MadameNoire Featured Video
afro latina women

Source: Michelle Ida Heng/Chris Bailey/Elisée Jean-Pierre, @Siiojp / Courtesy Michelle Ida Heng, Sulma Arzu-Brown and Angie Ogando

As we all know, Blackness is global. With a diaspora that resides in every part of the world, people of all shades, and experiences that manifest in many different forms, there is no “one way” to be Black. That being said, there are often Black experiences that go underrepresented when it comes to how Blackness is framed in our societal discourse and pop culture. Highlighting how they became aware of their Afro-Latina identities and what the term means to them during this Black History Month, MadameNoire got the chance to hear from five powerful Latinx women about the importance of embracing their Black identity.
afro latina women

Source: Elisée Jean-Pierre / Courtesy of Angelica Ogando

Angelica “Angie” Ogando

Co-Founder of both Yoshida Academy and Warrior Queen Cosmetics

Afro-Latina means being exactly who I was called to be! Every day when I get up I look in the mirror and I see a woman who was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in the City of Newark, New Jersey with Black skin, beautiful curly hair, and a fabulous accent. I see a woman who desires to eat plantains and fried cheese in the morning because it’s an inherent part of her culture.

I am the result of strength and struggle combined with the possibilities of a brighter future. My heritage is from a mix of people who came “without being asked” and people who came “because they wanted to” — both of which are the forces that constantly propel me forward. The blood that runs through my veins is that of my ancestors who did not conform and instead became fighters willing to stand up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves. I found my Afro-Latinidad heritage the moment I decided to break up with people’s expectations of who I should be and accepted myself exactly as I am… a beacon of light, resilience, strength, and an agent of change.

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