Entertainment

On Our Way Into 2020, We’re Thinking About The Fierce Latinas Who Dominated The Last Decade With Grit And Talent

To us, it seems like the decade has gone by in the blink of an eye but a lot has actually happened the last 10 years. Reminiscing about that time has us remembering all the amazing events that made up the decade. However, we can’t talk about all that without highlighting some impressive mujeres and the equally remarkable decade they’ve had. 

From art and music to sports and activism, Latinas have fiercely dominated their fields this past decade to show us all what excellence looks like. To celebrate these extraordinary women, lets focus on a few who have had especially monumental careers over the last 10 years and praise their accomplishments. Here are some of this past decade’s fiercest Latinas. 

1. Cardi B

Instagram / @iamcardib

It’s hard to believe that we entered the 2010’s without knowing the name Cardi B but the Afro-Latina didn’t first enter the limelight until 2015 with her appearance on “Love & Hip Hop: New York.” Less than two months after leaving the reality show to pursue her music career, Cardi signed her first major record deal with Atlantic Records. From that point, there was no stopping the vibrant rapper! 

Since then, she’s released numerous #1 singles and collaborations, became the first female rapper to win the “Best Rap Album” Grammy as a solo artist, had the most nominations in a single year ever by a woman at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, set a new attendance record at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and made her big-screen debut in “Hustlers.”

2. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez  

Instagram / @ocasio2018

AOC is another fierce Latina who was unheard of at the beginning of the decade. She graduated cum laude from Boston University but had to return home to help her mother fight against home foreclosure following her father’s death. In 2016, she worked for Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign. After the general election, she traveled across the country to places like Flint, Michigan and Standing Rock Indian Reservation to speak with locals about the environmental crisis their communities face. 

In 2017, she got a call recruiting possible progressive candidates and decided to challenge Joe Crowley, the Democratic Caucus Chair of her district. AOC defeated the 10-term incumbent and later beat the Republican nominee to become the congressperson of New York District 14. As a congresswoman, she has been a vocal supporter of Medicare for All and the New Green Deal while fighting against ICE and the atrocities of the current administration.

3. Yalitza Aparicio 

Instagram / @yalitzaapariciomtz

Yalitza Aparicio’s success didn’t hit until the later part of the 2010s when she was cast in her first acting role for Alfonso Cuarón’s 2018 drama “Roma.” Her performance was celebrated by audiences and critics alike and earned her an Academy Award nomination for “Best Actress” ⁠— the first time an Indigenous woman received the honor and only the second time it went to a Mexicana. 

She was nominated for over a dozen awards for her role in “Roma” and won the Hollywood Film Awards’ “New Hollywood Award.” In 2019, Aparicio appeared on the cover of “Vogue México” and was also named one of “TIME” Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2019. Most recently, she was named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Indigenous Peoples and uses that role to be an activist for Mexico’s native people.

4. America Ferrera

Instagram / @americaferrera

America Ferrera left “Ugly Betty” back in the 2000s and hit the 2010’s hard. First, she made her London stage debut playing Roxie Hart in the musical “Chicago.” In 2015, the actress made it back to television with ABC’s hit comedy “Superstore” in the starring role an as a co-producer. In 2018, she also had two big arrivals with the birth of her first son and the release of her anthology of stories, “American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures.”

Ferrera has also spent the past decade being highly political. In 2016, she was a speaker at the 2016 Democratic National Convention and joined Voto Latino in order to help get Latinx people involved in voting. She was also a speaker for the 2017 Women’s March and the 2018 “Families Belong Together” protest. The actress also participated in the 2017 #MeToo campaign and is a founding member of the Time’s Up legal defense fund.

5. Elizabeth Acevedo

Instagram / @acevedowrites

At the beginning of the decade, Elizabeth Acevedo started out as a Teach for America Corps participant. There, she taught eighth-graders poetry and language arts. It was there that she got inspiration for her first published novels. In 2016, Acevedo released “Beastgirl and Other Origin Myths,” her first book and a finalist for the YesYes Chapbook prize. 

Two years later, she released the “New York Times” Bestseller “The Poet X,” a book that would cement her as an essential Afro-Latina author. “The Poet X” earned numerous accolades, becoming a National Book Award and Carnegie Medal winner as well as winning the Michael L. Printz Award, the Pura Belpre Award, and the Boston-Globe Hornbook Award. In 2019, she released her third novel “With the Fire on High” and has gone on to deliver several TED talks. 

6. Rita Moreno 

Instagram / @theritamoreno

Rita Moreno has been having amazing decades since the 1950’s so it’s no wonder that the 2010s would be another. She began the decade staring as Fran Drescher’s mother in “Happily Divorced” while continuing guest roles on series like “Welcome to the Family” and “In Plain Sight.” In 2015, she began a recurring role on “Jane the Virgin” and voiced Abuelita on the animated children’s program “Nina’s World.” She took on the role of Lydia for the beloved 2017 reboot “One Day At A Time” and has gained a new generation of fans.

Moreno also received heaps of lifetime achievement awards for her long history as an entertainer. In 2012, she was rewarded with the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and then received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2013. 2015 earned Moreno the Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award. Most recently, she was named co-grand marshal of the Rose Parade. 

7. Laurie Hernandez 

Instagram / @lauriehernandez

Phenomenally, this has only been Laurie Hernandez’s second decade on this earth but it has definitely been a big one for here. At the age of 12, Hernandez’s career began at the U.S. Classic where she qualified to the National Championships. In 2013, she was added to the U.S. Junior National Team and won the silver medal at the National Championships. Two injuries sidelined the young gymnast briefly but she later recovered to earn 3 gold and 2 silver medals at the 2015 International Junior Japan Meet.

At the Olympic Trials in 2016, Hernandez placed second in the all-around and earned a place on the 2016 US Olympics Gymnastic team. There, she won gold alongside her team As an individual, she took home silver. Since then, she became the youngest winner of “Dancing With the Stars” and published her first two books, an autobiography, and a children’s book. Most recently, she was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame and was named co-grand marshal of the Rose Parade. 

8. Jennifer Lopez

Instagram / @jlo

Jennifer Lopez has been the IT Latina since her days back as a Fly Girl but the 2010s treated her pretty great as well. At the beginning of the decade, JLo signed a $20 million deal to be a judge on “American Idol.” The following year, she launched her first headlining concert series, the Dance Again World Tour, earning $1 Million per show. She also released her first greatest hits album and her eight studio album. 

2014 saw the pop star perform for the FIFA World Cup alongside Pitbull and she also released her “New York Times” Bestseller “True Love.” In 2015, JLo announced her Las Vegas residency that spanned for 3 years and earned more than $100 Million in ticket sales. IN 2019, she announced her new concert series, “It’s My Party,” commemorating her 50th birthday. She and boyfriend Alex Rodriguez also made it official by getting engaged this year. Most recently, Lopez released the blockbuster “Hustlers” and was announced to co-headline the 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGIoPFusT6w 

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AOC Gets Under Ted Cruz’s Skin With Crack About His Mexican Getaway After He Accuses Her Of Pushing For ‘open borders’

Fierce

AOC Gets Under Ted Cruz’s Skin With Crack About His Mexican Getaway After He Accuses Her Of Pushing For ‘open borders’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ted Cruz are at it again on Twitter. This time it’s about immigration policy. After recently traveling to the US-Mexican border to underline the recent rise in immigration, Cruz accused AOC of pushing for a “full open borders” policy.

And of course, AOC got him with some solid zingers.

AOC in turn hit back at Cruz for recently fleeing his home state of Texas during its power grid collapse to vacation in Cancún.

In response to Cruz’s attack, AOC suggested Mexico avoid allowing Cruz in the next time he attempts to vacation there. She also called on him to resign from office for his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“Ted, this is pretty rich coming from someone who fled their own home (and responsibilities) during an environmental crisis to cross the border and seek refuge in Mexico,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Also you funded cages, expanded cages, and yet you’re complaining about cages. You have no policy, just puff.”

Ocasio-Cortez accused Republicans of hypocritically attacking the current administration’s detention of migrant children at the border after they supported President Donald Trump’s policy of separating migrant parents from their children.

Currently, Democrats like AOC are calling on Biden to impliment more liberal immigration policies.

Republicans have strongly expressed their dislike for the recent rise in migrants which has come as a result of Biden’s reversal of Trump’s most rigid border policies.

AOC is currently a co-sponsor of the Roadmap to Freedom resolution. The resolution calls on the Federal Government to develop and implement a Roadmap to Freedom “in order to overhaul the outdated immigration system in the United States that has gone without significant reform for decades, and to relieve the great human impact an unjust system bears on communities around the country.”

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9 Films, Docs and Series About Latinas to Watch Before Women’s History Month Comes to an End

Fierce

9 Films, Docs and Series About Latinas to Watch Before Women’s History Month Comes to an End

Whether you want to celebrate Women’s History Month with a movie night or appreciate media about powerful mujeres year-round, you’re probably looking for a few films, documentaries or TV series to add to your streaming queue right now. Regrettably (and shamefully), most of the lists cropping on entertainment news sites don’t feature projects made for, by or about Latinas. With that in mind, we’ve put together some titles centering narratives about Latina trailblazers and heroines from Latin American and U.S. history. So clear your weekend cal and purchase all of your fave movie theater snacks, because you can watch (most of) these films, documentaries and series right from your computer screen.

1. Dolores

If you’re looking for documentaries about Latina heroines, start with Dolores, the 2017 film about the life and activism of Chicana labor union activist Dolores Huerta. The doc, executive produced by Carlos Santana and Benjamin Bratt, and directed by Bratt’s brother, Peter, delves into how the 90-year-old co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later named the United Farm Workers), her famous “Sí se puede” rallying cry and her role in the women’s rights movement. Including interviews with Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and more, Dolores celebrates the history and ongoing activism of one of the country’s most critical civil rights leaders. Watch Dolores on Amazon Prime.

2. Isabel: The Intimate Story Of Isabel Allende

Isabel: The Intimate Story Of Isabel Allende, a three-part docuseries about the famed Chilean author and feminist, is one of the most exciting new drops. The HBO Max series, directed by Rodrigo Bazaes, premiered on March 12, just in time for Women’s History Month. Like all good biopics, Isabel reveals the person behind the icon, portraying Allende’s path from a young woman fighting her way into a male-dominated industry to the most-read Spanish-language author of all time. As the niece of assassinated Chilean President Salvador Allende, the series also gets political, bringing light to her life under the regime of General Augusto Pinochet as well as her own feminist activism. Watch Isabel on HBO Max.

3. Knock Down the House

Knock Down the House portrays the political rise of a Latina icon in the making: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. While the 2019 documentary by Rachel Lears revolves around the 2018 congressional primary campaigns of four progressive women, Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush and Paula Jean Swearengin, the Puerto Rican now-congresswoman is the only one who wins her race (though Bush won in the next election cycle) and thus much of the film focuses on her story. A first-time candidate with a passion for social justice, a degree in international relations and economics, and a job in bartending, the doc shows how a regular, degular, shmegular girl from the Bronx unseated one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress with a progressive platform and a focus on community. Watch Knock Down the House on Netflix.

4. Lorena: Light-Footed Woman

In 2017, María Lorena Ramírez’s name made international headlines when the young woman defeated 500 other runners from 12 different countries at the Ultra Trail Cerro Rojo in Puebla, Mexico. Ramírez didn’t just stand out because of her speed but also because she ran without professional gear. Instead, she donned the traditional clothes of the Tarahumara, Indigenous people in Chihuahua, Mexico, including a floral skirt and a pair of huaraches. Capturing the world’s attention, Ramírez became the focus of the 2019 documentary Lorena: Light-Footed Woman, which was directed by Juan Carlos Rulfo. The short doc beautifully tells the tale of a young woman’s athletic training in the mountains where she grew up to become a celebrated long-distance runner while staying true to her culture and traditions. Lorena: Light-Footed Woman is streaming on Netflix.

5. Berta Didn’t Die, She Multiplied!

In Honduras, the most dangerous country in the world for land defenders, Berta Cáceres’ life was taken because of her commitment to the environmental justice struggle. Back in the Central American country, Berta’s assassination hasn’t been forgotten and neither has her fight. The 2017 short doc Berta Didn’t Die, She Multiplied!, directed by Sam Vinal, shows how her work lives on among Indigenous Lenca and Afro-Indigenous Garifuna people of Honduras, who continue to struggle against capitalism, patriarchy, racism and homophobia, for our land and our water. Watch Berta Didn’t Die, She Multiplied! on Vimeo.

6. Celia

Celia reveals the story of one of the most powerful voices and greatest icons of Latin music, Afro-Cubana salsera Celia Cruz. The Spanish-language novela, produced by Fox Telecolombia for RCN Televisión and Telemundo, starts at the beginning, when Cruz was an aspiring singer in Havana, and takes viewers through to her time joining La Sonora Matancera, leaving her homeland with her would-be husband Pedro Knight and gaining massive superstardom as the “Queen of Salsa.” Watch Celia on AppleTV+.

7. Beauties of the Night

In the first half of the 20th century, showgirls dominated the entertainment scene in Latin America. Their glamorous looks and luxe performances were enjoyed by audiences of all ages and genders. But around the 1970s, as VHS pornos took off, these scantily clad talents started to lose work and, as a result, their lucrative incomes. Oftentimes, these women came from low-income backgrounds and didn’t have a formal education, forcing many of the vedettes to also feel like they’ve lost their sense of purpose and impelling some to take on work they didn’t feel good about in order to stay afloat in the industry. In Beauties of the Night, directed by María José Cuevas, we see some of Mexico and South America’s leading showgirls, Olga Breeskin, Lyn May, Rossy Mendoza, Wanda Seux and Princesa Yamal, and how their lives transformed as the work they were once famous for lost its reverence. Watch Beauties of the Night on Netflix.

8. Frida

The 2002 biographical drama film Frida shares the professional and private life of one of the most famous woman artists of all time, Frida Kahlo. Directed by Julie Taymor and starring Salma Hayek, the Academy Award-nominated film touches on many aspects of the late Mexican artist and feminist’s life, from her life-altering accident in 1922 and her tumultuous relationship with muralist Diego Rivera to her bisexual identity, political affiliations and, of course, her time-defying art and self portraits. Watch Frida on Amazon Prime.

9. Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It


With a career spanning 70 years, Rita Moreno is one of the most famous and beloved actresses of all time. The only Latina to have won all four major annual U.S. entertainment awards, an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony, her own life is certainly worthy of a film; and in 2021, director Mariem Pérez Riera gave the Puerto Rican star what she deserves with Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It. The documentary, which premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival on January 29, 2021, features interviews with Moreno, Eva Longoria, Gloria Estefan, Normal Lear, Whoopi Goldberg and more. More than just a celebration of all the barriers Moreno broke, the film also delves into her personal life, including the racism she endured on her road to stardom, the sexual violence she experienced in Hollywood, her struggle with mental health and suicidal ideation and her fight for multidimensional roles for people of color. While Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided To Go For It isn’t streaming yet, it is set to air on PBS’ American Masters later this year.

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