What is an Afro Latina?

Afro Latinos are people of African descent with Latin American origins. It is important to point out the difference between race and ethnicity.

Race is the physical characteristics of a person (for example the color of their skin) and ethnicity is the cultural identity of a person. These identities can include language, religion, nationality, ancestry, and customs.

“During the Atlantic slave trade, Latin America was the main destination of millions of African people transported from Africa to French, Portuguese, and Spanish colonies. Slavery was a cornerstone of the Spanish Casta system, and its legacy is the presence of large Afro-Latino populations.”

 According to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, “12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America.”

Many scholars believe that the percentage of African slaves that were shipped to the Caribbean and South America was in fact higher than the slaves shipped to the United States. This is how the presence of Africans started in these countries.


It is important to understand that Latinos do not just come in one color or have one exact “look”. This is why Afro Latinos do not like to be boxed in one category. We come in different sizes and shades and are proud of who we are and where we come from.


Photo by: Dewayne Rogers

Photo by: Dewayne Rogers