The U.S. and the Afro-Latino Movement
By: Gisel Saillant
Yes, the Afro-Latino movement. The images the media are sending out do not capture the influence of the African Diaspora in Latin America and the Caribbean. For example, Colombian actress Sofia Vergara was asked by Hollywood producers to dye her naturally blonde hair black to look more Hispanic. This is a common, stereotypical image we are fed, in this case of the “eses” of Los Angeles.
With the filtered images we receive from the media, an actress dyeing her hair should not be as serious as the lack of Afro-Latino representation in the media. Dominican actress Zoe Saldana has yet to play a “Hispanic” role. Her African phenotype does not match the Latina images we are fed. All the roles Zoe Saldana has portrayed thus far have been African-American.
The information I want to share on the Afro-Latino Movement happening in Latin America showcases the complexities of the people that make up these countries. It’s important to realize the different manners in which race is constructed worldwide. The American black/white binary does not allow for wiggle room to find some shades in between. Also, that is not to say that racism does not exist in Latin America, because it’s about skin gradation, and everyone is mixed.
I want to share a video and some links about Venezuelan activist Jesus “Chucho” Garcia. During his visit to UMass, Garcia explained the “African” reaffirmation happening within the Afro-Latino population in their goals to be incorporated as citizens. Garcia goes into detail about the Afro-Venezuelans’ struggle to incorporate history about the Afro-Venezuelans in the curriculum. Also, he notes how involved the U.S has been in supporting the movements and the causes that are being organized by the Afro-Latino networks. Garcia explains that it’s all part of an American interventionist agenda . Garcia says that if the U.S supports the Afro-Latino population, then they would support a future intervention by the U.S.
Check it out…