Who decides what and who is Black enough? What does Black mean? Black is a racial identifier, but some people use Black refer to the African American culture… what makes my Black different from yours, is it language? Some of us speak Spanish, some speak French, others Patois or Portuguese, among others. That is the beauty of the African diaspora.

It’s so sad how in Dominican Republic they brain wash u into thinking that you should be ashamed of your African ancestors. Make u believe that it’s all just spaniard blood

So someone sent me this today after I posted a status on facebook that said “Can someone be black washed?I asked this because as a Dominican woman who happens to be brown skin and have "african” features, I sometimes feel like society classifies me as black simply because of how I look. (I in no way deny my african ancestry, rather I embrace it to the fullest extent) I do not mind because classified as black but I feel it is just easier for people to but me in a box for their sake. I’m not just black, I’m more than that…

Anyway, a fellow Dominican women sent me this after I posted my status. I laughed at first but them felt the need to address EVERYTHING that was wrong with her statement. 

1. I’m not trying to be “black” by whatever she meant in her definition of the word. I am black ( in the content of African ancestry, not African American which is how many people define black) I don’t fully identity with African American culture because for the first 6 years of my life I was in DR. I’ve been enculturated into African American culture after coming to America. 

2. I’m not spanish. I am not from Spain. I speak the language because the country where my parents are from Republica Dominicana, was colonized by the Spanish. I do not relate/connect to Spain. Other than the language I speak I feel no connection to Spain. 

2. The Dominican Republic is one of the many countries the denies ANYTHING that has to do with African ancestry because it makes them that much closer to Haiti which is seen as the bottle on the barrel in DR. 

3. Dominicans have Spanish blood, Taino blood and African blood and which every you choose to identify as is your business. I respect the language I speak, I respect the African traditions and I respect the people who cultivated my parents land before them. 

– Being Dominican is not about being too Spanish, or Taino or Black, its about respecting the land and its complex history while also understanding the roles that each group of people played in the development/destruction of the nation. I LOVE being Dominican as much as I love being a women of color. I love my blackness as much as I love my tongue. Your identity is for you to feel comfortable with. Check your own boxes and be happy with who YOU are. Don’t dumb your complexities to make it easier for other people, ever. 

HuffPost Live: Panel Discussion on "Blackness" in Dominican Republic

In Latin America and Caribbean countries like the Dominican Republic many deny being of African decent, despite 90 percent of the population possessing black ancestry. Where has the blackness gone in the region?

I need ya’ll to pay attention to Silvio and Kimberly’s contextual points, the mention of non-existence of the hypo-descent one-drop rule (which is VERY important) the mention of Jose Pena Gomez and the power-grab of Trujillo’s DR, anti-blackness in national identity formation and Marc Lamont HIll’s identity policing in the context of AA identity being universal (and the “right” way to being “Black”)—when it is not. And the shout-out to the afrolatinoforum and Miss RIzo’s!!! 

Although it seems DR is constantly the country framed when speaking about Afrodescendancy in Latin America, it had its own historical processes and it is not unique–again. Every single country in Latin America/Caribbean has African history and Afrodescendants. Also important, the casta system and how present-day manifestations still rules the day region-wide and the rewards for ones’ proximity to whiteness. Whit supremacy is constant. 



One more for such a day.
Pictures like this are pretty important in terms of who I am and how I was raised.
“Don’t get tattoos because people will think you’re in a gang”
“Don’t gain weight or no man will want to be with you”
“Keep your hair long and straight so people will think you have good hair”
“Don’t dye your hair because people will think you’re a prieta (black girl)”
“Cover up or people will think you’re a whore”
All my life I was told not to do something for the sake of other people and for the sake of not looking black & it’s crazy cuz in the part of Dominican Republic I come from, they all look like me. I spent years not comfortable in my own skin and lawd knows I love it now. Welp. There’s my black out stories 😊


Why I love me…


Trailer for Negrita Documentary by Afrodominican director Magdalena Albizu.

Visit for more information.

Still reeling from the @ibeyi2 show and meeting these two young brilliant fellow Afro-Latinas. It means the world to have your faces, your cultures, your identity reflected to you and with so much eloquence and power and originality at that. Much of Yoruba/Igbo etc identity in the Caribbean is slowly being forgotten and more specifically erased. I have been on a journey over the past few years to learn about and recognize and esteem the roots of Afro-Latin@ people, & coming about Ibeyi last October was a godsend in that journey. I don’t know how I kept it together and didn’t just fall apart in tears but I was definitely emotional and nervous! LOVE YA’LL SO MUCH! Lisa y Naomi, thank you for existing, you have no idea how much it means. #afrolatina #afrodominican #Afrocuban #Pride #Ibeyi

Pasha here ^_^ African-Dominican American or so I like to call myself. My skin color varies through the seasons. And the one thing I’ve always gotten when they see my family and figure out I’m Latina is “You aren’t as light as the others.” or “You don’t look ‘Spanish’, why?” And one of my favorites “Why didn’t you tell me?” I don’t understand that whole skin color complex still. If only they could understand that Afro-descended people are EVERYWHERE so coloring means nothing. And how is it possible to look Spanish? I’m still waiting for a logical explanation. Usually I just ignore these people. I don’t have to justify who or “what” I am just for the sake of another.