Culture

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

CREDIT: Credit: @tessamaethompson / Instagram

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

CREDIT: Credit: @brunomars / Instagram

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.

3. Miguel

CREDIT: Credit: @miguel / Instagram

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

CREDIT: Credit: @hereisgina / Instagram

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

CREDIT: Credit: @kidcudi/ Instagram

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

CREDIT: Credit: @sheisdash / Instagram

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

CREDIT: Credit: @christinamilian / Instagram

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.”

8. Maxwell

CREDIT: @maxwell / Instagram

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

CREDIT: Credit: @mariahcarey / Instagram

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

CREDIT: Credit: @lalunavelez / Insagaram

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

CREDIT: Credit: @carmeloanthony / Instagram

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

CREDIT: Credit: @tatyanaali / instagram

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

CREDIT: Credit: @lazofficial / instagram

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

CREDIT: Credit:@selenisleyvaofficial / Instagram

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

CREDIT: Credit: @itisjudyreyes1 / Instagram

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.” 

16. Kelis

CREDIT: Credit: @kelis / Instagram

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

CREDIT: Credit: @zoesaldana / Instagram

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

CREDIT: Credit: @ginatorresfanpage1 / Instagram

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

CREDIT: @k_lotto / Instagram

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

CREDIT: @rosariodawson / Instagram

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

CREDIT: Credit: @rosieperezbrooklyn / Instagram

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

CREDIT: @sophinathediva /Instagram

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

CREDIT: Credit: @celia_cruz / Instagram

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

CREDIT: Credit: @magojuanalvarez / Instagram

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

CREDIT: Credit:@nuestra_patriapr / Instagram

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.

A New Study Shows That Children Of Migrants Are Able To Achieve The ‘American Dream’ Within A Generation

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A New Study Shows That Children Of Migrants Are Able To Achieve The ‘American Dream’ Within A Generation

One of the foundations of the social and historical construct of the United States of America is the idea that everyone who arrives, regardless of their race, creed or life circumstances, can build a new life. Popular media is inundated with stories of people who looked for a second (or third!) chance and became financially stable and socially respectable through hard work. Many small and large businesses are owned by migrants who made America home and have contributed to the economy. Others are as hard working as it comes! (you probably know a few share of hombres y mujeres trabajadores!). 

But migrants have also been historically demonized, even more so during the Trump administration and its iron fist approach to immigration, which borderlines racism in that it targets mostly people coming from the Global South. But the idea of migrants being a threat is old and feeds hate. However, a new study proves that social mobility is still a key element of the migrant experience. 

Science doesn’t lie! A new study argues that the adult children of migrants move up the social scale.

Credit: peoplechica / Instagram

A study conducted by Stanford University’s Ran Abramitzky; Princeton University’s Leah Platt Boustan and Elisa Jácome; and the University of California Davis’ Santiago Pérez  reveals that particularly the most economically challenged migrants show upward social mobility down the generations. The children of migrants do better than their parents, so the huge emotional, physical and intellectual efforts of migrants pay off down the road. The researchers gathered census data, publicly available administrative data and federal income tax data. They traced the income of millions of parents and offspring, all the way dating back to 1880. 

The results highlight a revealing fact: children of migrants progress further than the children of people born in the United States.

Credit: latintouchnewtonma / Instagram

It might be surprising for some, but the children of migrants advance further up the social scale than the sons and daughters of people born in the United States. In particular, this trend is present in the lowest socio-economic sectors, which shows that hard work still pays off even if the economic situation in recent times (ever since the Global Financial Crisis in 2008) has been dire to say the least. 

So what is the “American Dream” anyway?

This data contradicts the Trump administration’s populist rhetoric, which asserts that rather than contributing, migrants drain the system. The paper reveals that migrants generate wealth and inject dividends into the financial system. They are living, breathing examples of the American Dream. This term was coined by historian James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book “Epic of America”. French historian Alexis de Tocqueville defined it as “The chance of anticipated success”. The idea, which is in the ethos of the foundation of the United States, has suffered a few hits along the way, but seems to remain relevant according to the data. 

So why do migrants succeed? It goes beyond mere cultural traits.

Credit: The Ringer

Many people assume that having a strong work ethic is the only explanation for migrant success. But it is far more complicated than that. It has to do with location primarily, according to the researchers. Because migrants don’t have deep roots in the host country, they are willing to locate in the hubs where there are more opportunities.

As reported by Vox, Leah Platt Boustan, one of the authors said: “We don’t even have to reach for these cultural explanations. A lot of it has to do with immigrants being willing to move anywhere and choosing locations where there are growing industries and a good set of job opportunities for their kids. Those are choices that immigrants are making that are different from the US-born and that could be a feature of immigrant success.”

The trend continues regardless of the ethnic background, a push against racist notions that some migrants are better than others.

The researchers concluded that this upward mobility is present regardless of the ethnic background of the parents who arrived in the US. There are some pretty misleading notions that, for example, Asian immigration is “better” than Latin Americans or Africans.

This harmful notion has been perpetuated by popular political discourse, with even President Trump saying that some people come from “shithole countries” like El Salvador and African nations, while advocating for more migrants from Norway. But misconception is far from the truth, as Vox reports: “In fact, immigrants from Mexico, El Salvador, and African nations such as Nigeria are all performing better than the US-born. And in past waves of immigration, immigrants from Norway actually performed worse than the US-born”. Wow, nothing like some good old social science to counter racist views. 

After His Comments About Her Virginity, T.I.’s Daughter Just Unfollowed Him On Instagram

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After His Comments About Her Virginity, T.I.’s Daughter Just Unfollowed Him On Instagram

princess_of_da_south / Instagram

Rapper T.I. lost the respect of quite a few fans last week when he joked about conducting a hymen check on his daughter. This week he’s lost at least one Instagram follower: his daughter, Deyjah Harris. 

During an incredibly cringe-worthy interview last week, T.I. bragged about knowing the status of his daughter’s virginity.

princess_of_da_south / Instagram

In a recent interview, the rapper boasted about his desire to keep his 18-year-old daughter “pure” and said that he does so by accompanying her to her yearly gynecologist appoints. As if the whole interview couldn’t have gotten worse, T.I. proved his ignorance by saying that, despite all of the doctors in the world that says that the absence of a hymen does not provide viable of proof a woman’s sexual activity, he makes the doctor report on its status.

In an interview with Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham for their podcast Ladies Like Us, TI gave the most bizarre and nasty response to a question about whether or not he had the “sex talk” with his daughter yet.

“Have I? This is the thing: Deyjah’s 18, just graduated high school now and she’s attending her first year of college, figuring it out for herself,” he replied. “And yes, not only have we had the conversation, we have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen.”

His response promoted laughter from the two hosts of the podcast, but T.I. made it clear that he was as serious as the heart attack that I had when I heard this.

“This is what we do. Right after the birthday, we celebrate,” T.I. continued “Usually like the day after the party she’s enjoying her gifts. I put a sticky note on the door: ‘Gyno. Tomorrow. 9:30.’”

Following her father’s comments, Deyjah Harris has unfollowed her dad on Instagram.

 According to E! News, Harris, 18, unfollowed her father after telling the world that he check the status of her hymen. While she has yet to comment about her father’s gross interview she has reportedly liked several tweets that have lambasted T.I. after the “Ladies Like Us” podcast aired.

We’re not sure when Harris made the decision to unfollow her father.

But fans have pointed out that she hasn’t just stuck to clicking the “unfollow” button on her father. Harris no longer follow’s  T.I.’s wife, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, or her stepsister Zonnique Pullins.

There’s no easy way to prepare you for what disgusting thing rapper T.I. just said about his daughter, her hymen, and her virginity, so just get ready for what you’re about to read. According to the rapper, he accompanies her to every appointment with her so that he can hear the doctor’s prognosis on her hymen himself. He even pressures his daughter into signing a released statement that will allow him to obtain this information. 

“We’ll go and sit down and the doctor will come and talk, and the doctor is maintaining a high level of professionalism,” he explained. “He’s like, ‘You know sir, I have to… in order for me to share information…’”

“I’m like, ‘Deyjah they want you to sign this. They want you to sign this so we can share information. Is there anything you wouldn’t want me to know? Okay. See doc? No problem.’”

As most of us know, there are many ways for a hymen to be broken that don’t include sex. 

princess_of_da_south / Instagram

According to one Psychology Today article most young girls experience a wearing away of the hymenal tissue that surrounds their vaginal openings. “Most hymenal tissue wears away as a result of washing, walking, athletics, self-exploration, and masturbation, though little bits may remain around the vaginal opening, particularly in the area closest to the anus (hymenal tags).” But these facts aren’t enough to keep T.I. from thinking about his daughter’s private parts.

“I say, ‘Look doc, she don’t ride no horses, she don’t ride no bike, she don’t play no sports, man. Just check the hymen please and give me back my results, expeditiously.’”

As if all of this information about his prying interest in his daughter’s private life isn’t humiliating, T.I. claimed in his interview that he knows 100% his daughter’s hymen is still intact. 

“I will say as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact,” T.I. declared on the podcast.

And just when we thought the conversation couldn’t have gotten worse, T.I. went onto shame his daughter and virgins further when the hosts replied suggested that his decision to “keep her a virgin” would put his teenager at risk for “vultures.”

Not so, claimed T.I. “They’re no fun. Who wants a virgin?” he insisted. “Like really? All that work.”

The rapper is the father of six children with three different women.

Of course, it didn’t take long for T.I.’s bizarre interview to go viral.

Women and men were quick to slam the rapper for his behavior and violation of his daughter’s privacy. 

“This is disgusting and horrible. Rapper T.I. says that he takes his daughter to the gynecologist to make sure her hymen is still intact!” New York Magazine writer Yashar Ali wrote. “Even after her 18th birthday (not that it makes it ok before her 18th birthday).  Twitter user and essayist Candice Marie Benbow wrote: “This is absolutely disgusting and perverted and vile and ignorant and just plain wrong. TI is a sick, controlling narcissist and there is absolutely NO way Deyjah, her mother or any woman in TI’s life should be okay with this.”