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Mun2 Doc On Being Black And Latino

“You don’t look Latino.” If I had a dime for every time someone said that to me, I’d be able to buy a huge mansion and retire. “What does a Latino look like?”. Don’t answer right away. Think about it. What does a Latino look like to you? Brown skin, straight black hair, and Indian features? Black skin, kinky hair, and African features? What about guys like me with green eyes, white skin, and curly brown hair? Which one of us “looks Latino”? In the United States, “Latinos” or “Hispanics” are considered a race apart…only…we aren’t a race. We came from Europe, Africa, Asia, and Native American backgrounds. Most of my ancestors came from Spain but a few came from Africa, hence my curly hair. Growing up in Texas, I was often told that I didn’t look Latino enough by other Latinos. Most Latinos in Texas are Mexican and I didn’t look like they did. Does that make me any less Latino?

In this awesome mini-doc from MTV Mun2, actors and musicians of Afro-Latino ancestry discuss being Black and Latino. They recount the trouble they’ve had getting cast as Latinos for looking too Black. 95% of the slaves brought from Africa ended up in Latin America. Something like 40% of Latin Americans have some African ancestry, and yet they “Don’t look Latino”? The fascinating thing isn’t the attitudes that come from outside of our communities but the racism that exists within it. They discuss how within the same family, people can be treated differently by how dark or light they are. It’s not just White Hollywood producers that discriminate either. Just turn on the Spanish soaps and tell me how many actors you see with brown or black skin. Not many.

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