Instagram and followed/reposted other users. Remaining anonymous was also very important to me, so I never promoted this account on any of my personal accounts.

This is a bit of a tangent, but having an account like this is very stressful! I can’t imagine how IG famous accounts keep it up. I would love for @afrolatinas_ to continue expanding, though! If anyone would like to give a shout out out there *wink wink* haha.

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What is the future for @afrolatinas_ ?

I don’t know!

I hope to continue handling the account, although I do get lazy/tired, sometimes, lol. Like I said, it’s a lot of work! I will just keep appreciating my fellow beautiful Latinas, and hope to maybe connect with other accounts such as yourself in the future! This journey has been very interesting so far, and I can’t wait to see what comes out of it!

 

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Thank you AfroLatinas_ for recognizing and embracing our Afro-Latina community we appreciate you ! 

For more follow @ afrolatinas_

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