Why I Cried While Watching Celia


via Wikimedia

Celia will always hold a special place in my heart.  She was one of the first visions of Blackness and Latinidad that I had ever seen.  I only appreciated her greatness in college.  Discovering her “La Negra Tiene Tumbao” during my student breaks in the Spanish and Portuguese building.  Celia was a beckon of hope for las negras all over the world.  So when Telemundo was all set to do a show loosely based off La Reyna’s life, I was a bit excited.

You all don’t know what Celia means to me.  As a Black woman Spanish speaker, seeing Mama Celia on a youtube video being the light that she is brought a happiness to my life like none other.

 I saw unapologetic Blackness take centerstage


Celia shows brown faces on a network that has historically excluded them.  There are three visibly Black characters in leading roles on this show.  Werquelo.

 It’s a show honoring a Black woman


Black women are fierce, astounding and astonishing.  #blackgirlsaremagic Celia is the queen of lifting up us Negras!

“Esa negrita no pasa de moda.”

For more information about the show, check it out here.

© Black Girl, Latin World




Film shines light on “Invisible Roots” of Afromexicans in Southern California


via afromexicanroots.com

Mexico is finally woke ya’ll.

For the first time in history, Afromexicans are counted on the Mexican census.

Maybe now my lovely Mexican compadres can stop looking at Black people weird when we utter “Hola, como estas?” with less of an accent than expected.

One step at a time.

I had the opportunity to view a film called “Invisible Roots: Afromexicans in Southern California”.  What really drew me toward the film was the fact that it detailed the lives and experiences of Afromexicans IN the United States.  It’s great to see documentaries about the abuelas in Costa Chica or to learn about Yanga, but I believe that learning about this history in a United States context adds another layer to el mundo complicado de la diaspora.

The film “pays homage to the “third root” of Mexico” and it puts a face to the Afro-descendent experiences.  We follow the Herrera family in Pasadena, the Cisneros family in Santa Ana and a young college student at UC Santa Barbara.  As we dive into specific stories, specific families and specific culture, we find that we can all relate to trying to find a sense of belonging, family and future.

Another cool thing about this film is that it takes the viewer into the intimate celebrations.  One scene is at a neighborhood get-together where many of the attendees are interviewed about their stories.

Now, I have my qualms about coming into a personal space and conducting research.  It can be very hard to the community to trust you.  The people are there to enjoy themselves and be around their loved ones. However, with a little time talking to Tiffany Walton, the producer of this film, I found that she made sure to get the blessing of the people in charge of the party before invading their personal space.  She also made sure to have people who identified as Afromexican in the center of creating this piece.

Invisible Roots is making quite the splash.  Infact, it will be featured in the Pan African Film Festival this February!

Whether through film, social media or the theatre,  Afromexican stories need to be told. There are still people out there who question the existence of Black Latin@s.  I am so glad that the Invisible Roots team is doing the work to make sure that history is at the forefront.

Keep Speaking On Beginning Spanish Learners

People make fun of Kevin Heart’s video in which he spits a few lines of his Spanish.  But I think it’s wonderful.  You know why? Because he is being bold! He is using his knowledge to engage in the language. You see, it took me years to step out of fear when speaking Spanish.  I was afraid I would fail at grammar or not understand what someone was saying to me.  That fear was not productive.  Here I was seeking to be proficient in a language that I didn’t even use.  Girl, bye. Continue reading

Rewrites and Feedback and Stories, Oh My!

Last weekend, I headed down to Austin to view a staged reading of my latest play The Stories of Us.  In August of this year, I wrote another draft of Stories and pushed it aside until the final reveal this October.  It’s always exciting to see what the characters reveal to you after you’ve been away from them for a while. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Spotlight of the Month: Blaxicans of L.A.

PHOTO CREDIT: latimes.com/Blaxicans of L.A.

Every month, Black Girl, Latin World highlights projects and individuals who champion the diaspora through art.  This month brings us the dope project Blaxicans of L.A., an instagram dedicated to the expereinces of Blaxicans and Afrolatin@ identified bodies in Los Angeles, California. Continue reading

The “Power” of James St. Patrick’s Spanish

PHOTO CREDIT: Nydailynews.com

So, I wasn’t going to watch the series Power but my family was watching a marathon this weekend and I got pulled in.  There are some great actors, some strong writing and some racy scenes.  While I’m not here for Black folk playing drug dealers and men leaving their families for other women, I do enjoy one element of the show more than anything else.

James AKA Ghost speaks Spanish. Continue reading