Friday, October 12, 2007

Juggling Identities

I don't have any rights to post this but I really love this comic so PLEASE don't tell on me. LOL One of my friends (another Afro-Latino) sent it to me because the comic accurately describes how we feel and it is hilarious at the same time!
As Afro-Latinos people automatically look at us and assume black and African American. Yes most of us (especially if raised or have lived in the US for a significant amount of time) identify with African American but people are thrown off when we start speaking Spanish or Portuguese...the two can co-exist. However, I can't tell you how many times I have been asked "What are you mixed with" or "Are you part Indian?" Uh no...I'm not part Indian...okay Dominicans are mixed with a whole lota stuff but I'm not going into all of that with them. And the "what are you mixed with" question gets really old really fast. Actually I was just asked that a few weeks ago in Costco...DANG! When I say I'm Dominican (I rarely say anything else simply because I love to see/hear the responses) I get "well you don't look Dominican." My reply is..."who do you know that is Dominican? Have you ever seen a Dominican?" Then they look stupid and say duh...."NO." EXACTLY! People are still stuck on the stereotypical view of Latinos as fair-light skinned with dark hair or light hair and are shocked to know that there are Black Latinos. The only place in the United States that I have never had that problem was in my favorite city, New York City. I lived in Washington Heights or Little Santo Dominigo as it is called and no one blinked. I was simply otra Dominicana (another Dominican woman). While I don't normally like men catcalling me I found it kinda nice because it was in Spanish meaning I was just one of the gente (family).
So for me I only have to juggle my Afro-Latino (and American, African American, Jamaican, Carribean...but it's still pretty similiar I think I'm messing up my point here! LOL) backgrounds which is a piece of cake compared to what our children will have to juggle--Adoption, Ethiopian, New Country, Acculturation, African, American, Jewish, White, Spanish, African-American, Canadian, get the point.

1 comment:

chou-chou said...

Dang. Seems far too complicated, does it not?

And you look perfectly Dominican to me!

And I should know: my high school was called San Domenico School for Girls, and I was surrounded by Dominican nuns.

Wait, what? Not the same?

Oh well.