Things That Matter

Racism Takes A Backseat In Mexico…Finally

It’s difficult to understand that Mexico just recently recognized black people as legitimate Mexicans. Yes, Latinos can be black, too. And black Mexicans have been around since the Spanish brought them over as slaves, literally centuries ago.

Nevertheless, it’s a big step forward because, as Dallas Rico, a teacher and a black Latino says, “As long as society doesn’t acknowledge us, we will continue to be invisible.”

READ: @blaxicansofla Gets an Intimate Portrayal of What It’s Like Growing Up Black & Mexican

To recognize that Latinos can also be black is the same as recognizing that Latinos can be blond with blue eyes. This validation is incredibly important in order to minimize prejudices within our own Latino community since there are “Afro-Peruvians, Afro-Columbians, Afro-Panamanians and other Afro-(insert name of Latin American country here)”, Rico says.  It’s called diversity, guys.

Read more about Dallas Rico’s experience as an Afro-Latino from the Huffington Post here and here.

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The ‘On My Block’ Cast Acts Like A Family When They Are Off The Set And It’s Amazing

Entertainment

The ‘On My Block’ Cast Acts Like A Family When They Are Off The Set And It’s Amazing

jason.genao / Instagram

We all know Netflix has been crushing it with messages of racial injustice, minority perspectives, and casting more diverse actors. The streaming platform has a long line of diverse characters with shows like Dear White People, She’s Gotta Have It, and a slew of Spanish Language Netflix Originals. On My Block (OMB) is one of the shows that Netflix users have not been able to get enough of.

It tells the story of the tightest group of friends coming up into high school on the East Side of Los Angeles and touches on topics of gang violence, gender expectations, and how family ties can make or break you if you let them. More importantly, the cast is non-white and gives us a strong Afro-Latina lead.

On My Block is the most-binged show on Netflix of 2018.

CREDIT: @onmyblocktv / Instagram

According to their own data, it tops the list of Original shows with the highest watch time per sitting. That means when people sit down to watch OMB, they can’t stop for a lot longer than other shows. It was followed up with Season 2 of Making a Murderer and 13 Reasons Why.

Diego Tinoco is probably the biggest break out star of the whole show.

CREDIT: @diegotinoco / Instagram

While others have had other gigs before, playing Cesar Diaz, the little bro of a major gang leader, is Tinoco’s first starring role. Though you might recognize him from one episode of Teen Wolf.

Tinoco would have wanted to be a writer if he wasn’t an actor.

CREDIT: @diegotinoco / Instagram

He says he’s a lot like his character, Cesar, in that they’re both hopeless romantics and in love with the idea of love. Though he would not have wanted to become an architect.

He set off to chase his dream right after high school.

CREDIT: @diegotinoco / Instagram

In an emotional post, Tinoco revealed a bit about his past:

“Risked everything, for the chance of nothing. Left my life back home to try and start a new one someplace else. Straight out of high school, with nothing but a dream and a passion for it. I’ve lost a lot of great people, but have also met a whole ton of incredible souls. I feel so incredibly blessed, & this feeling is still so surreal and bewildering. Honored and proud to have accomplished all this my first year out in LA. Only want to continue to strive and grow as an artist, and contribute good things as a human being. Love this cast with all my heart.”

Sierra Capri dreamed of working in forensics before she took a stab at Hollywood.

CREDIT: @sierracapri / Instagram

It wasn’t until her junior year at Armstrong State University that she decided to audition for some gigs. She has zero acting lessons under her belt and is just pure raw talent.

Capri is a mega activist for immigrants.

CREDIT: @sierracapri / Instagram

She volunteers with the Refugee Assistance Project and CHLA. In the show, her character Monsé is a headstrong young woman who has been fighting to keep her relationship with Cesar a secret to maintain the ‘family’ and her image.

Capri can take a nap anywhere.

CREDIT: @onmyblocktv / Instagram

In an interview with Celebrity Haute Spot, Tinoco shares a behind-the-scenes secret. “Hmm. Sierra Capri can take a nap anywhere at any time. I admire it. It’s like a superpower haha.”

Her and actor Brett Gray sing Demi Lovato songs at 4 a.m.

CREDIT: @iambrettgray / Instagram

The two seem *especially* close and while many speculated they were dating, his most recent post calls her “the most beautiful sis.” Ok. Fine then. I ship it though.

Brett Gray worked as a clerk at ACME market before being cast on OMB.

CREDIT: @iambrettgray / Instagram

We know him as Jamal, the nerd of the group obsessed with finding hidden treasure from a lost business endeavor “RollerWorld.” Actor Brett Gray had a few spots with Law and Order: Special Victims Unit before he was perfectly cast as Jamal.

Gray is obsessed with Selena.

CREDIT: @iambrettgray / Instagram

He posted this stunning photo of Selena on the anniversary of her death with this caption:

“Anyone who knows me knows this woman is my first inspiration. The person I want to be and performer I want to be has been shaped by her career and music and daring to do what others thought she couldn’t. Rest in power.

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez 👑

April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995”

He turns 22 on January 13, 2019.

CREDIT: @iambrettgray / Instagram

Yup, the whole cast is barely drinking age, and are slaying the high school looks. Diego (Cesar) is 21 years old, Jason (Ruby) is 22 years old, and Ronni Hawk is just 19 years old.

Gray just dropped a single.

CREDIT: @iambrettgray / Instagram

Caption: “Wow wow wow wow wow…. So much love. I’m so grateful.

This EP was my first musical endeavor and there were so many ups and downs. Between me pushing myself too hard, not pushing enough, being insecure, or feeling unworthy of new things. This year was one of tremendous gain, some loss, some love, some love misplaced, heartache, and back to strength again. All themes of this project. A sonic remembrance of an easier time in life. It’s yours now. ”

Jason Genao is Dominican-American and from Jersey.

CREDIT: @ronnihawk / Instagram

Genao plays Ruby, the most ambitious and persuasive member of their friend family, and Genao has a lot in common with his character. He’s always known he wanted to be an actor and has had the most experience out of anyone in the core cast. He has been cast in star roles in Netflix Original series The Get Down and in the superhero drama show Logan.

Genao is an activist támbien, the latest face of the NOH8 campaign for LGBTQ rights.

CREDIT: @jason.genao / Instagram

He says that if he didn’t become an actor, he would have wanted to be a chef or a medical examiner. Regardless, he would stand up for equality. We’re glad he has this platform to do that.

Jasmine just got bumped to the main cast.

CREDIT: @jess_m_garcia / Instagram

Let’s be honest. While Jessica Marie Garcia’s character is in the peripheral for most of Season 1, she brings us the most jajas. We’re so happy we can expect to see a lot more of her.

The actress may play kind of a slob on OMB but she’s a total Queen IRL.

CREDIT: @jess_m_garcia / Instagram

Also, you can probably tell that she just got married. But not to the cast. To another very tall man.

You might recognize her from How to Get Away With Murder.

CREDIT: @jess_m_garcia / Instagram

In the show, she plays Rhonda Navarro, a member of Annalise Keating’s Legal clinic and has been in four episodes so far. Check her out being serious and all.

Ronni Hawk started out as a ballerina.

CREDIT: @ronnihawk / Instagram

Hailing from Boca Raton, Florida, she trained at the Boca Ballet Theatre until she started modeling in commercial and print campaigns at the age of 12. You might recognize her as Rachel Diaz from Stuck in the Middle, or from one of her many national commercials with Bank of America, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Target, and Kohls.

The show won the Teen Choice Award for Breakout TV Show.

CREDIT: @jason.genao / Instagram

There’s no wonder why. The show has incredible actors that bring to life the real stories of what it’s like to grow up brown and black in America.

You better believe it’s renewed for a second season.

CREDIT: @jason.genao / Instagram

It was never really a question, with reviews like Matt Seitz from New York Magazine:

“One of the many remarkable things about this series is how it folds crime and the awareness of potential violence into everyday life, which is something white sitcoms never do unless it’s a Very Special Episode.”


READ: These 11 Moments From ‘On My Block’ Are Some Of The Realest Latino Moments Captured On Film

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Aubrey Plaza Wants To Be The First Latina To Win Best Actress At The Academy Awards

Entertainment

Aubrey Plaza Wants To Be The First Latina To Win Best Actress At The Academy Awards

plazadeaubry / Instagram

The 21st Annual Impact Awards were held on Feb. 23 in Los Angeles and this year’s honorees included “Coco”, Nicholas Gonzalez, Aubrey Plaza, Tony Revolori, Diane Guerrero and Randy Falco.

The annual award show recognizes the outstanding achievements and contributions to the positive portrayals of Latinos in media.

Aubrey Plaza was honored with Outstanding Performance in a Motion Picture for her starring role in “Ingrid Goes West”.

The 33-year-old took the stage to accept her award, but in true Plaza fashion the actress made a point to address some very important issues. Namely, The Academy Awards and their lack of inclusion of Latinas in their award categories.

During her acceptance speech, Plaza talked about the fact that a Latina has never won an Oscar for Best Actress.

Latinas have won Oscars for Best Supporting Actress, like Rita Moreno for “West Side Story”. They’ve also been nominated for Best Actress including in 1998 when Fernanda Montenegro was nominated for “Central Station”. In 2002 Salma Hayek was nominated for “Frida” and in 2004 Catalina Sandino Moreno was nominated for “Maria Full of Grace”. Yet, none of these Latinas ever took home the prize as best actress.

Plaza went on to say that she would someday be the first Latina to win the Best Actress Oscar.

“I’m going to accept the leading best actress award on behalf of the Oscars 2018 ceremony because I heard a fun fact tonight that I never knew before, which is that no Latina actress has ever won best actress at the Oscars – ever,” she said, according to Variety. “So I’m going to accept that tonight to manifest that energy.”

Plaza proudly proclaimed that she would win for a role best suited for her humor, someone crazy.

???APRIL 2018???

A post shared by aubrey plaza (@plazadeaubrey) on

“I’ll play some kind of psychotic character, some kind of criminal lunatic, those complicated characters I’m good at, and I’ll do that for you,” Plaza said. “And I’m going to win that award.'”

Something tells us she’s not lying.


READ: Gina Rodriguez Says Lack of Latinos In Hollywood Is “Devastating”

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