My Afrolatinidad; Angeline Alcalá

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I’m grateful to share it in art forms: writing, singing, dancing, reciting, rapping (this is still new to me) especially through praise and worship. I encourage you to know and love yourself (more) as I’m learning how to do so myself. 

A perspective I recently encountered in my soul is:

Deconstruct in order have a foundation to build on

When I deconstructed my virtual reality of what makes me Latina. I found the true reality: I am Afro Latina! ((not me, my hair’s newly natural: short fro, but reminded me that I left my heart glasses in D.R. ) 

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Growing up Dominican & born in NYC-“¡Dímelo!” 

Family and “friends”(be low key choosy with the latter):

     My family is big on my dad’s side and small on my moms so all together, pretty huge. Also have and make diverse friends from all over the world.

Most of the time it’s the best thing ever, but with the good always comes some of…

The bad: 

     Opinions run rampant in Dominican families from what I’ve experienced, maybe in most families… Sometimes opinions are appreciated and sometimes they’re not needed but are put out so often you may begin to believe them instead of blocking them out. Especially when you don’t know who you really are yet and you’re being told everything they think they know about you. Sometimes I’d hear something positive, but the negativity that’s been carried on for generations became so real, I didn’t even see the harm in it anymore. This was just the way life was. There were even atleast couple of times, that people who were my “friends”, spoke ill about my people and stopped hanging out with me because of racially/sub-racially divided clicks.

The good: 

     I’ve always known that I’m loved, even when it was misrepresented. If not by flawed human beings then by the Creator. Shoo, I’ve misrepresented love too. Thank God we get to learn and move on from mistakes. My parents, their siblings, and my grandparents (takes a village, right?) raised me to hold my own and work hard, because they have faith that I can achieve my dreams. They have always valued faith, respect my ideas, and support most, if not all of my decisions! My brothers and my cousins (the millenials), we’re not always on the same page but we’re understanding and we root for each other no matter what. And as for “friends”, I was confused and hurt before but now I have a tight circle of people I can count on and they’re amazing. 

¿Ugly? “Dique fea/o”:

     I ain’t and you sure aren’t either. I’m gonna be basic for a sec, #BLESSED. So yeah, everyone says or does ugly things from time to time, but the deeply rooted love that is a shown, somehow, someway keeps us going and growing. I’m all for personal and community empowerment but diversity and unity matters too. We’re a melting pot that keeps adding and mixing some more variety in our sancocho. Even with false ideals having been passed down, we forgive each other and start fresh and new, even if it’s not instant. I thank God for my family everyday, every unique person in it adds a special shade of color to it. My life is like an unfinished painting that keeps getting more and more incredible. 

Culture

Looks: skin, hair, and features are criticized too often and not appreciated enough in their natural state. 

     The world is harsh, and in Las Americas, it’s been harsher to colored people and/ or outcasts. So as realist, honest, and bold people: we can be harsh too, even if we’re the colored/ outcasted ones and we’re wrong for judging ourselves and others base on superficial things we have no power over. Like the lovely Lauryn Hill said, “I get out of all these boxes”. Let’s get out mi gente, the era of awakening is here.

Disclaimer: I’ll give those of you who need it a Dominican dialect Spanish lesson later. 

I strive to spread truth in the same way we spread good music (merengue, bachata y un chin de reggaeton), style (boinas, vestidos típicos, y mucho color en tó), food/drink (plátano, chen chen, habichuela con dulce, y morí soñando), and humor (el habla popular, costumbres, y cuentos) because, if God is majestic, we are magical. 

Poetry: Comfort and Confidence in creativity (poems by yours truly, rights reserved by the owners of these photos) 


Afro-Beautiful

 

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 (inspired by an anonymous black beauty I saw sobbing at my university)

Isn’t it crazy beautiful how black hair can defy gravity? 

That’s a metaphor to our reality: after the heat her roots grow, 

as if to show the world her true self is still here. 

The real deal doesn’t stay down for long, she stands up and circles like the solar system, defying the enemies of corrupted systems. 

As she grows, she branches out even during droughts, the strength of her crown remains. 

Everything has effect; therefore, speak into existence 

He(art) fiel 

“You’re awesome, you’re awesome, you’re awesome!”

 -I told God, myself, and you

It doesn’t matter where you are or what’s going on, 

you make art out of anything. And you’re aware that there is art in everything, including you. I love you for that along with the vast list of other reasons. You, liver of life, are reason enough. 

 

BLACK: what’s your definition? 

 

I have a few acronyms of my own: Beings Light a cracked KKKode

Be like African coast kings

Beings lovely as Coming King  

Black queens, black queen

Afro dream

Are you aware of your potential and what you mean? 

In society you may be misjudged but on the real you’re esteemed

Do you know who you are? Your ancestors are like the stars who guide you, wherever you are

Whatever you are, whatever hue

Strive to open your eye, the one in your head

They may tell you to go that way,  when your soul says: go this way instead

But you’re coco butter-fly , who transitions and transforms, you fly high after the shell sheds

You may have layers to your persona, but the magic you manifest shoots out and up like your hair

You should know, the world can see your glow and feel the love you share

Black Kings, black king

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Doin big things

Think about who you are, be what you’re meant, don’t follow the orders of those with ill-intent

Back to fros, all naptaroll, they won’t go, we won’t go

On Wandering away from ourselves, we search deeper to find our souls glistening

All around bold, “we the people” gotta be listening

It’s a real thing, many of us started this journey on -numbers + the times we’ve been pulled down when we climbed

Yet we’re always resilient and never silent when we must fight for the greater good

They try to put us in boxes, shoved our people in hoods but we get out, in church or not we jump and shout for joy

In faith, hope, and love, we know our hearts employ: Olo is devout in his promises to mankind 

Royalty, stand strong like Oak trees remember: “Ye who seek, shall find”

Know what is in your mind and look to the most High, your heart will surely incline

That growing light inside, let it shine, let it shine 

 

Afro-Dream

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   ~Societies try to mentally enslave us if they can’t find a way to physically but the truth is, I’ve always dreamt big and I always will. What about you? 

I’ll tell you the same thing I told myself: You’ve got adventures to go on, can’t nothing hold you back but yourself. Just remember, you are enough.  

 

light from love, 

     Angeline R. Alcalá

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