As I moved to the U.S. I constantly found myself explaining to people what I was and where I was from.
Growing up in Panama, I constantly had relatives that lived abroad visit us. This was during my childhood up to adulthood so I figured they are black just like me, they speak Spanish just like me and they are living abroad, specifically in the U.S., without any self-identity- perception-issues…. WRONG! I moved to the South of the U.S. and for whatever reason many people did NOT believe me when I said I was Panamanian.
At first I just thought it was funny but I quickly started to get frustrated when several people thought I was making stuff up and blatantly laughing in my face while saying "You are just trying to sound/be Latina" or my favorite "You majored in Spanish in College most likely". I was extremely offended because growing up in Panama I was thought to be proud of who I am and where my family came from.
Another bizarre scenario was, when I tried to go to some Latino events or even be in an area with several Latinos I realized that the non-black Latinos would talk about me (good or bad) without realizing that I too was Latina. I will have to explain myself once again, and sometimes talk for an extended time just so that they could hear (judge) my level of Spanish and approve that I was in fact Latina.
This game got exhausting because never EVER while living my whole life in Panama did I have to explain and prove who I was at this extent.
Because of this I figured that, just like me, several other Afro Latinas have/are going through the same experiences and are probably frustrated. I decided that it was necessary to create a safe space for AfroLatina women to come together to empower, learn from each other's cultures and support each other in their personal endeavors. This is how #AfroLatinasInATL was created. A group in Atlanta, GA that allows Afro Latina women (and men) and non Afro Latina and Latinx to get together for different social gatherings and support others to grow their own platforms.
This group is unique opportunity to educate those that want to learn more about our culture.
I strongly believe that REPRESENTATION is important. When we see people that look just like us on the cover of magazines, books, t.v. and radio shows, billboards, commercials and overall all social media and news outlets we feel empowered, integrated and recognized and truly believe that we too can achieve those same things.
My wish is that this small grain of sand helps and inspires anyone that is in this pursuit.
Please follow #AfroLatinasinATL and for future events you can go to: Events Tab.
My goal is to come together with Afro Latinas from different parts of the world and be represented worldwide.
#AfroLatinasUnidas (Afro Latinas United)!!!
Future AfroLatinas In ATL Events
To find out about #AfroLatinasInATL future events please check our Events Tab to be updated with the latest networking and social events.