Afro-Latina Womanhood

 

By Jenay Wright- March commemorates annual Women’s history month. This month celebrates and highlights women who have contributed to our history. Women who have addressed and fought for equality and paved the way for many for us today. The importance of paying respect and tribute to these individuals are extremely imperative as well as shedding the light on those actively doing that today. 

Afro-Latinas are warriors and we are strong. The fight for representation continues each and every day. There are many women building and providing creative spaces to bring awareness to this topic. Utilizing their voices and platforms to educate and and raise consciousness to empower other women around them.

This is history in the making and hopefully future young girls and boys will read about this in their textbooks. Children will learn about the African Diaspora in schools  and how far it runs through Latin America and so many other places because of the work being done today by some of the following Afro-Latina advocates. 

These following women individually inspire me with their contribution to the Afro-Latina movement. Each women advocates in their own way and I truly thank you for all you do and today we honor you. 

Here you will learn who inspires these ladies and what makes them most of proud of being a woman.


Tiffany Cruz

Puerto Rico

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Being a woman is something I am extremely proud of. I feel as though it gives me the strength and courage to be a leader. Growing up I struggled with my identity and felt like I needed to reserve my thoughts and beliefs since no one else was speaking up. Now in 2018 I share my opinions, ideas, and dreams with my sisters and this helps me to continue to grow into the woman I want to become in the future. As a woman I believe strongly in sisterhood and helping out our fellows sisters through times of hardship. As a person of color and a woman I feel as though if I don’t share my experiences and struggles then the cycle of self hate will continue. I want other women and girls to know that being genuine is an incredibly important characteristic, don’t feel ashamed if your definition of women is different than the Eurocentric idea of what it means to be a woman. 

There are so many incredible women that inspire me. If I had to pick one I would say Nana Asma’u. She was the daughter of Usman Dan Fodio a very influential Islamic leader in west Africa during the 1700’s. She was a teacher and a poet. She wrote countless books and poems about religion and women’s rights. I admire her dedication to her studies and the dedication she had to teach others. She would go from house to house and personally teach girls. There are many misconcepti-ons about women of color and Muslim women and their level of education, she to me is an example of a strong female leader who worked hard and used what she learned to help her community. I aspire to do the same throughout my life. 

@franchescakaraya


Keyanna Gotay

Honduras 

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Wow. I’ve never really thought about what makes me proud to be a woman. However, now that I think about it our strength makes me proud to be a woman. We are strong warriors, from the pain we endure due to our bodies, the rights we fight to have, misogyny and transphobia for those that are we continuously push through. Did I also mention how great at multitasking we are? We are resilient and strong.

There are so many women that inspire me and while I don’t want to sound cliché, my abuela (mothers mother) is who inspires me. She inspires me to fight for what I want and feel is best for me no matter how hard it is. She inspires me to be a hustler. My abuela left all she knew to migrate to this country, leaving her  then four children back home. She reached the USA with the goals of making a better living for her children, herself and to make sure she was reunited with her children. She did just that, while there were trial and tribulations she had her children with her within a year. She worked to support her children as a single mother. She’s taught me if you put your mind to it, you can do it. Hinsietibunu nagütü (I love you abuela) in Garifuna. 

 @mellymoyyanna_


Tamika Burgess 

Panama

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As a Black woman, I am most proud of our versatility. We are able to adapt and endure in any situation. We hold each other up, inspire, encourage, motivate, celebrate, and support each other.

My mother is tough and is the most straight forward and direct person I know. Her strength, elegance, and her love for the Lord is so beautiful. She always speaks her mind and is never concerned with what others might say or think of her. The way she carries herself is truly an inspiration.

@tameeksb


Kayla Boronell

Cuba – Antigua & Barbuda 

 

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The thing that makes me most proud to be a woman is the fact that we are givers of life and vessels of light. I love how versatile we are and how hard we can go, yet how soft we can be. I admire our strength, tenacity, how we nurture, and our ability to lead without missing a beat. I come from a very strong, beautiful and resilient line of women on both sides of my family and I’m so proud to represent them wherever I am in the world. The thing I love most about being a woman is the fact that one day I’ll be an example to my seeds and I’ll be able to pass along all the things I learned to them and nurture the next generation. I love assuming my role as queen and walking as such in my womanhood. Often times, society tries to fit us into boxes on what womanhood/ femininity is. They don’t realize, those constraints only propel us as women to break the glass ceilings, societal “norms”  and boundaries that were placed to keep us boxed in. As a woman I know exactly what I want, where I want to go and the work it’ll take to succeed. That’s power. That’s womanhood.

I couldn’t choose one, but collectively all the women in my family are women I admire. They are some of my favorite people in the world. I’ve been lathered in love by some amazing women who have done incredible things in their lifetimes. They’ve taught me to pray, to be strong, to be sweet, to love and to excel. Also, artistically and personally, I’m inspired by Frida Kahlo. She is one of my all time favorite artist and was so brave, bold and far ahead of her time. She’s a woman I look up to for sure! 

@thepolishedlife19


Sharee Yveliz 

Dominican Republic

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We once lived in a time where we couldn’t vote, we couldn’t work, we couldn’t speak up for ourselves. So many bright lights dimmed by the society and times we lived in so many powerful voices shut down because our gender; forced to settle in a barefoot and pregnant state of mind birthing children and feeding them on repeat, tending to the house as we should because that was our place. Now we live in a time where women work. women stay home if they WANT to women can vote, women can run for presidency, women CAN. I have a choice. women are out here just being straight up badass the fact that we can alone makes me most proud. 

My two favorite most known women have always been Frida Kahlo and Celia Cruz. 
They inspire me in two different ways. Celia taught me to accept myself and who i am, accept me for me and those who don’t agree with what i’m doing or how i am, ‘pal carajo! candela!’ Frida, well, Frida is Frida haha, She was fearless, she was courageous, her creativity impeccable, she loved hard. She was who she was and didn’t let her circumstances define her, she was pushing though regardless. she pushed boundaries 
shes the type of woman who made you turn heads and silenced a room upon entry. Frida is Frida.

@senoritacherryyy


Bianca Kathryn 

Mexico 

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What makes me most proud to be a woman is that fact that we’re such complex beings. There’s so much depth to women, for example, I feel like all women have this innate power of strength. I’ve seen it with my mother first hand. When her and my father were going through it, I could see the many emotions in her eyes (pain, hurt, fear, anger) but somehow or another she was always able to dig deep and garner enough strength to ensure we had enough food on the table, that the lights never turned off and that I never went without. The complexity of emotions and the ability to push past those emotions to ultimately survive is something that I believe only women possess. 

That’s tough. There have been so many women who have come into my life that have molded me and had an impact on my life that’s it’s almost impossible to just choose one. I would have to say that women who speak their truth, are bold, strategic, empathic and overall kind inspire me. I think there’s power in speaking in your truth and then being bold enough to walk in that.

@biancakathryn_

 


Deyla 

Honduras 

 

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I am clothed with strength and dignity and I laugh without fear of the future. As women, we have the ability to unite people together and keep the wheels rolling until it falls off. As women, we wear endless hats. Some hats that men will never get to wear. As a woman, I am skilled, strong, fearfully and wonderfully made. And that is exactly what makes me a proud woman. 
It is impossible for me to pick one woman that inspires me because there is a village of women that inspired me to be who I am today. From my mother, to my boss, to my professor, to my sister, to my spiritual mother and even to the little girl that I used to be. That strong woman clothed with strength was birthed from a collaboration of extraordinary women leaders. It is a requirement to take the time to get to know yourself first in order to understand where you are meant to go. This I learned from all these women, which explains why they inspire me.
@bloggerfromthebronx

Chenita J.
Colombia 

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One thing I’ve realized over the years is that we as women don’t give ourselves enough credit. From birth we are given such high expectations as women. As we get older those expectations grow. And as adults we are expected to have it all. House, spouse, family, career. And with that somehow maintain our sanity. We are taught that women cook, clean, raise kids, go to work, take care of their spouse and maintain their own sanity and self image. Not only have we broken those barriers but we have exceeded any and all expectations and demanded MORE from our counterparts. We are learning our worth and understanding that we are more than just a human being. We are wives, sisters, mothers, aunts, nieces, daughters but most of all WE ARE THE FOUNDATION FOR LIFE AS A WHOLE. That is the one thing that makes me beyond proud to be a woman! 

 

It’s hard to choose just one. Every woman I’ve met or watched or read inspired me in many ways. As cliche as it might be, Oprah has always been an inspiration of mine. Not because of her success, that would be too easy. I have always admired her before her success. Her life wasn’t anything short of rough. I remembered reading about how she was abused as a child. The poverty she faced with her mother but that despite all of that how she persevered. And despite the obstacles she faced as she continued to get older she always overcame. Stories like hers have always resonated with me. Growing up I would look to books or biographies alike. Showing women who were born into such unfortunate circumstances and still overcame. But it was Oprah and her history that saved me multiple times growing up from a young child, to a teenager to an adult. Whenever I have been faced with difficulty, from physical/mental abuse, to being a teen mom to being diagnosed with breast cancer. It was her story and stories alike that helped me to remind myself to focus and persevere. I hope one day I can meet her (and Tiffany Haddish lol) and just tell her how amazing she truly is. 

@beautyinbeastmodee


Casandra Rosario 

Puerto Rico

 

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Something that makes me proud to be a woman, is the innate ability to love and nurture unconditionally. Not only are we as woman capable, but we do so selflessly. I’m so impressed by that and it feels amazing to be apart of a tribe that represents that. 

I never get tired of talking about how much I’m inspired by Kelis Rogers. Mainly because of how hard working and unapologetic she is. That combo cannot be contested and I’m so motivated by her journey. 

@casandra.rosario


Janel Martinez 
Honduras 
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This is a hard one because there are so many things that make me proud to be a woman. In choosing one, I’d have to say my spirit. As women, we’re intuitive, magical, resilient and powerful and I think that’s directly connected to our spirit, specifically the spirit of a Black woman. That spiritual groundedness and ability to ground others, support others and lead with that first is powerful. 
One woman who inspires me is my mom. I am who I am because of her. She poured into me so much growing up, making sure I knew who I was as a woman, that I was beautiful and empowered all while having to work and care for the family. She is human but growing up she was a super heroine to me and she still is.  She immigrated to this country, having to learn the language, excel in school and help raise her younger sisters. She was the first in a lot of respects for the family and she inspires me daily to be my best self. I love her so much! 
@janelm

Amanda Pericles 
Dominican Republic 
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The thing that makes me most proud to be a woman is our resilience. We have so many odds and people stacked against us, so many struggles we face. We just keep on pushing, making things work with whatever we have, with beauty and grace. 
I truly can’t choose one woman who inspires me, because I have so many sources of inspiration and motivation. My best friends, my mother, my little sister – they all inspire me to be the best me I can be. They inspire me to not take things too seriously, to strive for excellence, to buckle down when necessary, to live every day like it’s my last, to appreciate what I have, to thank God, and to be aware of my influence.
@afrolatinas_

Zaira Miluska
El Salvador 
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What makes me feel proud to be a woman is our divine energy! Despite the crazy amount of mixed feelings we go through day-to-day we continue to flourish and exemplify passion, laughs, tears, frustration, joy, radiance, etc. We are brilliance, bravery, boss, majestic, achievers, haters, lovers. We are the embodiment of what it means to be human. Each flower has a history, a moment, a luminosity.

Many womxn inspire me, daily. The womxn in my family have first and foremost helped shaped me to be the driven woman I am today. But one particular woman comes to mind who continues to empower me and I’ve never met her—her name is PPrudencia inspires me because as a Salvadoran-American woman, her story empowered me when I was desperately looking for some sort of Salvadoran/Central American representation in Latinx media. She reminded me of the fierceness that Salvadoran womxn carry, everyday. Her ability to accomplish so much in a conservative society while breaking the rules and being her own person is forever my muse. She makes proud to be a Salvadoran woman.rudencia Ayala. Prudencia was a Salvadoran feminist writer and activist for womxn’s rights in El Salvador.

Born on April. 28, 1885, she was never able to finish grade school because of low resources but that never stopped her from publishing articles in her local newspaper, where she voiced a support for a Central American unity and criticized the U.S. for it’s American imperialism in Central America. She served jailed for opinions and activism.In 1930 she decided to run for presidency in El Salvador in a time where womxn were not allowed to vote or hold public office. Her petition was denied by the Salvadoran government but set an example. Prudencia inspires me because as a Salvadoran-American woman, her story empowered me when I was desperately looking for some sort of Salvadoran/Central American representation in Latinx media. She reminded me of the fierceness that Salvadoran womxn carry, everyday. Her ability to accomplish so much in a conservative society while breaking the rules and being her own person is forever my muse. She makes proud to be a Salvadoran woman.

@poeticallyzee


 

Wralanda Little 

Dominican Republic – Haiti 

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The mind of a women is so powerful but the soul of a women is the most fascinating thing to me. I love how I can  be hurt and still heal someone else. 
I can’t choose one women that is the hardest thing I look at the quality within women and i can always find something about any women I admire or is inspired by. I guess anyone who is an entrepreneur that shows all themselves Maybe Tiffany Haddish. She has no shame and she is not afraid to live in her own skin and she doesn’t judges others.

 

@rhethelight


The Brooklyn Beauties 

Panama – Puerto Rico

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We are proud to be a women because as women we are pillars of strength to all those around us. We are strong and resilient We may experience turmoil and chaos in our life but regardless of what we are faced with, we keep pushing forward. We are compassionate, loving and caring by nature. We are beautiful! Being a women is something to celebrate.

All women inspire us! At our last event we put together HerStory:Embracing Her Scars the room was filled with beautiful courageous women who have been defeated in one way or the other. What inspired us about each one of them, was the courage not to give up on themselves.

@thebrooklynbeauties


Marlena Matute 
Panama

 

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Most of the world tends to view women as the “weaker sex” but this not even close to being true. I mean, we get things done! Whether pregnant, ill, injured or even bleeding for 5 days a month women will work hard for their families, themselves and their communities even if the odds are stacked against them. It is this kind of resilience and strength that makes me proud to be a woman.
Fashion and social influencer, Leah Vernon.  I just love how she demonstrates that someone else’s views of your racial/ethnic background and religion shouldn’t dictate who you are or your dreams. She is such a badass and I aspire to be like her.

@bigcity_curvygirl_thinwallet


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