Who are you when you’re not White, not Black, Latino, but not a light-skinned Latino? You’re a Black Latino – probably one of the most subtly discriminated group of people in the US. Obviously not being “White” automatically puts you in the non-White category, which means you’ll probably fall into many of the other racial categories used to describe a person. Yet, if you’re not Black, meaning African-American, in order to be more specific, then chances are you might be Latino, Asian, Indian, Native American or Pacific Islander.
For the purposes of what I’m explaining here, I’ll break it down further. Let’s say you’re Latino. Does it end there? Of course not. There are a myriad of sub-categories that encompass being “Latino”. To be direct, I will simplify this into two sub-categories: White Latinos and Black Latinos. This “White or Black” Latino sub-categories are only based on the color of the skin, assuming everything else regarding culture and traditions will be the same when the geographical locations are the same.
Now on to the racism. When you grow up in the United States and you’re a Black Latino, you don’t fit in with the Whites, and you don’t fit in with the Blacks, categorically speaking. So you’d think that you fit in with the Latinos in general, but that’s not the case. In appearance, it may seem as you do, but in reality, there is still a layer of discrimination against Black Latinos. This racism is so subtle and light that it almost appears non-existent. Yet, take a look around you with your eyes wide open and you’ll see it in plain sight.
Make an experiment and watch Spanish-language TV channels. Now count how many Black Latinos you see anywhere. Watch the news, soap operas, game shows – watch it all. Now how many Black Latinos do you see? I’m sure you’ll be able to count the number of Black Latinos with one hand, if you happen to need a hand at all.
When I say Black Latinos, I’m referring to Latinos that were born and raised within the Latin American culture and that both parents originate from the Latin American culture. I’m not speaking of a “mix” race of lets say, an African-American and a Mexican (which falls into a category all of its own). I’m strictly speaking of full Cubans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, etc.
In this post I’m not exploring solutions, I’m simply pointing out an interesting fact. Something you may not notice because it has never been brought to your attention. Well, here it is. Black Latinos are discriminated against, and not just by the usual culprits, but by their own people. Latinos look down on “darker skins” because it has been something openly taught to the culture and passed down generation from generation since the days of slavery, if not surely before. So next time you see a Black Latino, keep in mind that they probably have to double-struggle just to get some equality.