I also need for Spanish people to stop referring to themselves as Latinos, because they only want to associate with us when it comes to our music or whatever else they think is ‘fun and quirky’ cause the rest of the time they’re calling us illegals, making fun of our accents, customs and treating us like shit in Spain. So fuck you, no tienes 'corazón latino’ tienes un corazón que invadió y mato a mi gente, so bye.

…Not every Latino country has a rebellion going against its government in the year 2013…Not every Latino is a drug dealer or gang leader in a prison. We’re not all Scarface or Carlito’s Way.

I believe us to be much more than comedy relief, as proved by classically trained actors such as Edward James Olmos and Benicio Del Toro.  Imagine Michelle Rodriguez with a golden lasso playing Wonder Woman or even Edgar Ramirez as Aquaman. At this point I’ll even take Sofia Vergara as She-Hulk.

2

Dominican, Black, and Afro-Latino: A Confession/Dominicano, Negro, y Afro-Latino: Una Confesión

“What? Black people in the Dominican Republic?” Yes amig@*, there are Black Dominican people whose ancestors descend from the African motherland. However, the question is not so much, “Are there Black people in the Dominican Republic?” as it is “Are Dominican people Black?” Ask that to a Dominican person and you might get cursed out. Contrary to popular belief, most Dominican people are in fact Black or African-descended, but Blackness tends to be defined in socially different ways depending on where you are in the world. For example, anyone from the United States who visits the Dominican Republic will find that most people there would qualify as Black if they lived in the states. Yet Dominican people see Blackness in a different way, and some of the most melanated Dominicans do not even claim their Blackness and instead default to “indio.” In reality, many Dominican people are as black as café, while others are as mixed as sancocho, as layered as cebollas, and a few as white as azúcar.

I was born to Dominican parents in a predominately Dominican neighborhood in the Bronx, New York, home to the second largest number of Dominican people in the world, after Santo Domingo [1]. My mother is light-skinned with thick, black, curly hair, my father is brown-skinned, and I am brown-skinned with thick, black curly hair. I was raised racially colorblind; the only awareness I had about race was every time my aunt in the Dominican Republic called to assure that I would not marry a Black woman because she didn’t want nieces or nephews “con pelo malo.”

As a child, I assimilated quickly into North American yanqui culture and identified as an “American” (even though anyone living from the North Pole all the way to the southern tip of Argentina is technically an American). I could not speak that well in Spanish, but I understood it very well, especially when my mother threatened to hit me con la correa whenever I misbehaved. And yet, Dominican culture, by way of food, music, and language, had penetrated my being for so long that I could not reject it. As a teenager, I eventually referred to myself as Dominican and proudly showcased the Dominican flag in my room as I blasted bachata, salsa, merengue, and reggaeton music.

But whenever I visited the Dominican Republic, I was seen as an outsider, a gringo from the states. It seemed that being born to Dominican parents was not enough to be Dominican. Although I was not born or raised in the Dominican Republic, I still felt an ancestral, cultural, and national connection to its people como familia. And yet, I was alienated by the very same people I identified with. Even though I was a citizen of the United States, I could no longer identify with a shallow “American” culture that aimed to whitewash my ethnic roots. I was quickly hurled into a state of identity limbo, a mind state that W.E.B. Du Bois famously referred to as “double-consciousness,” in which Black people struggle with two dimensions, descending from Africa but growing up in an American society that hates them. [2] Some later applied this term to Afro-Latin@s as “triple-consciousness,” in which “one ever feels [their] three-ness, — a Latin@, a Negro, an American; three souls, three thoughts, three unreconciled strivings…” [3]. It wasn’t until college when I overcame this confusion and finally solidified my identity.

As a Black Studies major, I learned about the powerful history and culture of African and Latin@ people of African-descent. I was challenged to obliterate the many myths and stereotypes I had about Black people. For example, Black history did not start during slavery; Black people in Africa were actually the first humans to build civilizations and lay the essential social, cultural, political, and economic foundations for modern society. Additionally, Blackness is not exclusive to African Americans in the U.S. Actually, there are Black people all over the world throughout an African diaspora that spans virtually all continents. This diaspora includes Ayiti, the original indigenous name for the island now known as Hispaniola, where the European terrorist Christopher Columbus set foot and virtually annihilated an entire people of the native Taíno and Arawak societies. Ayiti is now shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where hundreds of thousands of African people were sent to be enslaved by France and Spain during the trans-Atlantic African holocaust.

As a brown-skinned Dominican, the idea that I was somehow Black never crossed my mind. But what does it mean to be Black? Who is considered Black, and who is not? Am I Black? If I’m Dominican, can I be Black too? Am I Black enough? These are questions I struggled to answer as I embarked on a journey to come to terms with my European, Indigenous, and African ancestry and define my racial and cultural identity. Eventually, after deep study and reflection, I had discovered a racial and cultural fusion and finally admitted that I am the following: an Afro-Latino, or a Latino of African-descent, who identifies with their African roots; and an Afro-Dominican, which is simply a nationalized Afro-Latin@ identity. An Afro-Latin@ embraces four elements of African identity: their racial African features, like my thick, Black, curly afro; their cultural traits, which descend from African traditions such as music, food, language, and dance; their political identity, which is molded by their shared experience within a racist, anti-Black, system of white supremacy; and their social characteristics and personalities, which are African in nature. A Latin@ is simply someone mixed with African, European, and Indigenous blood.

I say “admit” because this acknowledgement of one’s Blackness is perceived by many Dominican people as an irrational confession and sometimes an unforgivable betrayal, for to be Black in the Dominican Republic is to be the antithesis of Dominican national identity, to be anti-Dominican, in other words, to be an “inferior” Black Haitian. This racist anti-Haitian ideology had begun following Dominican independence from Haiti in 1844 and then fully engrained into Dominican society a century later by Rafael L. Trujillo, a ruthless and Eurocentric dictator of Spanish, Dominican, and (ironically) Haitian-descent who was groomed and supported by the United States government. He is notorious for massacring tens of thousands of Haitian people in 1937 in order to mejorar la raza.

Trujillo’s preliminary efforts to whitewash the racial identity of Dominican people have left behind a devastating legacy of Antihaitianismo, or anti-Black racism against Haitian people and Dominican people of Haitian-descent in the Dominican Republic. This is exemplified by the recent Dominican Supreme Court ruling in 2013 that revokes citizenship from people born in the Dominican Republic after 1929 to Haitian immigrants who entered the country “illegally,” even though Dominican and Haitian people share a very similar cultural, political, and economic history, especially in their struggle against European colonialism and imperialism [4][5]. In fact, it was Haitian people who abolished slavery on the entire island after they won the most successful slave revolt and built the first independent Black nation in the Western Hemisphere.

Yet today, racism and white supremacy continue to oppress Afro-Latin@s throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, and the U.S. Many Latin@s, even those with dark skin, would rather identify with their European colonizer before even considering themselves African. Latin@s internalize this self-hatred and often perpetuate the racist stereotypes created by the same European oppressor they wish to emulate. The Afro-Latin@ identity, then, serves to embrace our African roots and directly reject the Eurocentric and anti-Black racism that has infected Latin@ communities. I am now proud to rock my big curly afro and embrace the Dominican and Black African in me, all at once. And when Dominican people ask me, ¿Pero cuando vas a cortar esos rizos? I’ll respond, “Cuando te dejas crecer los tuyo.”

*The “@” is meant to reject the patriarchal, male dominant “-o” suffix and the male/female -o/a binary prevalent in the Spanish language. The “@” is inclusive of all genders.

Published on La Galería Mag ( lagaleriamag ), a Dominican diasporic online magazine.

Works Cited:

[1] Duaney, Jorge. 2011. Los Países: Transnational Migration from the Dominican Republic. Blurred Borders: Transnational Migration between the Hispanic Caribbean and the United States. (pp. 169-186). Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press.

[2] W.E.B. Du Bois. 1994. The Souls of Black Folk. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications.

[3] Roman, Miriam Jimenez & Flores, Juan (Eds.). 2010. The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States. Trinity, North Carolina: Duke University Press Books.

[4] Matibag, Eugenio. 2003. Introduction. Haitian-Dominican Counterpoint. New York: Palgrave Macmillan

[5] Torres-Saillant, Silvio. 2010. Introduction to Dominican Blackness. Dominican Studies Research Monograph Series. http://www.ccny.cuny.edu/dsi/upload/Introduction_to_Dominican_Blackness_Web.pdf

Dear Hispanic Tumblr,

I absolutely loved Black Out, and from what I heard Asian Invasion is happening as well and I hope it is just as successful! So the question is what are we Hispanics going to do to break the Internet ? There are so many of us and we come in all shapes, sizes, and nationalities! LETS MAKE IT HAPPEN! LATINOS STAND UPPPPPPPP

Today’s #NoMames Moment: The Economist US Latinos’ Chili Peppers Cover

Leave it to theeconomist for reminded us all that they are clueless. For an article about the rise of U.S. Latinos, this is the cover the magazine has for one of its editions.

No worries, they have a China one, too.

As you can imagine, the cover is getting the #NoMames on Twitter this morning.

#LatinIWave

1. to represent the many types of latinxs/hispanics, not just mexicans

2. we can all agree that latinxs/hispanics have been called mexicans

3. to destroy stereotypes on how latinxs/hispanics look

4. we are not represented in the media/social websites

5. when we are represented we are either represented as drug dealers, low income families, sometimes even fetishized for example; tumblr.com/search/latina 

3

A Most Imperfect Union: A Contrarian History of the United States

“It’s a comic book history of America written by two Latinos and told from the perspective of some of the country’s most humble people - workers, immigrants, soldiers, students, slaves and housewives - who are often overlooked in other textbooks.”

Illustrated by Lalo Alcaraz (of the daily comic strip La Cucaracha) and author, professor and cultural historian Ilan Stavans.

I want to dedicate this award to my fellow Mexicans, the ones who live in Mexico. I pray that we can build the government that we deserve. And to the ones living in this country, who are part of the latest generation of immigrants in this country, I just pray that they can be treated with the same dignity and respect as the ones who came before and built this incredible immigrant nation.
—  Alejandro González Iñarritu 

okay the whole latinx/hispanic selfie day, “mirame”, is cool and all. As a latina myself I feel it’s somehow necessary because literally no one cares about us. 

My only complain is, why does it have to be on May 5th? 

Cinco de Mayo is only celebrated by white ignorant people and mexicans. That’s not even ¼ of the latinx/hispanic world population. Hell, I literally don’t even know what cinco de mayo is nor I know how to celebrate. Born and raised in southamerica and I have never celebrated cinco de mayo, so why the hell would it represent me? 

This is, sadly, once again reducing Latinxs/Hispanics to gringo logic instead of celebrating our collective cultures.

no one cares about latinxs / hispanic who don’t live nor care about America. 

decolonise latinx culture. 


edit: and I don’t like to be put in the hispanic tag. yes I speak spanish but my parents still got called indixs when they went to Spain, so there’s that for you. Hispanic is a word designed for white people to label everyone who isn’t ACTUALLY gringo. Like yeah you white as well but you speak Spanish, so please fuck off.

A Brazilian girl of German descent plays an accordion during a parade

In the first years of independence from Portugal, the government of Brazil sought to settle the heavily underpopulated southern region of Brazil with Europeans; the main reason for this was fear of invasion from Argentina or Uruguay. The first Europeans, outside of the Portuguese, to immigrate to these lands were the Germans starting from 1824. Germans were offered large tracts of farmland in the south of the country, where they could settle with their families and live off of agricultural work. Many families settled unoccupied lands at once forming towns, these towns came to be known as colonias or colonies. Alongside the Portuguese, the Germans made-up the majority of immigrants to Brazil until 1876, when a massive boom in European and Levantine immigration occurred. In 1876, Italians and Spaniards replaced Germans as the largest immigrant groups; Italians and Spaniards were highly desired by the government as they were both: white, culturally Latin, and Roman Catholic. The Spanish immigrants mostly migrated to settle and work in the coffee plantations of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro; replacing the enslaved Africans who would shortly be emancipated. The Italians on the other hand, were divided into two groups: those who migrated to São Paulo alongside the Spaniards, and those who settled in the southern states alongside the Germans; starting their own colonias or populating cities already formed by German/other European-descendants. Despite the lower immigration rate of Germans, the German-Brazilian community had the largest birthrate in all of Brazil during that time, and for this reason they were able to maintain a large demographic and predominance over other Europeans, particularly in the state of Santa Catarina. Unlike many of the Italian immigrants, the German-Brazilians were also largely isolated from the rest of Brazilian society. This helped maintain their native German dialects, and for many non-Catholic Germans; their Protestant religion. Immigration of Germans continued into the 20th century, and both World Wars once again brought large influxes of immigrants from Germany, both ethnic German and Jewish. Smaller waves of immigrants continued to emigrate from Germany, until 1969.

These days German-Brazilians make up one of the largest ancestral groups in all of Brazil, and the country is home to the second largest German diaspora in the world. Most inhabit the southern states of the country, but are also a significant population in the southeastern states of São Paulo and Espírito Santo. In modern times, German-Brazilians have fully integrated into Brazilian society, the majority are now Catholic, and most speak Portuguese as their first language, however in many rural areas of the south and southeast they still continue to speak dialects of German. The most commonly spoken dialect of German is called Riograndenser Hunsrückisch, a uniquely Brazilian dialect based on Hunsrückisch German, but infused with: Portuguese, Italian, and even Guarani influence. German Brazilians have largely shaped the culture, architecture, and cuisine of southern Brazil. They are most renowned for their Oktoberfest festivities in the city of Blumenau, the second largest Oktoberfest event in the world.

How about white Hispanics stop pretending that they are oppressed

How about white Hispanics stop pretending that they are oppressed and stop erasing the fact that they are the perpetrators of oppression in their own country. How about they stop pretending that they are  getting persecuted in High office 100,000$ job when chicano juan can’t even get a driver’s licence. How about ya’ll acknowledge that you owned slaves, went by a color system, and destroyed entre civilization and come here and have the audacity to pretend Mestizos, Afro-Latinos, Chicano and ya’ll share the same plight.