Lxs Afrxlatinxs: Queer Afrolatin@ Visibility Project

Here are some photos from the project I’ve been working on for the past few months on Queer Afrolatin@s. Check out this other post with one of the videos from the project.

If you’re interested in participating in the project also, feel free to inbox me. To keep up with project developments check out the facebook page, , and follow us on twitter @Lxs_Afrxlatinxs!
Dominican Colorism

“And then one day, my dad shocked me when he said that while he is Dominican and a Latino, he is a black man before all else. I found his comment strange and argued with him. I said to him: "You aren’t black.” And he replied that he is and that’s where all our ancestors are from. The difference is we just speak Spanish in comparison to African-Americans. We are part of the diaspora. And once my dad uttered those words, my view on not just issues of race changed, but I did. My self-esteem rose. I began to read black literature. I began to embrace my roots, my complexion and fought back when I felt I was being treated differently because of the color of my skin.“

Latinx Heritage: A Story That Can’t be Told Without Afro-Latinx Roots

Growing up in the 1980s as an immigrant, Junot Díaz felt rejected by African Americans and Latinos – the two communities he considered his own.

“I was neither black enough for the black kids or Dominican enough for the Dominican kids,“ the Dominican Pulitzer Prize winner told Fox News Latino. "I didn’t have a safe category.”

“Long before the idea of multiculturalism,“ he added, "in public people could say almost anything to you and get away with it.”

Díaz’s memories perhaps resonate with many Latinos during this time of year. Though all Hispanics are different, of course – each with their own web of looks, feels and cultural identities – what ties many of them together, and separates some, is their African lineage and how they identify with it.

To that end, Hispanic Heritage Month, which end Saturday, celebrates the significance of the different backgrounds that encompass what it means to be Latino. But a snapshot of Hispanic identity is incomplete without the complicated relationship many have with their African roots. “My problem was that I wanted to belong to both groups simultaneously, and yet each group was trying to get me to commit only to them,” Díaz said. “Relationships might be monogamous but identities certainly are not.”

This issue leads many Latinos to feel that their identities become muddied when they can’t co-exist between two worlds in which they can identify.

Díaz recalls feeling invisible and ousted by his society.

“The tension was pretty thick. And as a Caribbean, as a Dominican, we are almost entirely invisible” said Díaz.

But would African Americans necessarily see it this way?

Majora Carter, an urban revitalization strategist and winner of The New York Post Liberty Medal for Lifetime Achievement, felt that relations between Hispanics and blacks were balanced.

“I did not feel left out; there was a lot more interaction between us, at least between young people, Carter said. “We knew we were in this neighborhood together as rough as it was, and we were all cool with it.” Carter says that her mother was of African and Native American descent. She had really light skin and long wavy “white hair,” as she called it.

“Some folks in the neighborhood told (my mother) that if she passed herself off as Latino, she would have an easier time,” said Carter. “My mother told them she was from two of the strongest people on earth, why would she want to dishonor them?”

Carter says that her mother went to great lengths to help her children understand the importance of their roots “My mom sometimes wore an afro wig for unification with her kinky-haired children,” she said.
Parenting clearly serves a pivotal role in shaping someone’s racial identity. But are Latino parents always sending the right messages?

“Every single person older than me in my family made sure we understood that not only was there a difference between us and the ‘morenos’ but also us and the ‘Boricuas’,” Díaz said.

But for many Latinos, teaching their children a distinction is important, some say.

Solange Rosario, data entry specialist for The Children’s Aid society from Washington Heights who is Dominican, said she didn’t know she even looked black when she was young.

“I didn’t consider that I could be black, until I started going to school” Rosario said.

Rosario’s African roots were never brought up at home. She learned about them, she said, from her peers in school.

“Everyone would ask me why is my last name Rosario, or why I spoke Spanish. I was always so confused, until I got it. I looked black.” First generation born in the United States, Rosario wishes she could have learned about her ancestry at home first.

“We Dominicans, we speak Spanish, but everyone in my family is a different shade of brown. We all look black. It’s because of our African roots, the same African roots all Dominicans have.”

For many Latinos, there is a pride that comes from knowing their cultural anchors. And so the month where Latinos celebrate the significance of being Latino also should include a look at Afro-Latino roots that permeate the cultural foundation of Hispanics between different countries, people and places.

For Rosario and Díaz, an acknowledgement and understanding of their background led to a fuller acceptance of themselves and who they are.

“My African roots made me what I am today,” Díaz said. “They’re the reason I’m from the Dominican Republic. They’re the reason I exist at all.”

“To these, roots I owe everything.”



A short video about an individual’s experiences with queerness, gender identity/expression, sexuality, and their body.

Blackness in the White Nation

A History of Afro-Uruguay

by George Reid Andrews

Uruguay is not conventionally thought of as part of the African diaspora, yet during the period of Spanish colonial rule, thousands of enslaved Africans arrived in the country. Afro-Uruguayans played important roles in Uruguay’s national life, creating the second-largest black press in Latin America, a racially defined political party, and numerous social and civic organizations. 

Afro-Uruguayans were also central participants in the creation of Uruguayan popular culture and the country’s principal musical forms, tango and candombe. Candombe, a style of African-inflected music, is one of the defining features of the nation’s culture, embraced equally by white and black citizens. 

In Blackness in the White Nation, George Reid Andrews offers a comprehensive history of Afro-Uruguayans from the colonial period to the present. Showing how social and political mobilization is intertwined with candombe, he traces the development of Afro-Uruguayan racial discourse and argues that candombe’s evolution as a central part of the nation’s culture has not fundamentally helped the cause of racial equality. Incorporating lively descriptions of his own experiences as a member of a candombe drumming and performance group, Andrews consistently connects the struggles of Afro-Uruguayans to the broader issues of race, culture, gender, and politics throughout Latin America and the African diaspora generally.

George Reid Andrews talking about the book. Notable: Uruguay has lowest level of class inequality and lowest level of racial inequality in Latin America. Brazil has the highest in both.

AfroLatin@ Children's Book: Isabella's Hair and How She Learned to Love It

Isabella’s Hair and How She Learned to Love It is a story about Isabella, a young girl who lives in Carolina, Puerto Rico. As an Afro-Boricua child, Isabella struggles with understanding the beauty of her natural hair and the color brown. Her grandmother serves as an inspiration towards self acceptance and love.
For ages: 5-8
'NEGRO': exploring identity and the color complex among Latinos

‘NEGRO’ is a docu-series exploring identity, colonization, racism and the African Diaspora in Latin America and the Caribbean and the color complex among Latinos. Through candid interviews from Latinos, the social manifestations and consequences of the deep-seated color complex is deconstructed.

There are over 150 million AfroLatinos in the Americas, but invisibility remains a major issue not only in their respective countries but also in the U.S. I created NEGRO: A docu-series about Latino Identity because as a Panamanian-American I was raised with a deep sense of the African Diaspora, awareness, pride and admiration for the African influences and legacies in the Americas. My skin tone, hair texture and phenotype were celebrated within my family but at the same time, I noticed these were the very things denigrated and scorned in mainstream Latino media and within the Latino community at-large.


NEGRO: An AfroPeruvian Perspective on ‘Django Unchained and Peruvian Media

AfroPeruvian activist, Rocio Munoz describes racist imagery in Peruvian media and her reaction to 'Django Unchained.’ Music by 'El Menor.' 

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ok fellow Latin@s, here's the thing

while we all have similar struggles as Latin@s, let’s not pretend that the struggles of white-passing Latin@s are the same as darker/afro-latin@s cause that’s just bullshit.

I see too many fucking tears of light Latin@s on my dash lately, I’m not saying you guys don’t have to go through shit too, but let’s put things into perspective.

You feeling excluded from a group because you’re ‘too light’ and you don’t feel Latin@ is NOT the same thing as Afro Latin@s getting fucking followed, frisked, and kept from jobs based on how dark their skin is.

When Latin@s are represented in media, youare seen

Go look at Latin tv and tell me how excluded you feel. 

I have darker skin, and for most of my life I didn’t even know Latin@s like me existed, my family would often tell me to not go into the sun because forbid I’d get darker. Latin@s ask me constantly if I’m ok having dark skin, I get called 'negrita’ like it’s a bad thing constantly, however I’m 'lucky’ because according to them I got the 'good hair’ which actually means 'white people hair’. So as shitty as it is for me sometimes, I know that because of my mix I do have privilege over full Afro-Latin@s. This isn’t about 'oppression olympics’ it’s about acknowledging our privileges so that we can help empower ourselves and each other without forgetting about our black familias.

Here are two short documentaries that you can watch, and I’m sure there are many more out there. 

1. Black and Latino

2. Afro-Ecuadorians battle against racism

Colourism exists.

Let me repeat, colourism exists.


Preview: ‘Afro-Uruguay: Forward Together’ (On History Of People Of African Descent In Uruguay)

Ten percent of the Uruguayan population is of African descent. And yet, Afro Uruguayans have too often been invisible, their lives marginalized, their stories undertold. We embarked on this project to help change that and to bring greater awareness of Afro Latino cultures throughout the Americas. A rich culture and unique musical tradition bring this story of the people, their history and contemporary experience to life. Told by the people themselves, the story unfolds in the modern era, takes us back in time, and explores the interconnections of the black experience throughout the Americas.

(via Shadow and Act: On CInema of African DIaspora)


H/T to afrolatinoforum

Understanding Afro-Puerto Rican and Other Afro-Latin@ Cultures

Posted by @Vio.

I’m mixed with black and white. I’m also a film major and what I want is to create more diversity/equality in Hollywood through my work. I posted this status with that in mind and this guy put gave his input on why race representation doesn’t matter. - heysimba

Watch on

What does it mean to be Latin@ in the US?