Entertainment

Here’s What The OINTB Cast Has Been Up To Since Last Season

In case you missed it, “Orange is the New Black” (OITNB)’s Season 6 will be premiering on Netflix on July 27, so clear your schedules. The show has been a major catalyst in raising Americans awareness about the injustices that are so embedded in the prison system–from the 1 in 6 versus 1 in 17 chance of a Latino going to prison versus a white male, to the social consequences of the wave of privatized prisons and how immigration policies today funnels into that system. OITNB also employs an incredible Latina cast, and since the last season release, they have been using their platform to get loud about the issues that matter most to them.

They’ve been hanging out with each other.

@dianeguerrero_ / Instagram

On-screen besties, Flaca and Maritza, are just as good of friends IRL. Diane Guerrero (left) and Jackie Cruz (right) are basically living their character’s out-of-jail dream as beauty icons and influencers. Here’s what else they’ve been up to.

Diane Guerrero has used her platform for immigration reform.

@dianeguerrero_ / Instagram

Guerrero has her own personal story of being separated from her family when she came home from school one day to an empty house. Her undocumented parents and older brother had been deported back to Colombia, while she stayed behind with her American citizenship, because she was born in New Jersey.

Caption: “SCHOOLS NOT PRISONS ????”

Guerrero also received an honorary doctorate.

@dianeguerrero_ / Instagram

Guerrero grew up in Boston after being taken in by other Colombian families. She attended Boston Arts Academy and went on to work in a law office before she decided to pursue a career in acting. She was invited back to her alma mater, Regis College, to give the commencement speech.

Meanwhile, Cruz has been taking selfies with her fans. ❣️

@jackiecruz / Instagram

Cruz was born in Queens and grew up between Los Angeles and Santiago, Dominican Republic. She was raised by a single mother until she moved out at 16 years old and became homeless. A year later, she was hit by a car and fell into a coma. She survived, but only after suffering from a collapsed lung and brain surgery.

Cruz also dropped a single, “La Hora Loca.”

@jackiecruz / Instagram

When Cruz was in high school, she was in a band called Krush Velvet and even came close to signing an album deal with with will.i.am producers. Last year, she released a music video called “Dog,” meant to fight back against the patriarchy and violence against women.

Just last month, she released a single in both English and Spanish that we’ll all want to play the moment our tios ask us to make him una cafe con leche. Response: “You gon’ have to work.”

We’ve been swooning at Cruz’ selfies from around the world.

@jackiecruz / Instagram

Fun fact: Cruz and Kourtney Kardashian were friends after meeting in an art class, and the two were filmed kissing on “Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami.” Cruz doesn’t like to be labeled but has been with women before, and is with a man currently.

????Taken at the Hohenzollern Bridge.

Caption: “Infinity and Beyond kinda ❤️???????????? #loveislove”

Elizabeth Rodriguez has been cast in Hulu’s “Chance” series.

@theonlyelizabethrodriguez / Instagram

In the show, la boricua Queen plays una doctura named Kirsten Clayton, in one of her most chill roles ever. Fun fact: Rodriguez has been nominated for a Tony for her performance in a 2011 play called The Motherfucker with the Hat. Mami’s talented.

Caption: “#actorslife #waiting 4hours #iloveacting #hollywood #Chance#Hulu Esperando 4 horas en mi trailer para trabajar #lavidadeactriz”

Rodriguez has also been getting busy taking selfies with coquito.

@theonlyelizabethrodriguez / Instagram

Como una boricua real. ???????? My mom definitely takes some ✨classy✨ pics with her frosted glass of coquito every Christmas.

If you live in NYC like Rodriguez, we hear all the good things about “Brooklyn Coquito”. Get coquito wasted and @ us.

And using her middle finger for good.

@theonlyelizabethrodriguez / Instagram

When Trump went to visit Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria decimated the island, he took the opportunity toss paper towels at the victims as if that is what they wanted from the President of the United States.

On International Women’s Day, the whole cast repped “Phenomenal Women”

@theonlyelizabethrodriguez / Instagram

Caption: “Today is #InternationalWomensDay, which celebrates the achievements of women across the globe. Over the last year, we’ve seen an unprecedented movement for women’s rights, and one thing is clear: our time is now. We are phenomenal, and we will make the world a better place for all women. Show your support with this Maya Angelou-inspired tee from @phenomenal.ly. ????????????????????????????????????????”

They were all over the world, but together in spirit (and shirt).

@thecrusher007 / Instagram

Caption:

“I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
— Maya Angelou

Thank you @phenomenal.ly Cheers to all the women who didn’t just knock on the door of the boys club. They kicked that door down and continue do so. Special shout out to @girlswhocode and @williemaerockcamp you’re next.”

Their captions were everything.

@mslauragomez / Instagram

Caption: “Reflecting on the achievements of the women workers who started the fight for equal rights and better labor conditions and celebrating those across the globe making the world a better place for all women. How to be a #phenomenalwoman and not to die in the attempt?! You can show support with this Maya Angelou-inspired tee from @phenomenal.ly. #internationalwomensday ~ “¿cómo ser mujer y no morir en el intento?” #diainternacionaldelamujer”

Selenis Levya took the opportunity to speak to how Latinas specifically suffer worse.

@selenisleyvaofficial / Instagram

Caption: “Today is #LatinaEqualPayDay. It represents the fact that the gender pay gap is greatest for LATINAS , who must work 11 extra months in 2017 to catch up to what non Hispanic, white men made in 2016. It’s an injustice to all women that Latinas earn only .54 cents for every $1 that goes to white men. Soy Una Mujer FENOMENAL- and I deserve EQUAL PAY! Support seven women’s orgs with this Maya Angelou inspired tee from @phenomenal.ly”

Levya’s compassion extends even beyond humans.

@selenisleyvaofficial / Instagram

Of course, she’s hella active in human rights issues, and she still finds time to make it to Animal League. Here’s why:

“Thank you @animalleague for all you do !! Adopt!!! My furbabies have forever changed me! Help this baby and many other #dogs and #cats find forever homes???????????? #getyourrescueon#adoption”

Oh, and she met Joe Biden.

@selenisleyvaofficial / Instagram

Caption: “When you see your #VicePresident @vp44 and you’re both excited about the moment !!! I said to him ” we miss you, please help us”…….. what he said was spectacular!! #hopeful this is us at the @antiviolence courage awards my face still hurts from my EXTRA cheesy smile #highlight #grace #elegance #intelligence #eloquentspeaker I needed this ????????????????????????????”

And casually became a cartoon duck.

@selenisleyvaofficial / Instagram

Of course she looks badass with an eyebrow arch that could kill.

Caption: “Meet M”ma !!! @disneychannel @disney @ducktalestv – I’ve always wanted to be a cartoon ????????…carry on ✌????#shescute”

Dascha Polanco is stunning as always.

@sheisdash / Instagram

We know her as Dayanara “Daya” Diaz, but you should really get to know Dascha Polanco. Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, she immigrated to the U.S. when she was young. She always wanted to be an actress but felt self-defeated because of her weight.

Polanco majored in Psychology at Hunter College and started working in hospital admin in the Bronx with the intention of becoming a nurse. Then she gave it one last shot and landed this gig.

Her hair game has been legendary this summer.

@sheisdash / Instagram

You can see it in the hashtags. ????

Caption: “Anoche … dime ? How was your night ? #ismellgood #selflovery#changinghairstyleslikemyundergarments”

Not pictured: Polanco is sporty af.

@sheisdash / Instagram

In the last year, she’s participated as a celebrity guest on the basketball courts and now in the Major League Baseball’s All Star game. You win my heart, Dascha.

Jessica Pimentel is even more badass IRL than Maria Ruiz in OITNB.

@thecrusher007 / Instagram

Pimentel is the lead singer of heavy metal band Alekhine’s Gun and is also a vocalist in Brujeria. When she’s not filming for OITNB, she’s screaming heavy metal!

No matter who your favorite is, you can assume que está viviendo, aprendiendo y creciendo.

@mslauragomez / Instagram

At the end of the day, they’re all just Latinos, like us, who show the world what a Spanish Harlem is made of. You won’t find any stereotypes on OITNB, or in the cast mates.

Caption: “Living. Learning. Growing ~ Viviendo. Aprendiendo. Creciendo”

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9 Bios About Latinas Poderosas To Read This Women’s History Month

Fierce

9 Bios About Latinas Poderosas To Read This Women’s History Month

While we should be reading narratives by and about women year-round, March, which has been designated Women’s History Month in the United States since 1987, is an ideal time to start or double down. Through literary biographies, written by or about female change-makers and barrier-breakers, we can educate ourselves on the historic women who fought to bring about progress or the personal battles they overcame to live inspiring and purposeful lives. 

Considering the contributions of powerful Latinas have been minimized or erased from public consciousness, it’s no surprise that their narratives are also often missing from curated books lists. That’s why one of the best ways to celebrate women this month is by picking up and reading the tales of our trailblazing foremothers or the badasses who are shaking things up today. 

Here, peruse through a list of autobiographies and biographies about Latina powerhouses in politics, social justice and entertainment, and choose one (or more) to read this month. If you really want to be inspired, try to get through the entire list by the end of the year.

My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Published in 2014, nine years after Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor became the first-ever Latina to sit on the highest court of the land, My Beloved World is a memoir that recounts Sotomayor’s life from the housing projects in the Bronx, New York, to the federal bench. The bestseller reveals the groundbreaking Puerto Rican’s challenging upbringing, including an alcoholic father and her personal struggle with juvenile diabetes, and how she envisioned a different life for herself through entertainment role models that allowed her dream up a career in law.

Lupe Velez: The Life and Career of Hollywood’s “Mexican Spitfire” by Michelle Vogel

McFarland and Company

Old Hollywood actress Lupe Velez lived a life that the press loved to gossip about. Not only was the Mexican talent cast for sexy and fierce-tempered roles, spawning the nickname “The Mexican Spitfire,” but the myths about her life beyond the cameras also spurred rumors and scandal. Ugly fables about her death in 1944 left the trailblazing Latina actress with a notorious legacy. But in Michelle Vogel’s 2012 biography of Vélez, she finally puts damaging untruths to rest and tells the honest tale of the life and career of one of the most important Latinx figures in entertainment. 

Becoming Julia de Burgos: The Making of a Puerto Rican Icon by Vanessa Perez Rosario

University of Illinois Press

Few poets have captured a nation, symbolized an era and bloomed into a cultural icon like Julia de Burgos. The Afro-Puerto Rican writer, who spoke in poetry and prose about her homeland’s colonial status, her relationship with land, her experience of migration and her plight as a woman of color, impacted culture and politics both in Puerto Rico and in the U.S. In this first full-length English-language biography of de Burgos, Perez examines the late writer’s life as a poet and a political activist and bridges her contribution to nationalist literature as well as Nuyorican art and culture. 

Azucar! The New Biography of Celia Cruz by Eduardo Marceles

Reed Press

If you’ve already watched Celia, the 80-part novela about the Queen of Salsa Celia Cruz, and are looking to dive deeper into the life of the late Cuban icon, you’ll want to devour Eduardo Marceles’ Azucar! the Celia Cruz Biography. Like the series, the book delves into Cruz’s life as a political exile and a successful singer but includes unpublished personal interviews and conversations between the talent and the author, including bits about her popular relationship with Pedro Knight, her sometimes overlooked humanitarian work and her fatal illness.

To Selena, With Love by Chris Perez

Penguin Publishing Group

The gifts, story and beauty of Selena Quintanilla has captivated audiences young and old for three decades. But even those who have watched the 1997 classic film hundreds of times, know her songs by heart and have participated in online fandom communities will learn a lot about the late Queen of Tejano by reading To Selena, with Love, a memoir written by her widower Chris Perez. In the book, published in 2013, Perez shares intimate details about the superstar and their relationship, including how it grew from friendship to forbidden romance to a lovely marriage that ended too soon.

Maria Montez: Su Vida by Margarita Vicens de Morales

Cayena Press

If you’re looking for an illuminating Spanish-language read about a Latina icon who doesn’t get the respect she deserves, you need – like have to! – pick up Margarita Vicens de Morales’ Maria Montez: Su Vida. The book, published in 2004, reveals the story of Maria Montez, the Dominican Old Hollywood actress who was hailed “The Queen of Technicolor,” detailing the superstar’s rise to fame, the times her life mirrored the roles she played, her relationships and motherhood as well as her early and sudden death. 

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero and Michelle Burford

Henry Holt and Co.

While most of the biographies and memoirs on this list so far have centered on rise-to-fame stories, Diane Guerrero’s In the Country We Love: My Family Divided focuses primarily on how our country’s broken immigration system tore her family apart in her youth. In the book, published in 2016, the Colombian-American actress shares how her parents were detained and deported when she was just 14 years and how she was forced to live with family friends in order to continue her education in the United States and build her career. In sharing her nightmare-turned-to-life story, Guerrero highlights a fear and struggle of millions of undocumented people living in the country.

The Meaning of Mariah Carey

Andy Cohen Books

A global icon and one of the most talented artists of all time, Mariah Carey’s personal life, much like her reserve of chart-topping songs and albums, has been dissected in the press for decades. But with 2020’s The Meaning of Mariah Carey, a memoir the Venezuelan-American megastar co-authored with Michaela Angela Davis, she is speaking her truth in her own words. The book shares the “triumphs and traumas” as well as the “dreams and debacles” that helped form Mariah Carey, the person and the artist in the spotlight, touching on childhood trauma, racism, songs, relationships, motherhood and more.

Rita Moreno: A Memoir by Rita Moreno

Celebra


Before Rita Moreno became everyone’s favorite actress, the Hollywood legend was a simple Puerto Rican girl who, like many in the 1930s, was making her way from the archipelago to the Bronx, New York, with her family for greater opportunity. In Rita Moreno: A Memoir, the now 89-year-old shares how music and performance helped her cope with her tumultuous childhood and how her talent brought her to Broadway, then Hollywood and, of course, to becoming the only Latinx talent to win an Oscar, Grammy, Tony and two Emmys. Throughout it all, Moreno is frank about the racialized sexism she experienced in the entertainment industry, the passionate romances that injured and supported her, and creating an equally dazzling life and career.

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Diane Guerrero Is Here With A Safe Voting PSA That Will Make Voting So Much Hotter

Things That Matter

Diane Guerrero Is Here With A Safe Voting PSA That Will Make Voting So Much Hotter

Covid-19 is changing how millions of Americans are voting this election. Nearly 100 million Americans have already early voted compared to the 138 million total votes in the 2016 election. With record turnout expected Diane Guerrero is here to give you all the tips to go out and vote safely in the time of Covid.

It’s Election Day and that means we should all be exercising our right to make our voice heard.

Diane Guerrero is here in a video by Offsides Productions to tell you all about safe voting. Don’t worry. She is completely prepared to walk first timers through their first vote. The PSA is one long innuendo giving voters all kinds of voting info and loving.

“Is this your first time? Do you feel nervous?” Guerrero tells the camera. “It’s normal to have lots of emotions about this big decision but I’m here to tell you, it’s gonna feel so good. So you should definitely do it.”

The actress is really excited for you to go out there and vote for democracy. However, she wants to make sure you are doing so super safe. That’s why, during the PSA, she tells you to wear all the protection you need to vote during a pandemic.

Images of hand sanitizer flying across the air and splattering on face shields really drive home that message. It is a wild time to be going out in public but there are safe ways to go out and vote for democracy.

The PSA is catching everyone’s attention.

The need to get out and vote is important. Both parties are pushing for as many people to vote as possible. So far, nearly 100 million people have early voted in this election. In 2016, 138 million people voted in total so this election is on track to break records. Some experts think that U.S. voter turnout will be the highest it has been since 1908.

Texas, for example, broke their voting record with early votes topping 9 million votes. Texas, which has been a Republican stronghold, is quickly becoming a battleground state. Beto O’Rourke’s race against Sen. Ted Cruz highlighted the possibility of flipping Texas blue.

Guerrero’s streamy message to all American voters is clear.

Get out there and vote, even if it is your first time. Voting is a right that was hard won by every demographic. People before us have protested, been attacked, and even killed to pave the way for you to be able to vote. Today is the day to make sure that those sacrifices were not made in vain.

Democracy relies on everyone using their voice to choose the country’s path. It is a way to see the future that you want to see. Use your voice and use your vote. Fill that box and help shape this country into the place you want it to be.

READ: Cardi B Talks 2020 Elections With Tío Bernie And Endorses Joe Biden

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