11.22.2012

Being Black and Latino

(h/t Telisha P)

24 comments:

  1. Still finding my way through my identity. Nice video.

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  2. Loved it. Thank you for this :)

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  3. Story of my teenage years! Can't tell you how many odd looks I got for speaking Spanish. Thank you!!

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  4. How does Hollywood NOT know what to do with Black Hispanics? Doesn't that add a whole new dimension to American storytelling? What exactly is the problem here?

    Oh, wait...never mind.

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    1. I know you're being rhetorical, but just thought I'd answer nonetheless for any readers who REALLY don't have a clue (yes, they exist): H-Wood doesn't know WHAT to do with people they can't fit cleanly in a neat little box. Not even just H-Wood - the music industry is just as terrible. One thing I read in a Tami Chynn interview was that the U.S. record companies didn't know how to market her at all, since she didn't fit the stereotypical 'reggae/dance hall artiste' look. In the end, they sent her to Japan. =_=

      Both them and H-Wood can bite it.

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  5. Loved this clip.

    Noone should have to choose they are.They are Black Latinos.Both of their heritages should be celebrated and not supressed. Whenever I hear people talk about biracial/bicultural people being "confused" why should they have to be forced..as one girl said....to choose who they are? They are who they are. That is how I would raise my mixed kids to be..proud of who they are no matter how many cultures/ races they are.

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    1. Oops..pressed the enter button too quickly.In addition for me saying "yep",I was going to add that White racist society are always looking for those non Blacks who can assimilate and empower them.

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    2. I do believe that...I think they've done a good job convincing some Asians that they will be honorary whites as long as they accept the idea that they are the only minorities who are smart and work hard and therefore DESERVE any modicum of success or admission into the best schools (yet they somehow overlook the people who want to impose caps on the numbers of them when they get too "high."

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  7. What is hilarious to me (as a Black American) is how many people stop believing their eyes when hear someone say that they are Latino.
    Have you see the "100% Puerto Rican" makeup ad with JLo? As if that means anything from a racial perspective?
    So we have people white and black who think that members of the African Diaspora who speak Spanish or Portuguese are some entirely different creature even when they are physically indistinguishable from the rest of us.
    It's funny, since there are more black people in the Southern part of the Western hemisphere than in the Northern part.
    It's been annoying with the whole Zoe Salada as Nina Simone flap that people act as though the issue is that Zoe isn't a black woman (and I don't want even to start on the whole "she looks so white" nonsense). But if we are going to do casting that ignores skin color, then as I saw on another website, Viola Davis should have a shot at playing Lena Horne one day.
    On an individual level, a lot of people happily acknowledge their race and ethnicity. But people's head almost explode when forced to confront the distinction.
    It's so funny b/c I remember my parents describing Puerto Ricans as black people who speak Spanish. Clearly, it's more complicated than that and no, they don't all have African ancestry but somehow they had a clue (maybe from living in NY for a while), so I am never surprised when I go into some parts of NYC and get addressed in Spanish, or get asked if I'm "Dominicana" or "Cubana" as a dark-skinned black woman.
    One of my non-black friends dated a Black Latino and I had to roll my eyes when she told me "he says he is Latino but he looks Black."

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    1. "Have you see the "100% Puerto Rican" makeup ad with JLo? As if that means anything from a racial perspective?"

      Yes, I saw that pure bullsh*t. Gina Torres did say that H-Wood prefers their Latino/a actors to look Italian, and that '100% Puerto Rican' nonsense falls right in line with that mentality. Left up to them, you wouldn't think people who weren't 60%+ European-origin lived in Latin/Hispanic countries, and had their own complex and vibrant cultures.

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    2. I'll be real; when that one actor said 48% of Latin America is Black, I cackled.

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  8. It's sad that people have been so used to see one type of Latinas in the media that when they see a black Latina(o) they don't consider her/him as a Latina(o), and I'm like "what? Don't you know the Americas' history? Latinos are mixed, it's not a pure race, they come out in all shades and shapes". But I can't blame people, it's the media.
    I remember when I was at university, all the foreign Brazilian students I met looked white or stereotypically Latino (but not black at all). All my Brazilian teachers looked like typical Latinas, and one of them was blonde with green eyes and fair skin. So I was like "where are the black Brazilians?".
    You know, it's like these Brazilian models who look so white...I'm like "where are the mixed and black ones?"

    I agree with M, Latinos are "sort of" associated with Whites in terms of beauty and sex appeal. Maybe it's a bit the same thing in my country, but really not on the same scale. I don't know, but here you have many people from North Africa (Maghreb) and it's a lot easier for the white French to show them on TV and have them as female R&B singers than having black women. They're NOT sexualized like Latinas though and they're really different as they're Muslim.
    I'm glad for them, but yeah, I'd like to see more black women. And speaking of that, the only "long term" black female singer who's still active here looks Latina or North African. To me it's very telling...

    As for Tami Chynn...I remember her, the Jamaican white girl. I'm not surprised that the US didn't know what to do with her... :(

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    1. She's not even all that white, really, though the Asian ancestry is much more prominent in her younger sister, Tessanne. Either way, the industry can bite it.

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    2. Hey, I have just checked out her wikipedia page, I didn't know she was mixed! My bad. I didn't know her sister as well lol

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  9. Oh about the video...the good hair thing and should act Latino or whatever...when will all of this stop? I was a bit shocked about the "adelantar la raza" comment by a woman interviewed there, such mentality is sad (not her opinion though). Colonization mindset still runs deep...the Caribbean and Latin America were much more into skin color/hair texture hierarchy.

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    1. I saw a painting on the Black Women in Brazil blog (I think) illustrating that very idea. There's a black Grandma raising her hands to the heavens in thanks that her grand child, born to her 'mulatta' daughter and white son-in-law, was white. Praise Jesus, the curse has been removed!

      It made my blood run cold.

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  10. Has anyone watched HBO's The Latino List? It's based off the Black List series done a few years ago. While I was watching I'm thinking to myself where are the black latino's? I think they had 1 black latino each in the two part series, but some of them did talk about the colorism and having that black grandma in the closet family tree.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/16/hbo-documentary-the-latino-list-featuring-eva-longoria-and-more_n_966685.html

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    1. Interesting, I will try to find the whole documentary somewhere (hopefully I will be able to view it from my country).

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  11. just Hollywhite doing business as usual. I mean at least half of Latin America is black. Puerto Rico is a US territory and half of them have visible African acestory. Yet the only only famous Latino's who get to play Lation roles look like they just arrived from Spain. Where are all the Latinos with Indigenous and African ancestry? The Indigenous ones are ignored unless it is an anti immigrant convo and the African Latinos are all playing African Americans.

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  12. Even though I agree with Hollywood not knowing what to do with Black Latinos,but the majority of Latinos are a mix of something. There is a difference between being of African descent and having 2 black parents. Many Latinos like myself you can see have African genes but are not considered Black. In Latin America the requisites to being called black are having "nappy hair" and a broad nose with dark skin. Someone like Zoe Saldana is not considered "black" in the Latino community because of her hair type. In most LA countries having waving or soft curly hair without any relaxerss or chemicals automatically means you are mixed even if you are dark. People in this country say Cuba is mostly black, but that's not true. Most Cubans are mixed black/white and I'm not talking about a distant ancestor. There are Black cubans that look like Jay-Z and 50 Cent, they are considered black. Zoe and Christina Milian are considered mulattos or mixed. Someone like Kelly Rowland is considered black and Beyonce and her sister would be considered light skin black girls. In Latin American people go by what they see phenotypically.

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    1. So Zoe Saldana's relaxed hair makes her "mixed" now? If they go based on what they see shouldn't that mean that Beyonce's blond wig makes her not black either?

      The majority of black descendants of slaves have the same "mix" as Black Latinos, the only difference is that my white ancestors spoke English. And trust, it's not that 'distant'. Don't drink that Kool-aid and believe that your black is not the same as my black.

      One thing that is true is that blacks in Latin America were enslaved and remain at the bottom of the economic and social ladders. Somehow, no matter what you call black, people still treat it the same.

      And actually, the majority of Cubans were black until the U.S. gained control at the end of the Spanish American War. In fact, Cuba was so black it made them fear that they'd have a revolt like they had in Haiti, so they PAID white Italians and Spaniards to immigrate. It became illegal to bring NEW Africans into North America in the early 19th century, so passing them through Cuba became the standard way of smuggling them in, which is how it became so black.

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