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20 Latino Celebrities Who Were From New York

When you come from New York AKA The City of Dreams in many ways you grow up with a mindset that anything is possible. While many in our Latin community come from outside of the U.S. there are tons of Latinos whose roots are heavily based in the Big Apple as well.

Here’s a look at 20 famous Latino born and raised in New York.

1. Jennifer Lopez

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There’s no doubting how proud the Bronx-born Latina is of being raised in The Bronx. Lopez sang about her love for her city in her 2002 hit single “Jenny from the Block.”

2. Lin-Manuel Miranda

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Born and Raised in New York City, Miranda is the Puerto Rican composer, rapper, and Broadway star who came up with the hit musical In the Heights. In recent years he’s been known for creating Hamilton.

3. Kat DeLuna

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Kat DeLuna  moved to the Dominican Republic at a young age, but the  pop singer was born in The Bronx. DeLuna sang of her NYC love in her single “New York City Gurls.”

4. Alex Rodriguez

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Rodriguez was born in Washington Heights and grew up in New York City, the Dominican Republic, and Miami.

5. Marc Anthony

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The beloved salsa artist was raised in Spanish Harlem and started his career doing freestyle at Underground New York house music acts.

6. Christina Aguilera

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The “Genie in A Bottle” singer was born in Staten Island and lived in New Jersey, Texas, New York and Japan as a child. The Grammy-winning singer signed with RCA Records in 1998.

7. Rita Moreno

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Puerto Rico-born, Moreno moved to New York City when she was five-years-old. Moreno won the National Medal of Arts and became the first and only Hispanic performer to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award.

8. Prince Royce

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Born and raised in The Bronx, Prince Royce is the son of Dominican immigrants and did his best to stay out of trouble while growing up in The Bronx’s toughest neighborhood.

9. Rosie Perez

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Perez is an NYC native from Queen. Growing up she dreamed of becoming a marine biologist got into acting when director Spike Lee spotted her at a nightclub and cast her in to the Right Thing.

10. Zoë Saldaña

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The Dominican actress was born in Passaic, New Jersey, and spent her early childhood in New York City. She is also a trained dancer.

11. Sonia Sotomayor

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Sonia Sotomayor, the nation’s first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, spoke lovingly of her love for her neighborhood The Bronx in her book.

12. Rosario Dawson

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The Puerto Rican Cuban American actress was raised in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in a building that she and her family renovated.

13. John Leguizamo

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Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Leguizamo’s family immigrated to the United States when he was four. They lived in neighborhoods around Queens including Jackson Heights.

14. Lana Parrilla

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Parrilla, a star of Once Upon a Time is half Puerto Rican and credit her New York City roots for her success. “I grew up in Brooklyn and was tough — kind of loaded with attitude — and then I came here [Hollywood]. I’m sure people found me kind of intimidating,” Parilla has said.

15. Gina Torres

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Torres was raised in The Bronx by her tight Cuban American family. Torres is also a trained singer.

16. Jake T. Austin

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Austin was cast by Gary Marshall in New Year’s Eve a film that takes place in his own neighborhood. While on his show of  Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place the actor often got to flex is NYC accent.

17. Ana Ortiz

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Ortiz was born in Manhattan,  raised in Philadelphia. The Latina studied to become a ballerina at a young age but eventually the actress who is part Puerto Rican attended LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and after Philadelphia’s University of the Arts.

18. Adam Rodriguez

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Rodriguez was born in Yonkers and set his sights on becoming a professional baseball player at a young age. Unfortunately, he had an awful injury in high school but luckily it set him on the path of becoming an actor.

19. Melonie Diaz

CREDIT: Peter Hurley

Diaz was in New York City’s Lower East Side and often known as the Latina indie film queen. The Puerto Rican actress was raised in New York City’s Lower East Side, and recieved a degree in Film Production at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

20. Judy Reyes

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Reyes was born to Dominican immigrants in The Bronx. She graduated from Hunter College in New York and has starred in shows like “Law and Order SVU” and “Scrubs.”


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9 LGBTQ+ Latinas Making The World A Better Place Through Representation

Culture

9 LGBTQ+ Latinas Making The World A Better Place Through Representation

Women are a driving force for change. It has been proven time and time again in history. LGBTQ+ Latinas are part of this tradition whether it is in activism, media, or representation in comic books. Here are 9 LGBTQ+ Latinas who are doing their part to make the world a better place.

Stephanie Beatriz

Stephanie Beatriz is known for her character Rosa on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” The actress wanted to create a character that someone like her could relate to and she made it happen. Rosa came out in the show as a bisexual Latina and it gave Beatriz a chance to play a character that reflects her real identity. For the first time, bisexual Latinas have someone on television that speaks to a very real and important identity.

Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson publicly came out of the closet as bisexual in 2018. The actress revealed her relationship with musician Janelle Monáe and fans were there to support her. Thompson made a real splash in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when she portrayed Valkyrie in “Thor: Ragnarok.” She will be slaying again as Valkrie in “Thor: Love and Thunder.”

Bamby Salcedo

Bamby Salcedo is unapologetically trans and fighting for trans lives and rights. Salcedo founded the TransLatin@ Coalition to create a network for trans Latinas to connect and help each other thrive. Salcedo is often in protests for trans lives including against Pete Buttigieg during a CNN/HRC Town Hall.

Victoria Cruz

Victoria Cruz is a gatekeeper of LGBTQ+ history. The indigenous trans woman was there for the start of the Gay Liberation movement in 1969. Cruz has been a leader in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. Cruz has continued to her fight for trans rights even in the face of transphobia in the LGBTQ+ community. As the LGBTQ+ community tends for forget its history, Cruz is here to remind them of how important the trans community is in gaing LGBTQ+ rights.

Carmen Carrera

Carmen Carrera first came into everyone’s home as a contestant on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” This was before she started her transition. Since embarking on her transition journey, Carrera has had a very successful career as a supermodel, became a stepmother, and has been championing trans rights in the U.S. and Peru. The activist has spent years breaking down stereotypes about trans people wherever she goes.

Salice Rose

Salice Rose is a major name in social media. With more than 16 million followers on TikTok, Rose has created a place for people to feel safe and included. Using comedy and her spirituality, Rose has been able to tackle important issues, like coming out.

Gabby Rivera

Gabby Rivera was tapped to write for the America Chavez comic book in a move by Marvel that was widely celebrated. Rivera was able to give American Chavez, a queer Latin superhero, an authentic voice. Rivera is also the author of “Juliet Takes A Breaths.’ The young adult novel follows a Puerto Rican girl who comes out to her family right before going to an internship on the other side of the country.

Martine Gutierrez

Martine Gutierrez is a famed photographer and artist that has displayed work around the world. The art critic Barbara Calderon wrote about Gutierrez’s identity that has been an elusive yet broad identity. Calderon spoke of terms used to identify oneself yet none seemed to accurately describe who Gutierrez is.

Lido Pimienta

Lido Pimienta is an Afro-indigenous Colombian Canadian musician who is transforming Latin music, especially the scene with her sexuality. The queer musician is unapologetic about her identity for the sake of visibility. Pimienta feels a need to stay ver visible to change the long-running history of no queer visibility in media.

READ: Here Are Some Queer Films And Shows To Watch To Start Pride Off Right

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A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Handcuffed And Pepper-Sprayed By New York Police Officers

Things That Matter

A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Handcuffed And Pepper-Sprayed By New York Police Officers

Updated March 10, 2021.

Police brutality is a civil rights violation that has long affected the Black community as well as other minority groups. While the issue has been highlighted extensively by these communities it seems that it’s only been very recently that the general public has developed concern over the issue. This is despite the fact that in so many ways police brutality has not only deeply harmed communities but also sparked major political and social movements such as the civil rights movement of the 1960s and anti-war demonstrations. So much so in fact, the United States has developed an ill-famed reputation for cases of police brutality. Particularly when it comes to the police’s mistreatments and murders of minors like Nolan Davis, Cameron Tillman, and Aiyana Stanley-Jones.

Over the weekend, an incident in Rochester, New York brought attention to the issue once again after body camera showed officers handcuffing and pepper-spraying a 9-year-old girl.

The incident which took place last Friday showed officers brutally restraining a little girl after responding to a call for “family trouble.”

The Rochester Police Department in New York released body camera footage Sunday showing officers handcuffing and pepper-spraying a 9-year-old girl while responding to a call for “family trouble.”

In two disturbing videos, the little girl can be screaming for her father as officers attempt to restrain her. “You’re acting like a child,” a male officer yells at her in the video. “I am a child,” she screams in reply.

“I’m gonna pepper-spray you, and I don’t want to,” a woman officer warns the girl while attempting to put her feet inside of the police car.

“This is your last chance. Otherwise pepper spray is going in your eyeballs,” the officer adds.

The girl begged the officers not to spray her before they did.

Once pepper-sprayed, she cried, “It went in my eyes, it went in my eyes.” The child and her family, nor any of the officers involved in the incident have yet to be identified.

“I’m not going to stand here and tell you that for a 9-year-old to have to be pepper-sprayed is OK,” Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan of Rochester said at a press conference Sunday. “It’s not. I don’t see that is who we are as a department.”

This incident isn’t the first for the Rochester Police.

The police department’s top officials resigned last September after protests broke out over the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died of asphyxiation after Rochester officers put a hood over his head. Prude’s face had been pinned to the ground by police.

Speaking about the incident Rochester’s Mayor Lovely Warren said that the pepper spray incident was “not something any of us should want to justify.”

Warren said watching the video of the young girl reminded her of her own daughter. “I have a 10-year-old daughter. So she’s a child. She’s a baby,” Warren explained. “And I can tell you that this video, as a mother, is not anything that you want to see. I saw my baby’s face in her face.”

According to Warren, she has asked for the police chief to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation in relation to the incident. She also noted that she welcomed a review from the police accountability board.

The incident reportedly occurred after officers responding to a report of “family trouble” around 3:21 p.m last Friday. Police reported to the area and were alerted that the 9-year-old girl was “upset” and “suicidal” and had indicated that she “wanted to kill herself and that she wanted to kill her mom.”

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. You can also text TALK to 741741 for free, anonymous 24/7 crisis support in the US from the Crisis Text Line.

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