“So it’s just like a mixture. So I just really never know what to identify myself.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-02-06 22:17Z by Steven

“I don’t know if I’m like White, if I’m African American because I am from the Dominican Republic. I was born there,” she said. “My grandmother is like Black…her skin color is Black, but my grandfather was part Chinese…So it’s just like a mixture. So I just really never know what to identify myself.” —Nanyelis Diaz, Tampa, Florida

Naomi Prioleau, “Identity A Challenge For Latinas Who Are Black,” WUSF News/WUSF Public Media, February 3, 2016. http://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/post/identity-challenge-latinas-who-are-black.

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Identity A Challenge For Latinas Who Are Black

Posted in Articles, Audio, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-02-06 21:04Z by Steven

Identity A Challenge For Latinas Who Are Black

WUSF Public Media
Tampa, Florida

Naomi Prioleau

Evelin Diaz is Afro-Dominican and a Spanish teacher’s assistant at Lennard High School in Ruskin.
Naomi Prioleau/WUSF

When people think of famous Latina women, Jennifer Lopez or Sofia Vergara come to mind.

Not Zoe Saldana or Rosario Dawson.

The difference between these pairs of Latina actresses isn’t one of talent or fame. Saldana and Dawson also happen to identify as Black – a reality some Tampa-area Afro-Latinas say is difficult to navigate.

“People respect our (Latino) community but for the Afro-Latinas, people just like to group us as Black and stuff and want to deny that we’re Spanish,” said University of South Florida student Jessica Roberts, who is Puerto Rican and Dominican. And Black.

Roberts said she doesn’t speak Spanish, and as a result is told that she’s not “truly” Latina. People say she should only identify as Black…

…However, it’s not so easy to break down the number of Afro-Latinos here – or elsewhere. The U.S. Census doesn’t currently give the option for Latinos to identify as another race, meaning even if someone is Afro-Latino or Asian-Latino, they can only mark Latino.

USF sociology professor and author Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman said the inability to count Afro-Latinos isn’t the big problem. Latinas who are also Black struggle to find acceptance in both the Latino and Black communities, as well as with themselves…

Read and listen to the story here. Download the story (00:04:19) here.

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