As we begin to dig deeper into the roots of our culture and learn new things we have never gotten the chance to do before. There are essential things to know and keep in mind. Such as the Latine community is diverse. What does this mean? It means within the Latine community we have a variety of people with different skin tones/colors, hair types, body shapes, and eye colors. We do not all look the same. There might be someone in your family who is a darker shade of skin color and someone on the lighter spectrum. Someone might have curly hair and another person might have straight hair. Being Latine does not define you to one skin color, hair, eyes, etc., but we are a growing community filled with beautiful people. 

Afro-Latinidad is an identity that falls in the Latine community. What does it mean to identify as an Afro-Latine? This term is used for Latines who are black and are descendants of the African diaspora. Using this term captures an identity to represent both the Latine and Black descendants.

African roots can be traced in Latin America all the way from the 1500s when a majority of enslaved people were brought to the Caribbean. Which then allowed intermingling between the different cultures and people found in the Caribbean, Africans, indigenous people, and European Spaniards. In Brazil, the term of Afro-Latinidad began to appear in the 1970s as a way to recognize the Black citizens of the country as they did not include them in the census. The Afro-Latine community has faced struggles and racism, from both the Latine community and the black community. 

Nydia Guity is someone who has experienced this harsh treatment because of her skin color. She was born and raised in the Bronx to Honduran immigrants and whenever she would go to class she was teased and made fun of because she was a darker skin color than many Black students. This experience made her feel like being Afro-Latina erased her Blackness. This has led to her identity as Garifuna (African subculture within Honduras) instead of Afro-Latina. 

Many surveys such as the 2019 Pew research survey have highlighted that those with darker skin color are more likely to experience discrimination in the community. Many Latines in Puerto Rico struggle to see themselves as Black or of African descent because it is linked to slavery and racism. 

Sadly even today this is still the case, racism is still present. But social media is being used as a platform to speak out against injustice and make people aware of situations. More and more people are coming to terms with their identity and learning more about what it entails. While in the Latine community we share different traits that do not make exclude us from being a part of this community. As a whole, we must learn and grow to be better, not worse.

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Daniela Hernandez Ayala
Daniela Hernandez Ayala is a first-generation college student at McDaniel College pursuing a B.A in Political Science and Spanish. She is also minoring in Sociology. Daniela’s goal is to get her JD in either the Immigration or Criminal Law Field. She wants to dedicate her life to her community and the people who suffer from the oppressed and unjust society. Her passion has always been words whether that is in books or writing. She enjoys the escape from reality that can be found in words. She wants to use this skill she is learning to bring awareness to the Latino Community.