Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, I never had a reference for an “AfroLatina”. You were either black or you were of Latin descent.That was just the way it was. I grew up being Latina en la casa, and Black in the streets. My mother being the only one in her family who migrated from Puerto Barrios , Izabal Guatemala, was very adamant about raising us con la cultura. Any day you would come to our house you would see novelas on the tv, hear punta blasting on the stereo, y olieras pescado frito from the kitchen. You’d hear Spanish filing the house from all of these mediums.
It was a normal way of life for me, I never thought anything different of it. My first awareness of a difference came in high school. I always hung out with who I physically identified with, black girls. I one day noticed a brown skin curly haired girl hanging out with a bunch of latinas. I wondered to myself, “why”.
We exchanged a glanced that seemed to last a lifetime, never to see each other again. I then soon came to realize that there were more Spanish black girls like me in the world. Fast forward to this era: In 2016 I learned the term Afro-Latina at a Pan African Film Festival where the documentary “AfroLatinos: An Untold History “ by Renzo Davis and @afrolatinostv was on display.
There I saw the Caribbean , South , and Central America represented like never before: By black people!!!!! That sparked a fire in me to tell mi gente about the term I learned. They were confused by it and unaccepting of it. That’s when I knew that this work was greater than me.
After much info gathering, I decided to step out and start @AfroLatinaStandUp; a brand and movement dedicated to encouraging, educating and giving a voice to Afro-Latinas in a world that has hidden and oppressed us for so long. We officially launched on NUESTRA DÍA July 25th.
We strive to unite all Afro- Latinas and celebrate our AfroLatinidad, no matter what country you are from. We are better together. It is a surreal full circle feeling to be soon launching a vision from three years ago and I’m honored to be apart of this movement!
A todas mis lindas #AfroLatinaStandUP!