The Afro-Latin@ label is…fluid to say the least. How do you know whether someone is Afro-Latin@ or not just by looking at them? Do you look at their hair? their skin color? The title is something that can be as easily forgotten as it can be claimed. This relatively new term is so perplexing because we are often taught that “Afro” and “Latin@” are mutually exclusive. It is difficult to think of instances where the two are speaking to each other. Es posible.

Put shortly, Afro-Latin@s brings these two groups together. Afro-Latin@s are people of African descent from places like Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean; this also includes people from the United States who are racially “Afro” but ethnically “Latin@.” As simple as this definition may sound, people have not yet come to a consensus about the term Afro-Latin@. Being an Afro-Latin@ in Brazil is starkly different from existing as an Afro-Latin@ in the Dominican Republic. This all becomes especially difficult when this label is contextualized in the United States of America.

That being said, each Afro-Latin@ story is unique. I used this space to unearth some (in)visibilities about Afro-Latin@ culture that will help me identify my position in the African diaspora as a young Latina woman.

Some subsections of this blog include more formal literary pieces, while others serve as a compilation of videos, tweets, quotes, and even some personal anecdotes. When covering the delicate topic of self-identification, the most powerful words cannot be blended into a larger picture and are the strongest when they stand on their own.

I encourage you to join me on my journey to self-discovery, to learn with me, and to see, hear, and experience the one of a kind nature of Afro-Latinidad. First, I advise you to scroll through the bulk of my research including interviews and the analysis of an ethnographic study done in Puerto Rico. Afterward, I chose to play on the supposed visibilities of Afro-Latinidad that were continuously referred to throughout my personal research. These intertwine narratives and ideas depicted in new media with those of my interviewees, and sometimes even myself. Lastly, I have synthesized a little history based on what I have learned about life as an Afro-Latin@. (To ruin the surprise, you can go there first). I hope you enjoy!


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Selena Ashley Castro, Williams College Class of 2017

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