AM I AFRO-LATINA ENOUGH? 

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Afro- Latina speaks community of empowering individuals. It represents a culture of those who Celebrate traditions that deeply root back to the motherland. It signifies the rich Sounds of our ancestors who carried the musical rhythms of Africa with them. It preserves our expression of dance, songs, religion and literature with a Latin twist without neglecting our African roots. 

It crosses barriers from SudaAmerica to Centroamerica along to the coast of Puerto Rico. It flows through all facets of Latin American culture. Africanas in the Latin Americas gave us life and profoundly contributed to our Experience. It influenced our heritage. It is me.  Afro-Latina is you. It is us. It is a diaspora of many influences that we embody in our hearts, our style, our music, and our clothes and in our everyday life. Afro-Latinas are descendants. Thank You Africa.

Being Afro-Latina is not just about our hair.  We come in all shapes, body types, dialects, accents, customs and skin tones. There can’t be one “face description” to what makes an Afro-Latina. A individual who self-identifies with the Afro-Latinx term should never question if they are Afro-Latinx enough. 

Many of us have struggled with feeling accepted in either the Black or Latino community. And this was only because society obtains this one discernment to what every group should like. Outside of the Afro-Latinx community I believe there is a lack of representation we obtain in general and when people now hear the term Afro & Latino they assume this “ exotic female” or a “ light skin mixed chick”.

Afro-Latinos are a wave of multiplicity. Within a community we are a melting pot. This is what I seen and what reflected at AfroLatinoFestival 2017, there was an endless amount of beautiful people who all looked different but who shared similar experiences. To Be Black & Latina.

 I met Afro-Colombians, Afro-Panamanians, Afro-Dominicans, Afro-Salvadorans, Afro-Taínos and the list can go on. This platform gaves us Afro-Latinxs a opportunity to connect and celebrate our heritages.

 A place to dance and move our hips to the rhythms and to taste mouthwatering dishes that reminds us of abuelas’ spices. To be in the presence of Afro-Latina artists and activists who are paving the way for women to use their voice as power. This experience was life changing and one I will always cherish. To finally be able to feel accepted and appreciated among my people. This is a celebration of our blackness and our roots that trace farther than we will ever know. Afro-Latinas speak diversity.

This is a movement that deserves representation and increased awareness worldwide. We exist through our songs, poems, visual arts, blogs, vlogs, photographs, t-shirt lines, head wraps, open-mics and many more. We have created an active space, a platform so we can tell our stories and flourish with our love for our ethos which merges the cultural influences from Africa and infused with Latin American origins. This post is about Reclamation, Preservation, Appreciation, Representation and most of all Celebration from all my Afro-Descendants.

Below showcases the diversity that exist within the Afro-Latinx community taking at Afro-LatinoFestival 2017. Photos curated by the Creator Jenay Wright and Shannel Paulino. Thank you to all who participated in this project and all the people at @AfroLatinoFestivalNYC who allowed me to participate in the event.

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 Proud to be Afro-Latina.

Proud to be Black.

Proud to be an Afro-Descendant.

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