Black Girls and Brown Boys: A Response to ‘Aye Papi’


Author’s note: This post was written in August of last year, but I remixed it a bit. Enjoy.

When I read Tracy Renee Jones’s “Aye Papi…………One Woman’s Love Affair With Latino Men” a year ago, I will admit, I was stoked.

An account from a Black Woman on her romances with Latino guys? I’ll read that.

Typing in “Black  woman  and Latino man” yields very few results.  I mean forums from the 2000s detailing someone’s experiences are fine and dandy pero dame mas.  So, instead of complaining about the absence of info on the subject, I decided to throw in my two cents on the Jones piece.

As I’ve said before, I love all flavors but I have a special place in my heart for Latinos (of all races, colors, etc). Blame it on Omar Barcenes in the fifth grade.  Hearing another Black women share her story, inspired me to do a bit more research. After all, Black and Brown relations don’t just take place at forums, discussions and in history books.

And before you throw the “Latin@ come in all colors” shade at me,  for the purpose of this piece I am refering to non-black identifying Latin@s.  When I say “Black”, I am refering to African Americans.  Got it? OK.

Here are my thoughts on Jones’s ” Aye Papi” piece.

1. Yes, to Black women expression

Strength is displayed anytime Black women bare our souls and talk about our encounters with racism, love or any other thing that requires vulnerability.  Even in our happiness and comedy, our expression comes first. So, I genuinely appreciate her story.  I too, have dated Latino guys, and while none of them have ended up my long term beau, I have learned a lot about culture, language and the ways in which racism works within the Latino communities that I was involved in.

Snaps for Black Woman expression.

2.Where the “Afro-Latinos”?

Many of the Latino men that she mentioned shared the Mario Lopez-like phenotype.  I would have liked to see more mention of the diversity within Latinidad. I know many people carry the “tan skin color” but from reading this story, I get the impression that Afro-Latino, Asian Latinos and Indigenous Latinos are not included in this definition of “Latino”.

Unfortunately, that history of diversidad has been suppressed in the media,  our schools, our history books and sometimes our experiences so I cannot assume this was the writer’s point of view.

3. This piece reminded me of sayings I heard while growing up

“Latino men have a similar background as Black men, though a little less damaged behind racial disenfranchisement and a lot more aware of individual civility, community engagement and shared culture,” says Jones.  Growing up, I’d hear that Blacks and Latinos share a similar background, but I was also told that we were very different.

Our similar background was that both of our communities triumphed against discrimination.  Our differences lied in our culture and language.  Now, I do question the part about Latino men being “a little less damaged behind racial disenfranchisement”  because Afrolatino men encounter many of the same racial bias that their African American counterparts do.

4.Ricky Martin is [insert wonderful adjective].

I can agree with Jones’s love for Ricky.  I mean, look at him.   He can’t replace Enrique though.

Via Tumblr

Let’s be real. ‘Aye Papi’ is one of the few pieces that dares to document Black and Brown love.  Particularly, from a Black woman’s point of view.   That’s why it will always be relevant.   To all the Black Girls and Brown boys in healthy, happy relationships…keep on keeping on.

What do you all think about intercultural/racial/ethnic dating? 


24 thoughts on “Black Girls and Brown Boys: A Response to ‘Aye Papi’

  1. billsmith510 says:

    Let’s not forget that many Latinos are also black. I myself dated a Cuban, a Puerto Rican, and am currently talking to an Ecuadorian. Neither of them are any less black than any African American.

    • Black girl, Latin World says:

      You got that right. “Neither of them are any less black than any African American.” Great point! Thank you so much for reading and sharing a comment.

  2. Chivas Guadalajara says:

    No offense but each latin country is very different. U cant say ecuadorian is same as a puerto rican etc. Cultured is more valued than skin tone. You can be both mestizo but culture defines who u are mexican who is mestizo isnt same as mestizo from costa rica etc

    • Black girl, Latin World says:

      That is a great point! Each culture/country has its own categories and customs. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Chivas Guadalajara says:

    Same applies with dominicans and puerto ricans they are not the same.. very different food, dialect etc same with argentina is it same as chile or urguay nooo each country has their own culture and customs. Their argentines who look similar to chileans but if you say their same you will get slap in the face you guys live in usa and I know u americans think. Skin tone isnt what defines you, you guys think in white or black box and thats it while in latin america were full of mixtures you cant say black americans and latinos are the same in fact what if I say mexicans are the same as a cuban??? Watch the stares

    • Black girl, Latin World says:

      That is an intetesting comment Mr. Chivas. I see what you are saying but I do believe Black Americans and Latinos are family, the same. Different cultures but both people who expierence oppression. This comes from my own experience of growing up with Latinos. It is a part of my experience I am sharing. It is pretty cool that Latin America has a rich African history and that is another reason I feel kinship. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • Chivas Guadalajara says:

        Oppression occurred worldwide oppresion of europeans and most fled to latin america, honestly u cant say were the same come on now go to puerto rican and say them that pr and mexicans are the same??? Go to argentina and say chileans and argentines are the same watch their reaction.. every latino nation is different and unique… I know ur american u have to stop putting all of us in same basket.. its our unqueness and culture makes us standout but u americans u see is skin color maybe thats why people see anericans as ppl who dont have a culture

  4. alejandro says:

    i understand what u might be saying, lets be honest where in our countries its very diverse, we have blk women in our countries just like white looking women and many others as well, for you to understand majority of latin men dont have issues datiing black or white american women because we have our own though different of course in our countries, so again yess latin america men have been with so called afro women, in fact they been dating and having relations for centuries.. if you ask any black american woman what she will date beside their own men, its mostly hispanic guys

  5. Rey Del Norte says:

    I am Chicano and have always been attracted to black women. I dated a black girl in high school whom I fell in love with and from whom I learned that I preferred black women. I exclusively dated black women in college and met my wife of 18 years there. I have had some critics but after they saw I wasn’t affected by their comments they left me alone. I see more Latinos now days with black women though not as often as Latinos with white women but have had few of my friends admit they also are attracted to black women.

  6. Auliño Y says:

    Latino’s wanna believe they are all unique in cultural when in actuality they are pretty much the same. I they are black it’s because they are black latino’s and if white then etc…

  7. Danielle Alexander says:

    Where do you meet these Latino men? I’ve never dated one, but I love a Puerto Rican guys. Where should I go? :-/

  8. Mrs.CubanoChocolate says:

    My boyfriend is Cuban and Puerto Rican ( but identifies as Cuban) he tells me all the time that every races has the not so savory bunch of ppl but that he prefers Black Women over Latinas any day of the week because we are more classy ( at least the Black Women he has dated) and less of 0 to 100 real quick temperament, even though we are known to have sharp tongues. Also he says that as Cuban there are members of his family especially his great abuella that have darker skin than me almost purple. The only thing that separates Africans, African-Americans, and Hispanics is the culture and language, besides that he says he has dealt with his fair share of racism, and that cubanos and puerto-ricans are descendants of the slave trade as well, their culture is heavily African influenced. He considers himself Caribbean so that Cuba, Haiti, DR, PR, Jamaica, Trinidad and etc fall into similar cultural spheres.

  9. Mau says:

    I grew up in Philly, I am of Nicaraguan ancestry, I grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood, my childhood and high school sweetheart was black. I guess to me it was just the way it is.

  10. Erwin Almonte says:

    Hello I also noticed that there is no info on relationships on black women and latino men I am Dominican born in the United States New York City . I was raised very differently from other Dominicans in the sence that i embraced more afro side then i did my European side . When i was young was part of 7 percent nation or the nation of the Gods and Earths and learned knowledge of self. I consider myself Afro Spaniard even though im very light skinned. All I date is black women I always been attracted to black women. My girlfriend is African American and Puerto Rican. A lot of people fail to realise is that the American Slaverery and Caribbean slaverery histories were very differnt read the book “FROM COLUMBUS TO CASTRO” Dominican Republic was (or hispanola when your talking about haiti and D.R together) was the first island in the Caribbean that the African slave was brought to pick sugar cane . And we were at one point also enslaved by the Haitians so our history alone is very different from other latinos. Dominicans for the most consider themselves Mulattos for those who dont know that means black and white mixed .

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