Afro-Latinx Inequality

Clark University Clark Digital Commons. (n.d.). Retrieved October 28, 2021, from https://commons.clarku.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2747&context=asdff.

This article is talking about a qualitative study done by a student at Clark university. Unfortunately, I could not find the podcast for the more details on the results of this study. So for this study this student is trying to find out how Afro-Latino women report their experiences with the anti-black narrative inside of their own culture. She used women who identify themselves as Afro-Latino college students who averaged the age of 23 years old. One thing I found interesting are her results for starters, under seeking black liberation it states, “detachment from significance of hair”. I was so excited to read that because in the Latinx community hair is a big thing that is looked at and if your hair type does not go by their Eurocentric standards, they look at you like a different person. Hair is something that needs to be left behind because every single hair type of beautiful and like the Latino’s say “pelo bueno”. This article showed me how Afro-Latinos struggle with finding their identity even in their own homes.

Comas-Díaz, L. (2021). Afro-Latinxs: Decolonization, healing, and liberation. Journal of Latinx Psychology, 9(1), 65–75. https://doi-org.remote.baruch.cuny.edu/10.1037/lat0000164

This article is informing us about the Afro-Latinx struggle that they have when it comes to fitting in anywhere. Comas-Diaz speaks on things such as gender, race, colonial mentality, post colonization stress disorder, and the Afro Latinx diaspora. She ends her article talking about some ways that Afro-Latinxs can heal from any trauma that comes with being an Afro-Latinx especially in the United States. She starts talking about coloniality and how this affects those who are Afro-Latinx more because of the intersection of identities that they have such as gender, race, sexuality, and class. She speaks on how Eurocentric views are seen as the norm and Afrocentric views are viewed as deviant. When talking on gender she speaks on how the Afro-Latinx woman have it the worst. Due to the intersectionality of gendered racism and the stigma of how black women are viewed in society, this makes Afro-Latinx women to be more suspectable to negative sexual stereotypes.

Colonial mentality is when someone internalizes the belief of racial, ethnic, and cultural subordination that they experienced due to their history of being colonized. People who experience this go through things such as avoid getting darker, do not like their natural nose, hair, or body type, glamourizing the Eurocentric beauty standard, etc. This really shows how when a country is colonized it has an impact on those who wanted to just live their normal lives. This really has taken a toll on Afro-Latinxs women who try their best to make themselves fit in somewhere and they feel like they do not have a place anywhere. She then goes into spiritual healing and how we can use our African spirituality to help cope with the racism. In Latin American countries the slaves disguised their African Gods into Christian ones so that they can keep their faith and please the oppressor. Santeria is one of these African religions turned into a Latin American religion. This article was very informing and helped me learn more about Afro-Latinxs and how much they really struggle within the Latinx community and others as well.

Davis, D. (2021, August 4). Why black and latinx women are more likely to struggle with impostor syndrome-and how to overcome it. CNBC. Retrieved October 28, 2021, from https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/04/why-black-and-latinx-women-struggle-more-with-impostor-syndrome.html.

This article is talking about how Afro-Latinx women go through so much with their intersecting of sex and race that they will start to feel like imposters to themselves. It is called imposter syndrome which is defined as someone who perceives themselves as professionally and intellectually fraudulent. Imposter syndrome is seen so frequently throughout the Afro-Latinx community. They believe that because they are one of the few or only when it comes to careers and college that they do not have what it takes even if they do. This article really tackles the point that as Afro-Latinas we go through it the worst because of our intersectionality. We are women who are black and Latino. All of these sections have oppression on them so to have all three you believe that you are at the bottom of the pyramid. Although Afro-Latina go through a lot in terms of career and school, the more prove people wrong the more of us will be in the offices, courtroom, police stations, hospitals, etc.

Figueroa. (2020). Your lips: Mapping afro-boricua feminist becomings. Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, 41(1), 1. https://doi.org/10.5250/fronjwomestud.41.1.0001

This article is trying to examine what it is like being an Afro-Latina woman in diaspora who is trying to figure out where she fits in society and even in her family. Along with anti-black concepts being taught by our family which can make us feel out of place. She felt like she did not fit in with her cousins who have more of a Taino look to them than an African look. They told her that she had lips like her father who is black, and it made her feel like she was not has beautiful as they were. They made her feel like she was an outcast in her own family. This story really emphasizes how in a Latinx households being viewed as having black roots or being black is something that is frowned upon. No one wants to have the big hair, big lips, the skin tone. Nothing that will associate them with having African descent. It is sad and there needs to be a way that the Latinx community can learn to embrace their African roots. There needs to be a change so women especially afro-latino in the Latinx community can love who they are and not want to change anything about themselves.

Fountain, S. M. (2016, September 24). Pelo Malo y Pelo Bueno. Medium. Retrieved October 27, 2021, from https://medium.com/heymigente/pelo-malo-y-pelo-bueno-182125d13c8b.

This article is trying to explain this phenomenon in the Latinx culture when it comes to hair. There are distinctly two different types of hair that they categorize which is ‘pelo Bueno’ and ‘pelo malo”. These both easily translate into good hair and bad hair. More specifically bad hair is connected to kinky, coils, or afro-textured hair in general, while good hair is connected to having straight hair. These ideologies come from Latin Americans who have this Eurocentric way of thinking. They like to not see color, but they label themselves by the color of their skin (most of the time excluding the Afro-latinx). This way of thinking likes to glamourize this idea that being light skin with straight hair is better than someone who is darker skin with curly hair.

Fountain then goes on to interview Afro-Latino’s to see their take on the good hair vs. bad hair. Most of them is what I expected growing up in a household where straight hair is glamourized while curly hair is looked down on. This can have a negative effect on Afro -latino’s especially for the women. Women already have this certain standard put on us, crossing that with being Latino and black is a lot to bear. They must always please everyone their black part, their lutino part, and the part that makes them a woman. This is so hard when it comes to try to find your identity as a woman because you try and make yourself fit everywhere even when you do not feel like you are accepted. Afro-Latina’s need to just forget what society and their family thinks and do things that make them happy and also do things that make them feel like they belong.

López, G., & Gonzalez-Barrera, A. (2020, August 18). Afro-Latino: A deeply rooted identity among U.S. hispanics. Pew Research Center. Retrieved October 27, 2021, from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/03/01/afro-latino-a-deeply-rooted-identity-among-u-s-hispanics/.

This article is explaining how in the United States, Hispanics identity has several different aspects to it. Hispanics may identify themselves from their native country origin, their race, and/or hereditary background. Afro-Latinx is one of these identities that Latinos use to identify who they are. The article then goes into a survey conducted in the U.S in 2014 asking Latinos if they identify themselves as Afro Latino. López and Gonzalez-Barrera stated, “Latinos with Caribbean roots are more likely to identify as Afro-Latino or Afro-Caribbean than those with roots elsewhere (34% versus 22%, respectively).” This really surprised me because I did not know so many Caribeans and Latin Americans identify themselves as Afro-Latino. They further go into what the Afro-Latinos identify themselves when it comes to their race. About 18% identified themselves as black while 39% identified themselves as white or white combined with something else.

I can see why most of them identify themselves as white in the society we live in today whites usually get the loan, the job, etc. That and also what families teach us this Eurocentric type of thinking when it comes to how we think about ourselves and make ourselves fit into society. They also gave us some type of history stating how most of the slaves brought from Africa were put into the Spanish and Portuguese territories than the United States. They stated that about 130 million people who have African decent live in Latin American countries. Although some of the Latin American population does not like to embrace the fact that they have African descent the numbers do not lie. We have way more African blood in us than we want to believe. Latinos need to get off the high horse and embrace their black roots because it is a part of who we are.

UnidosUS. (2021, August 26). Afro-Latinos are part of the American story. UnidosUS. Retrieved October 27, 2021, from https://www.unidosus.org/blog/2019/02/26/afro-latinos/.

This article is showing us the statistics of Afro-Latinos in the United States for the year 2017. The article starts off with the definition of what an Afro-Latino is which is someone who is from Latin America with African descent or someone who has one parent who is Latino, and the other is of African descent. The data from 2017 showed us that about three million of the Afro-Latinos living in the United States and most of them reside in New York which is about 23 percent. Then, in California there is about 15 percent and in Miami there is about 12 percent. Another piece of data I found very interesting is that there was about 73 percent of Afro Latinos are born in the United States and are citizens. The article also gives statistics on the Afro-Latino being in the work force, their education rates, and the poverty rates. This article gave me a lot of statistical data about Afro-Latinos that surprised me because I did not know that this many people identified themselves as Afro-Latino. It makes me happy to see Afro-Latinos being able to make themselves known and accepted.

Working together for the vindication of the rights and dignity of afro-descendant women. UN Women | Americas and the Caribbean. July 23, 2021. Retrieved October 28, 2021, from https://lac.unwomen.org/en/noticias-y-eventos/articulos/2021/07/dia-de-las-mujeres-afrolatinas.

This article is talking on the ways that the United Nations is taking action for those who identify themselves as Afro-Latina and also those who are of African descent. July 25th is the day they made for Afro-Caribean, Afro-Latinx, and Diaspora Women to be celebrated every year. Women who are of African descent are at a disadvantage in all aspects of their life such as socially, education, workforce, sexism, relationships in all aspects, racism, and I believe I can go on. This article is showing how women are fighting for our rights and they want our voices to be heard. They are fighting for us to be able to have the same pay rate as men and to be seen as an individual not associated to your race, gender, sexuality, etc. The United Nations has proclaimed 2014-2024 as international decade for people with African descent.(“ Working together for the vindication of the rights and dignity of afro-descendant women. UN Women, 2021). They are fighting for all the women of African descent around the world, they just want us to be able to live the life we deserve free of discrimination, racism, sexism, social inequality, political inequality and so much more. There is a lot of change that can be done in this world, but I have hope we are going in the right direction.

Yahoo! (n.d.). Here’s why Latinx women are reframing the conversation around “Bad hair”. Yahoo! Retrieved October 28, 2021, from https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/heres-why-latinx-women-reframing-174005505.html.

This is another article talking on the topic of ‘pelo malo’ which translates to bad hair in the Latinx community. She starts the article talking on her own personal experience with bad hair in the salon. She then, starts talking on the anti-blackness seen in the Latino community, and how back then the Afro features including skin and hair were considered unappealing. Due to this it made anyone of African descent dislike their natural hair and make them want to put chemicals and heat, so it’ll look more Eurocentric and acceptable. Pelo malo has been in Latinx generations for years and they want to look as European as possible. One fact she stated that surprised me was how beauty schools do not go over the natural hair sections. This upset me because most of the people in the United States are minorities with natural hair, and if everyone only knows how to deal with straight hair this makes Africa descent or Afro-Latinx women feel bad about their hair. Finally, one thing on this article taught me is that in over 40 states it is legal to discriminate people based on their hair. This country has a long way to go so that as minorities can get the freedom, we deserve in a country that preaches so much “freedom”.

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