United Nations of Melanin

By Yokary Cruz-Garcia — Growing up in the Dominican Republic, people told me how lucky I was that my light-skinned father is a fourth generation Spaniard. I was the “piel morena ” with good hair, blessed because I didn’t need a “desrizado ” to straighten my hair. People made comments about my dark-skinned mother’s good fortune…

Child of the Diaspora: Being Afro-Latina in America

  By  Kae Ramirez Lashley — My mother is Afro-Panamanian (her mother is Black, her father mestizo) and my father is Bajan (from Barbados). I identify as Black, Afro-Latina, simply Latina, West Indian, or  Caribbean. I know who I am. I never try to deny my African roots. I am not more Black than Latina. I…

Representing her Afro-Latina: Miss Houston Caribbean Queen

  We shape our own identity and it is essential that we understand our own cultural experience. We learned this with Afro-Latina Ashleigh Lugo our recent Miss Houston Caribbean Queen as she embraces her roots and represents her community in pageants.  What is your perspective behind the term” AfroLatina”?  What does it mean to you?…

1 Year Blogging Anniversary!!

By Jenay Wright — I have this voice and I had this dream. It so happened that they both connected through destiny and it was interesting how faith kept them going. Doubts are danger. Doubting is dangerous. I say that twice to reiterate the message that doubts can get in the way of what you…

All Hail Queen Garifuna: Acknowledging My Heritage with Amani May

By Jenay Wright — Latin America isn’t One face, One place, One culture, One language or ONE tradition. Latin America is filled with so many different cultures, traditions, people and even languages. The diversity is endless and we see this because of its African , Indigenous and Eurocentric features over time. We must acknowledge prominent…

Vida en Panamá

By Jenay Wright —Before I was aware of the term Afro-Latina, I just said I was Black and Panamanian and this is exactly what I told people when asked what I was. It was verbatim of what represented me. I find when I say I am Latina people would give me the same “Girl stop…

Zaira Miluska Funes : An Afro-Mestizo’s Journey

By  Zaira Miluska Funes — I’m Salvadoran-American and growing up in Los Angeles I always knew, from a young age, I looked different from my Mexican friends, they were fair-light skinned with straight/wavy hair and had more Eurocentric- standard Mestizo features. While I, on the other hand, had thick curly hair, darker skinned tone, and…

Revealing my Roots: An Educator in the South

By Juceliz Batista —I’m Dominican. A Dominican from Washington Heights with brown skin and curly puffy hair. I am also a Black woman. When I was 10, my mom put a desrizado in my hair because I had too much hair to manage. Ten years later, just like every other girl who wants to free…

My Black..My Power…MyAfroLatinos

Case 1.  I got arrested and they read me my miranda rights. They cuffed me and asked me what I was ethnically. I told them Black and Latina and they delivered that message to the station.They said I have a 21 year old Black Latina female and we are taking her in. Case 2 I…

Roots and Identity : An Afro-Cuban’s Discovery of Self

When I think of this word, it holds so much weight. Everything a person does is rooted in their identity. Identity to me is not so cut and dry, but ever evolving. When a baby is born, they are given a name. Their name serves as a building block to their identity. When that child…