What Does It Mean To Be “Afro Latina?” 5 Latinx Women Discuss Embracing Their Black Identity

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afro latina women

Source: Chris Bailey / Courtesy of Sulma Arzu-Brown

Sulma Arzu-Brown

Author, Speaker, and Consultant on Diversity, Inclusion Equity & Belonging

I am a proud Garifuna woman. The Garifuna people hail from the Island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. However, because Honduras was a Spanish colonized country in Central America, because the Spanish did not enslave my Garifuna ancestors who landed on the Island of Roatan by divine intervention, and because Honduras is the place of my birth, it’s a pleasure to also identify as an Afro-Latina.

Being an Afro-Latina comes with the responsibility of honoring my ancestor’s resilience and their fight for equity in a world that felt they did not belong. My Garifuna culture survived because we strategically planned and worked every obstacle as one solid community.

Additionally, I feel my responsibility as an Afro-Latina is to circulate information with all Black Indigenous People of Color, especially my African American brothers and sisters. I do this through my books Bad Hair Does Not Exist!/Pelo Malo No Existe! and My Hair Comes With Me-Shifting the Paradigm of What Success Looks Like both illustrated by fellow Afro-Latina Isidra Sabio. The books were written to highlight the humanity of Black people globally by illustrating shared human experiences. By writing our own narratives, they also offset the negative media depiction of who we are.

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