I Am Enough
My hair isn’t perfect
When it isn’t straightened
But it’s okay cause it’s enough
I don’t have tan or pale skin
Only dark skin
But it’s okay, I am enough
I am made fun of/ misunderstood for speaking Spanish cause I am a Black girl
I get stares and shocking surprises and even white Latinos are in denial.
I am called exotic, some type of stranger
I’m not accepted by Black people for they say I am being something I’m not
I’m not accepted by Latinos since I don’t look white European or even close to it
I know who I am accepted by.
It’s people like me who are Black Latinas with similar experiences. With the same cultures and we can relate when we speak in Spanish or in our native tongue about our lives .. our ancestors and who we are. We exist. We are here. We are Afro Latinas and We are enough.
My name is Nadia born in New Jersey. I was 11 or 12 when I wrote about Mexico in middle school then I discovered the truth years later about my Mexican heritage. It took some time to dig out the truth since my mom said we are only Panamanian. My Mexican heritage though comes more from my dad’s side. My mom’s side is black Panamanian, mixed with ingenious and European roots, Black and indigenous of Colombia, and Black and indigenous of the Amazon from Brazil.
My dad’s side is Black, Mexican heritage / South Central American. People thought I was never enough, not Black neither Latino enough. I didn’t look mixed either. I didn’t look black so much either, but I am Black so I don’t know why they thought I wasn’t. My mom was big on one thing growing up all Latina moms straighten their hair. Nappy hair wasn’t a thing. We were raised on straight hair and if it wasn’t straight it was an issue. I always had relaxers. I became obsessed with straight hair eventually I wasn’t enough since I was different. I spoke different languages.
My mentality wasn’t the same. I was considered a stranger to everyone. I didn’t grow up listening to my music or speaking Spanish. Although my Abuela did speak and know Spanish, I ended up learning Spanish later on. In my family, only certain people speak Spanish. I was one of the few who didn’t watch telenovelas or like to do things a normal Latina will do.
I love my culture and music. It’s inspiring to see other Afro-Latinas. Black beautiful woman with a voice I wish I had .. they help me never to give up .. like my ancestors are behind me and within me. I’ve learned so much all these years. I use to struggle to love myself because like I said I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t accepted for who I was. I never pick sides when it comes to my heritage. I speak English and Spanish. I eat tacos, pozole and tortillas then I eat fried chicken. I dance to cumbia then I listen to Cardi B. At the end of the day, I am an Afro Latina/Afro-indigenous woman.
I Am Enough