Alanna De La Cruz is a woman who puts action to her word as a proud Afro-Latina women and millennial activist.
Here is her story.
How did you celebrate your roots on your college campus?
I️ celebrate my roots on campus by constantly educating and being open with who I am and my beliefs. I️ was President of Black Student Union and this was a huge platform to educate people on what it is to be an Afro-Latina. This also gave me the ability to give other students of color on campus a platform to be themselves and make a difference on campus. I️ believe it’s super important to love who you are and where you come from so this way no matter where you end up, wether it be school or work you can make an impact.
When did you begin embracing your Afro-Latina identity?
I️ always knew I️ was different than your typical Latina due to my darker skin and curly hair but it wasn’t until high school that I️ truly started to embrace being Afro-Latina. I always felt like I didn’t fit in or wasn’t beautiful enough because of the texture of my hair. Then my life changed one summer in the Dominican Republic, I shaved my head completely. All the permed hair was gone ! I was laughed at and people stared at me but inside I felt free. I can feel my natural curls coming in, I can feel the breeze on my scalp, I can see all my beauty and how it wasn’t defined by my hair.
During this time I was learning, I was educating myself on history and finally it all made sense. I am BLACK. I AM HISPANIC BUT I AM ALSO BLACK!
How has formerly serving as Black Student Union president contribute to your college experience?
Being a former Black Student Union President made my college experience everything I ever expected it to be and more. I was able to provide the students of color on my campus a family and safe space to peak about injustices and their daily experiences in a predominately white institution.
This brought me great joy and comfort to be the face and voice of Black Student Union because I knew what it meant and how important it is.
What are your thoughts of Anti-Blackness in in Latino communities?
THE FRUSTRATION! It blows my mind that this is still an issue in Latino communities. Look around ! We come in different colors we are a melting pot of so much largely including AFRICAN decent. Most people don’t know that only 5% of slaves came to America the other came to the Caribbean and South America. This self hate needs to stop.
What was being apart of the Black Lives Matter movement mean to you? How did it impact you?
Black lives matter to me means exactly what it says “Black” “Lives” “Matter”! Too many of our black men are being incarcerated and killed. Too many of our women are being told they’re ugly or not good enough. Too many of our youth aren’t growing up with the proper resources and education. So um hell yeah black lives matter. This impacted me because I’ve seen the black magic I’ve always seen the greatness that is black people but now there’s a three word phase that puts it all together.
As an millennial activist on your campus what can we expect from you after graduation.
Once I graduate I plan on continuing my education at another university then go to the peace core for two years in Ghana. No matter where I go I will continue to perpetuate the meaning of Black lives matter.