"Why can't you just say you're black. Why do you have to add all that extra stuff to it?"

"Why can't you just say you're black. Why do you have to add all that extra stuff to it?"

The life of an Afro-Latina.

I hate talking about nationality. Nationality might not even be the right word to use.... maybe cultural background is more politically correct. However, no one ever asks that. Well they don't ever ask nationality either. It's usually just... "What are you?." I go on to say my mom is Puerto Rican and my dad is Colombian. Than they tell me "are you not mixed with black?" Than I say, "yes I am, I identify as Afro-Latina". This is where it gets annoying. 8 out of 10 times I am going to be asked, "Why can't you just say you're black. Why do you have to add all that extra stuff to it?" There is no extra to it. I want you to understand my culture so that you can better understand me. My skin is melanin but my culture is different than an African Americans, Africans, Afro-Canadian, etc. Black is a color. That doesn't tell you that I grew up eating rice and beans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It doesn't tell you that my grandma used to sing us "coritos" in the morning or that we greet everyone with a kiss. 

Yes, I can say I am black. If I am identifying myself on a survey, selecting a race, etc. I will put black. But being black is being much more than "black". We cannot confine melanin into a "one-size fits all". That's the beauty of being "black" its so diverse. That doesn't take away from the fact that, an Afro-Latina is black. We are not hiding from it or ashamed. Afro-Latina just means we embrace it along with everything else that defines us.  

- Signed an Afro-Latina 


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