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

It’s already difficult trying to convince your others that you’re Mexican, Salvadoran or even Latino enough. But being part of two minority groups is twice the battle. @blaxicansofla is a platform that captures the true experience of biracial black and Mexicans living in Los Angeles.

It started with Walter Thompson-Hernandez who created this account dedicated to the research he was doing in grad school.

"My mother is from Jalisco, Mexico and my father is from Oakland, California. They met in South LA in the early 1980s and came of age in this community. My mother was almost always the only Mexican woman in my father's circles and vice versa. There was explicit racial discrimination that they had to navigate through for their relationship to have a chance. On top of that, South LA, in the mid-1980s, was experiencing one of the largest demographic, racial, and social transformations that it had ever encountered. And there was a strong movement to divide African American and Latinos in and around LA. Defining myself, with the understanding of this historical context, is why I have always said that identifying as a Blaxican is a political and revolutionary act." ?: @mychivas

A photo posted by Blaxicans of Los Angeles (@blaxicansofla) on

Credit: @blaxicansofla / Instagram

“I have always said that identifying as Blaxican is a political and revolutionary act,” he said in his personal account.

Dozens have joined his efforts and agree that Blaxican is it’s own identity.

Credit: @blaxicansofla / Instagram

And that the discrimination they face may be more than what others experience – But it has only made them more powerful.

Credit: @blaxicansofla / Instagram

Especially because they’ve had the strength to not identify with one group or the other.

Credit: @blaxicansofla / Instagram

Because why should anyone have to pick sides?

Credit: @blaxicansofla / Instagram

Or be discriminated by their own race?

"I went to Mexico when I was five. It was nice but I could still feel the division. I'm speaking Spanish but people were looking at me like I was diferente. But my family never discriminated. My great-grandma loved me and treated us good. We could see a couple of stares and could feel a little of that on our backs but nothing bad. But it's difficult here. There's such a divide because even though we are Afro-Latinos and getting our numbers up you don't find too many. In New York you do and they have a good Muslim community out there. So they have a lot going on out there, but in LA our numbers are lower and we got to find where we fit in. That's why I was drawn to this project because it's hard growing up and going to your black family and they would be like why is your hair like that? Oh you got long hair? I'm gonna cut it off. And on your Latino side you're La Morena — it's definitely a struggle and it's good to be open minded." ?: @mychivas

A photo posted by Blaxicans of Los Angeles (@blaxicansofla) on

Credit: @blaxicansofla / Instagram

Being Blaxican is beautiful.

Credit: @blaxicansofla / Instagram

Participants are proud to share their parents’ love stories.

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Even R&B star Miguel understands the mix of cultures is a unique experience, yet sometimes frustrating.

#Repost @nytimes with @repostapp. ・・・ @miguel at the @boweryhotel in New York, where @malinfezehai photographed him earlier this month. @miguel’s first headlining tour — for his new album #Wildheart — will bring him back to the city in August. On his first two albums, @miguel, 29, presented himself as a typical R&B figure. Now, he's claiming his own more specific identity: a songwriter who finds his hometown — Hollywood, beaches, the suburbs, the ghettos — both around and within himself. “I really am #LosAngeles,” he said. “Not only in the sense that I’m Mexican and black, and they’re the dominating ethnicities in this city, but in the energy of Los Angeles, and how everywhere you go there’s this weird juxtaposition of hope and desperation. And that’s my life, that’s who I am.”

A photo posted by Blaxicans of Los Angeles (@blaxicansofla) on

Credit: @blaxicansofla / Instagram

Although some feel they’ve had something to prove…

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Most use one word to describe their heritage: proud.

"If I had to use one word to describe how I felt about my racial background? Proud." ?: @mychivas

A photo posted by Blaxicans of Los Angeles (@blaxicansofla) on

Credit: @blaxicansofla / Instagram

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