I feel the need for a little reintroduction. There is so much newness around me that has sparked an array of inspiration so far in 2013. New Office, New Apartment, and New Blog; I have to admit this is going well especially since I am getting new followers. This makes me think about the fact that many people are probably wondering what I am about…and even of you aren’t I should just explain anyway.
First and foremost, I consider myself a Latino man. More importantly, I consider myself Afro-Latino. I know that this term has gotten popular over the years and as plotted out my digital identity, I came up with the name Latinegro (which is something I did not invent). I got the name from Marta Cruz-Janzen who wrote some articles that lead me to write a major research paper for a graduate class I took a few years back. In my mind, she coined the phrase Latinegro and I have been using it every since.
It is important for me to state this because I believe that identity is important. It is one of things that makes us who were are. I cannot tell you how many college student I have run into over the years that simply do not know who they are…or perhaps they do know, but just have trouble accepting it. The acceptance of oneself is so very important in a lifetime because it is that catharsis that will really lead to success. That is why I have made sure I spend much of my blog about race and Afro Latinos in particular.
I define Afro Latino as someone who has African and Hispanic bloodlines (this does not exclude Haitians or Brazilians). This can include just about all Latinos, however, the real difference is their own acceptance. There are many of us who feel that Latinos are not Black or African American. Some will defend this point based on whatever facts they can try to dig up. There is a stigma to be being dark skinned and it a shame, but not all that surprising. What so many Latinos do not understand is that the plight on of the African American is also their plight because we live in a black and white world where you are either one or the other (based on skin color) in most cases.
Of course, Latinos have issues specific to them when it comes to immigration and places like Arizona that have made racial profiling a reality. Unfortunately, Latinos are used to this fight. We have been dealing with immigration and access issues well before World War 2. The commercialized version of Latinos look very much like the typical Mexican images you tend to see when we talk about immigration issues in the South West. The idealized version of Latinos tends to be the more the Rick Martin look; light skinned, dark (good) hair, light eyes, and over-sexualized. The less idealized look tends to be the David Ortiz look which is dark skinned, heavy accent, and wool hair (pelo malo). The great thing about understanding race is that Latinos are all three of these which can lead to a lot of scratching heads. The Census Bureau barely knows how to categorize us which leads us not understand what it is we are.
This is why the Latinegr@s Project had to be created. When I co-founded this group it was with the purpose of educating people about Afro Latinos and showing pride in what we are. This where we have lead to the discovery of and within ourselves as well as help people like us discover what they are. This is not just to say that we solely deal with Afro Latinos either. We champion those who are oppressed which is why posts can range from homosexuality to Native Americans.
Well, that seeed like such a long reintroduction, but I figured this is something I need to put on here now. As I get along in my new location here on wordpress, I am sure there will be other things I will feel the need to reiterate. While this blog is mostly about my life, there will be other things that will bleed into my posts. Just wait until I start writing about my other love…comic books.