25 Inspiring Afro-Latinos To Celebrate For Black History Month
Get excited gente! It’s Black History Month, which means it’s a huge month for us! As Latinos whose roots are extensive and varied, there’s no doubting that we have a long history of African heritage within our culture. For those of us living in and outside of the United States it’s so key to make sure that we encourage our families and friends to take part in the celebrations because Black History Month isn’t just a celebration for African-Americans. It’s for all African descendants!
Here are some of the most popular Afro-Latinos to help you get pumped about February.
1. Tessa Thompson
Since being invited to the Academy of Motion Pictures, the world has finally learned that Tessa Thompson is Afro-Panamanian. You might remember her from “Dear White People” and “Creed,” but this Latina has so much more in store.
2. Bruno Mars
Puerto Rican-Filipino-Hawaiian singer Peter Hernández, a.k.a. Bruno Mars, rocked our worlds when he first released “Just The Way You Are” in 2010. (And you just started singing it in your head, didn’t you?) In fact, this year, “Just The Way You Are” was certified nine-times platinum, meaning he’s another Latino owning the music industry.
If this Afro-Mexican singer isn’t adorning you with his beautiful smile and sultry voice, he’s using that same voice to call for social justice. Miguel’s latest song “How Many” is a plea for justice and acknowledgment of deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police.
4. Gina Rodriguez
That’s right. You might not have know this, but Gina Rodriguez is Afro-Puerto Rican. The TV comedy sensation revealed her Afro-Latina roots in an Instagram post tied to her #MovementMondays. Her father is Afro-Latino.
5. Kid Cudi
Kid Cudi came out of NOWHERE with his hit song “Day ‘N Night,” and the whole world took notice. Since, the Afro-Mexican singer has been dropping hit after hit and recently teased us all with a future collaboration with Pharrell.
6. Dascha Polanco
The Dominicana made waves as Daya on on the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black” when it first premiered in 2013. Her most recent role takes place as a detective on “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.”
7. Christina Milian
Christina Milian hit the scene in “American Pie” and had us all dancing to “Dip It Low.” Though she recently caught herself in some controversy over an #AllLivesMatter tweet, this Afro-Cuban beauty will be on your TV screen this year in a made-for-TV version of “Rocky Picture Horror Show.”
The Afro-Puerto Rican is currently touring and giving men and women everything with his incredible talent. In a recent interview, the soulful singer spoke about not feeling black enough to be in the company of some of the greatest should singers of the time.
9. Mariah Carey
Fans of Mimi have loved and appreciated the songstresses vocalization of discovering her heritage at an older age. Her father is of African American and Afro-Venezuelan descent and her mother is Irish.
10. Lauren Vélez
The Puerto Rican from New York City nabbed her first role as a performer in Dreamgirls, but it wasn’t until years later when she earned impressive roles on “Dexter” and “Ugly Betty” that Vélez began to gain international attention. These days she’s very open about the importance of Afro-Latino inclusion on screen.
11. Carmelo Anthony
When this Afro-Puerto Rican isn’t dominating on the basketball court, he’s offering his voice and fame to social good.
12. Tatyana Ali
Tatyana Ali won all of our hearts as Ashley Banks on the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” The Afro-Panamanian actor has a few projects that will be released soon, but for now she seems totally content being a mommy-to-be.
13. Laz Alonso
The Afro-Cuban “Fast & Furious” actor has been vocal about his Cuban and Black pride. His passions for speaking up about being a Latino raised in an American society has always given fans insight into the way the actors views his life.
14. Selenis Leyva
She might be Gloria Mendoza on OITNB, but in the real world, Selenis Leyva is out to help everyone she can. The Afro-Cuban/Dominican actor spends her time off the set donating her energy and fame to the causes that matter to her most, like LGBTQ rights and fighting cancer.
15. Judy Reyes
The Dominican from The Bronx New York began her career on “Law & Order.” Over the years her roles on television have expanded and these days she filling lead parts on “Devious Maids and “Claws.”
It has been a long time since we’ve heard “Milkshake” bless our radios, but Kelis isn’t done with her adventure yet. These days the Afro-Puerto Rican trained at Le Cordon Bleu and is showing off in London of all places.
17. Zoe Saldana
Dominican-Puerto Rican actor Zoe Saldana is probably best known for her role in “Avatar,” when in fact she is really THE Afro-Latino representation in the sci-fi world.
18. Gina Torres
She might not top this list, but there’s no doubting the actress from Cuba tops the hears of Latinos the world over. Her role in beloved shows like “Xena: Warrior Princess” and “Firefly” have gained her a cult following.
19. Soledad O’Brien
The Afro-Cuban broadcast journliast and executive producer has talked extensively about her experience of being an AFro-Latina in the U.S. She is a graduate from Harvard University and the daughter of a woman from
20. Rosario Dawson
Dawson has been killing the acting game for a long time. Now, this Afro-Cuban/Puerto Rican has become the voice many young Latinos have turned to this political season. Not only has the actor been out campaigning for her fave politician Bernie Sanders, she has even been arrested exercising her right to protest in a peaceful sit-in.
21. Rosie Perez
The Brooklyn-native was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Fearless” back in 1994. These days she’s heading up a talk show as a host on “The View” and makes regular appearances on TV.
22. Sophina DeJesus
The American gymnast of Puerto Rican descent made waves a few years ago when she did an impeccable dance floor routine. She landed an appearance on the Ellen Degeneres Show and killed yet another performance.
23. Celia Cruz
La reina de tumbao might have come from the tiny island of Cuba but her musical reach became international. Her powerful voice made her an international star and Latina icon all this, despite the many struggles she faced as an Afro-Latina as well.
24. María Isabel Urrutia
The former weightlifter, athlete and political from Colombia held a seat in Chamber of Representatives of Colombia twice. She’s had an impeccable athletic career as well. In 1988 she held her own as a shot put and discus thrower.
25. Sylvia del Villard
The Afro-Puerto-Rican activist, actress, and dancer gained popularity for her acting career. Still, it was her role as the first and only director of the office of Afro-Puerto Rican affairs for the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture was the most impactful by far.