This is not a test

Afro-Latin@s often speak of being “tested” on both their Latin@ and black identities. This “test” is usually based on physical attributes; skin and hair are two major factors. Can you be dark skinned and speak fluent Spanish? Make sure that you know the lyrics to the latest rap song too before you tell your black friends that you too have African roots.

There’s so many problematic things with that country as well as like even here in America, my community is pretty much Puerto Rican, Dominican, or Jamaican… I don’t know it was kind of tough saying you were a black Dominican in that area, because it felt like you had to be tested, your Dominican-ness had to be tested, like do you know blah blah blah? Is your family from blah blah blah? Your family can’t be from Santiago because that’s where all of the light skinned people are from. – HIM

“So if it ever came up, and I was like “Oh, I do know Spanish” they would go “Oh prove it!” and would start speaking in Mexican Spanish. I don’t know Mexican slang. Colloquialisms, and words “Oh, what does this mean?” Which I obviously learned over time, it was really frustrating. I don’t [have to prove]. People would be like “Oh, then you speak!” and I don’t like speaking Spanish because one, I knew it was different Spanish and two, I feel like I’m under a lot of scrutiny. For example, if [a lighter skinned person] were speaking Spanish and made a grammatical error, it’s just like the way you’re talking, whereas me making errors is lying or faking.” -HER

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