Culture

A Latina Photographer Recreated 6 Iconic Afro-Latina Portraits And The Results Are Stunning

cosmosonic / Tumblr / @msrosiloves / Twitter / Linda Nieves-Powell

Linda Nieves-Powell is the woman behind the photos recreating iconic Latina photos and now she’s back with a brand new photo project focusing on Afro-Latina musicians. Nieves-Powell told mitú that the idea to recreate the photos of Latinas came when she was photographing some of her friends and realized that there aren’t many Latinas in the photography world. With that, she set out to do something positive with photography and social media and recreate some of the most iconic portraits of Afro-Latinas…

Irene Cara, the Grammy-winning singer of “What A Feeling.”

marz-thatsentertainment / BlogSpot / Linda Nieves-Powell
CREDIT: marz-thatsentertainment / BlogSpot / Linda Nieves-Powell

“I had been thinking for some time of creating a photography project that features Latinas and by chance I came across an old photo of Rita Moreno on the cover of Life magazine, on my Facebook timeline,” Linda Nieves-Powell told mitú.. “That picture sparked the idea to create a tribute to trailblazers, but at the same time I knew this could be so much bigger than just re-creations.”

La India, the Princess of Salsa.

ElektroBeatz1 / YouTube / Linda Nieves-Powell
CREDIT: ElektroBeatz1 / YouTube / Linda Nieves-Powell

“In my research, I noticed that Afro-Latina musicians, at least the ones that I had found, possessed an incredible sense of style and seemed to revel in their individuality,” Nieves-Powell explained to mitú. “Who doesn’t want to pose as Celia Cruz with those amazing hats and multi-colored wigs?”

La Lupe, the Queen of Latin Soul.

jordanvkifer / Tumblr / Linda Nieves-Powell
CREDIT: jordanvkifer / Tumblr / Linda Nieves-Powell

“When I began doing the research for this series, I already knew I would be looking for models to pose as Celia Cruz, and La Lupe, as they are two of the most recognized Afro-Latinas in the entertainment industry,” Nieves-Powell told mitú. “It was when I came across the photos of Irene Cara and Esperanza Spalding that I noticed the pattern. I tend to like working in themes and decided that this series would feature Afro-Latinas in music.”

Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, late member of TLC.

@Melanin_World / Twitter / Linda Nieves-Powell
CREDIT: @Melanin_World / Twitter / Linda Nieves-Powell

For Nieves-Powell, it is important now more than ever to own our brownness and celebrate our contributions to this country. “We find ourselves in 2017 with an administration determined to see brown people go back to where they came from. However, many Americans who endorse that idea ironically don’t know why cities and states are named San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Montana, Florida, Arizona, and Colorado,” Nieves-Powell told mitú. “These Spanish names merely hint at our contributions to this country. It’s important to remember and remind ourselves of that. Latina Icons allows me to do that in my way. I feel that artists often have to be the change they want to see. We can do it through many mediums. I chose photography.”

Esperanza Spalding, Grammy winner for Best New Artist in 2011.

@msrosiloves / Twitter / Linda Nieves-Powell
CREDIT: @msrosiloves / Twitter / Linda Nieves-Powell

Powell also explained how she considers people as iconic. “For me the word iconic should not be limited to just those individuals who are considered trailblazers. I think the iconic in Latina Icons, can also include a single mother who is holding it down for the family while pursuing her dream job,” Nieves-Powell told mitú. “So what makes someone iconic to me is strength, determination, fearlessness, authenticity, cultural pride, vision, and above all a clear sense of self. Someone who doesn’t use societal standards as the gauge to measure her greatness but instead creates her own benchmark for excellence.”

Celia Cruz, Cuban-born salsa icon with 23 gold albums.

cosmosonic / Tumblr / Linda Nieves-Powell
CREDIT: cosmosonic / Tumblr / Linda Nieves-Powell

“I see Latina Icons as a way of promoting Latina excellence, celebrating Latinidad, and documenting our evolution, as well as providing a reference to the past,” Nieves-Powell told mitú about her hopes for more photo series. “I see a series depicting Ivy League bound Latinas, Entrepreneurs who are working on their million dollar ideas, and yes, Latinas in aeronautics would be such an inspiring series.”

Check out the video below!

Latina Icons Is Shedding Light On Iconic Afro-Latina Icons, And It’s Just Beginning

Posted by We are mitú on Thursday, February 16, 2017


READ: 13 Celebs You Probably Didn’t Know Were Afro-Latino


Cardi B Stands Behind Bernie Sanders Because Of His Desire To Fight For All People And Their Rights

Entertainment

Cardi B Stands Behind Bernie Sanders Because Of His Desire To Fight For All People And Their Rights

iamcardib / Instagram

Cardi B refuses to be boxed into any archetype. The Afro-Dominican rapper has used her platform in the past to talk about the injustices of America’s healthcare system. This Monday, she effectively put her weight behind Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders by telling her 6.7 million Twitter followers that she feels “really sad” about “how we let him down in 2016.”

Claro, Cardi B’s endorsement of the progressive Democratic socialist candidate has ignited a firestorm of responses from fans and haters alike. 

In a single tweet, Cardi acknowledged the authenticity of Bernie’s platform–which has remained consistent throughout decades of politics.

Credit: @iamcardib / Twitter

Often, voters feel isolated from politics because political speech is too pedantic to resonate with. Cardi was speaking from the heart of America when she said that Bernie’s issues are not a “front” for a campaign to win. She believes Bernie’s passion to creating a safer America for all is genuine.

Bernie Sanders narrowly lost the Democratic primary to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Instagram

It’s no secret that, after Trump won, the Democratic party experienced a deep disillusionment over party ideals. Bernie brought a much more progressive stance than establishment Democrats, advocating for free healthcare as an American right, free college tuition and equality for all. The Senator thanked her in a tweet that read, “Thank you @iamcardib! Our fight for justice is far from over and we are not giving up.” 

The conversation continued after a critic pointed out that Cardi has once complained about high taxes.

Credit: @itixmix / Twitter

The Twitter user seemed to think that Cardi’s disdain for high taxes would be in direct conflict with Bernie Sanders’s outspoken platform to raise taxes on the rich to effectively redistribute to the masses in the form of free healthcare and education. He was wrong.

His didn’t get away with going up against Cardi and Bernie without a good dog walk from Latinas in charge.

Credit: @JulieSmithM / Twitter

It’s the name of the game–perception is a reality in politics. The perks of being a civilian are being able to say things like “que chinguen a su madre” to anyone who twists your words. 

Cardi clapped back by saying that she’s here for high taxes, but only if she can see her dollar effect positive change.

Credit: @iamcardib / Twitter

With a large chunk of our taxes going to the military, subsidizing the dying dairy and meat industries, and a clear lack of funds directed towards the humanitarian crisis on the border, Cardi wants someone in power who will improve the quality of life for as many Americans as possible. She wants to see what she’s paying for.

Of course, the sexism and racism came out to play in the comment threads.

Credit: @iamblakemarie / Twitter

This user claimed that “hood rats” are implicitly lacking the “mentality” to have political opinions. “I wish some people would stay in their lane,” is tantamount to someone like Trump telling The Squad to “go back” to “where they came from.” It implies that you’re born into the limits on your own agency, and it’s toxic thinking.

The Bardi Gang came through to defend Cardi’s right to use her political voice.

Credit: @Genadievna_ / Twitter

Cardi B is an Afro-Latina woman who worked her way to fame by stripping at the club across from her high school. Her work has invited criticism from conservative pundits, claiming her body and sex-positive messaging is anti-feminist. As a black woman taking up space in the world, everything she does is overanalyzed.

 They also offered her support amidst all the “hate.”

Credit: @TwinklingTania / Twitter

Other politically invested folks came through with comments like “Girl read about ELIZABETH WARREN,” and “Kamala2020 get down read up on her.” Sprinkled throughout were messages of support for Bernie, happy that 6.7 million followers could #FeelTheBern thanks to Cardi.

Cardi might be a celebrity, but she’s also a constituent who wants to see her taxes put an end to bankruptcy by medical and student loan debt.

Credit: @iamcardib / Instagram

With 2020 around the corner, campaign season is in full swing again. As always, we are mitú and we want everyone to educate themselves about every candidate and get out the vote!

Selena Gomez Is Fighting To Make Sure That Everyone Can Speak Openly And Honestly About Getting Help For Their Mental Health

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Is Fighting To Make Sure That Everyone Can Speak Openly And Honestly About Getting Help For Their Mental Health

selenagomez / Instagram

Selena Marie Gomez (born in Texas in 1992) has been in the public eye for as long as she can remember. She has been a role model for young girls as a singer and an actress and now is involved in more risqué films such as Spring Breakers, a delirious film by indie filmmaker Harmony Korine. Besides having a strong onscreen persona, Gomez has been in relationships with the likes of Justin Bieber, which of course turned the paparazzi attention and cameras to her. Suddenly, when she was barely a teenager her every move was being followed. Her life was sort of predestined to be great when she was named after the great late Selena Quintanilla. However, she has had to deal with divorce (her parents separated when she was five-years-old) and with weak health, as she was diagnosed with lupus, an auto-immune disease, which ultimately forced her to get a kidney transplant. She found strength in her mom. Gomez has said that her mother “was really strong around me. Having me at 16 had to have been a big responsibility. She gave up everything for me, had three jobs, supported me, sacrificed her life for me.” That must provide so much strength for a woman of barely 26 but who has gone through more in her lifetime than many 50-year-olds.

This must not be easy for anyone, even more so for a Latino woman. Gomez knows that she has a microphone and that she can get to other girls and women. “The older I get, the prouder I am to be a woman in the industry. When I was younger and running around all the time on tour, I don’t think I took the time to notice how being a woman in my position is really a gift. I want to make sure I utilize all that power,” the young Latina star told Into the GlossShe has used this position of privilege to raise awareness on mental health issues, including suicide prevention, both as a celebrity and as a producer. She is also a supporter of associations such as Make A Wish (which grants children diagnosed with life-threatening conditions), the Alliance for Children’s Rights and the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. 

Selena Gomez fights for friendships above anything else: girl power.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez values friendship and spreads the word. She has such loyal friends that one even donated a kidney when Gomez needed a transplant. She says: “People are put into your life for seasons, for different reasons, and to teach you lessons”: Selena, we couldn’t agree more.

She gets politically enraged when it matters.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez knows that a lot of mental health issues concerning young women are related to the policing of their sexuality and reproductive rights. She gets political when she feels the need to, particularly with issues concerning the mental health and general wellbeing of young women like herself. 

She asks her fans to be strong, but to also look for help when needed.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Her advice: “I’ve learned there’s power deep down inside yourself, and you can find it when you don’t give up on yourself and when you ask for help.” This is so real it hurts: even someone like her, who in the eyes of her fans might seem to have it all, needs to be humble and honest in reaching out to others when the world seems bleak. There is always someone who cares if you are OK. 

She stands up for migrants.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez doesn’t get political often, but when she does she always stands up for the minority communities. She has been a vocal advocate for migrant rights and the rights of women. She even wore a 1973 necklace as one of very few Latina celebs speaking up for abortion rights.

She even takes a stand from DACA recipients and Dreamers.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

She has used her social media accounts, which have followers in the millions, to call her fans to action. She is clearly showing the world that she does care and she is paying attention. 

She delivers a message of self-acceptance, which led her to produce 13 Reasons Why.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez’s mother, Amanda, had her when she was just 16, and then raised her by herself. She was also the one that gave Gomez the book on which the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why is based. The show was controversial because it spoke about mental health issues and suicide, topics that are fundamental to discuss with young vulnerable populations but that remain a taboo. However, Gomez’s message is optimistic. She has said: “I promise you that each and every one of you is made to be who you are and that’s what’s so attractive and beautiful.” Preach! 

13 Reasons Why put mental health issues at the forefront of public media debate.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

“I get it all day, every day, that I’m not sexy enough, or I’m not cool enough, or if I did this I would be accepted… I promise you that each and every one of you is made to be who you are and that’s what’s so attractive and beautiful. Please don’t forget that, even when it gets hard,” she said in an interview for the Huffington PostAnd this is exactly the message that she conveys in her project. Taking on Jay Asher’s literary world, she and the series creative team were able to show mental health and suicide from all possible angles. 

She takes fame with a grain of salt.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

She has been famous for a big portion of her life, but she knows that todo es pasajero, and that at the end who you are does not depend merely on adulation: “You are not defined by an Instagram photo, by a ‘Like,’ by a comment. That does not define you.”

Body positivity is her mantra.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

“I feel very empowered and confident and comfortable with where I am. And I think it took me a long time to get there because, you know, the past year was so interesting because I’ve never been body-shamed before… I did gain weight, but I don’t care,” she said at On Air with Ryan SeacrestThis is a great, positive message for someone who is followed by millions of young women throughout the world, particularly in a day and age when standards of beauty are twisted and self-love is hard to achieve. 

She is an active advocate of girl power.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Perhaps following the example of her mother, who basically raised her alone while holding down as many jobs as necessary to make ends meet, Gomez says: “I don’t want to become little or hurt or a victim. I want to be strong for girls…I just want them to know that there is an option of standing up for yourself.” Additionally, she was named a United Nations Ambassador in 2009, and in this role, she has worked particularly in empowering vulnerable children by helping provide clean water, education, and medical services. 

You learn from your mistakes.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Perhaps most importantly, she knows that many see her as a role model and that this brings a huge deal of responsibility. “I’m human, I’m not perfect. I make mistakes all the time, but I guess my job is to keep those mistakes to myself, which I’m already fine doing and just try to be the best I can be for those kids,” she told E! Online.

READ: “13 Reasons Why” Does Much More Than Glorify Suicide, Selena Gomez Explained

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