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Christina Milian Does Not Have Time for You to Objectify Her Afro-Latina Roots

Christina Milian had one thing to say during her recent stop at HuffPost Live:

“I am who I am.”

Her least favorite thing, being asked if she is white or black.

Credit: youngmoneygifs / tumblr

“Latinos come in all colors; all shades. Even in one family,” Milian said. “You should see my mom and her brothers and sisters. You’ll have a fair skin, a dark skin…same parents but we just vary in colors, shapes, and sizes.”

READ: Mamá Once Said, They’re Going to Treat You Differently

Did everyone hear that?

Watch Her Full Interview Below:

Credit: HuffPost Live

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Today, Puerto Rico Celebrates Emancipation Day–the Day When the Island Officially Abolished Slavery

Things That Matter

Today, Puerto Rico Celebrates Emancipation Day–the Day When the Island Officially Abolished Slavery

Photo via George W. Davis, Public Domain

Today, March 22nd marks Día de la Abolición de Esclavitud in Puerto Rico–the date that marks the emancipation of slaves in Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, enslaved peoples were emancipated in 1873–a full decade after the U.S. officially abolished slavery. But unlike the U.S. mainland, Puerto Rico celebrates today as an official holiday, where many businesses are closed.

The emancipation of Puerto Rican slaves was a very different process than the United States’. For one, the emancipation was gradual and over three years.

When the Spanish government abolished slavery in Puerto Rico 1873, enslaved men and women had to buy their freedom. The price was set by their “owners”. The way the emancipated slaves bought their freedom was through a process that was very similar to sharecropping in the post-war American south. Emancipated slaves farmed, sold goods, and worked in different trades to “buy” their freedom.

In the same Spanish edict that abolished slavery, slaves over the age of 60 were automatically freed. Enslaved children who were 5-years-old and under were also automatically freed.

Today, Black and mixed-race Puerto Ricans of Black descent make up a large part of Puerto Rico’s population.

The legacy of enslaved Black Puerto Ricans is a strong one. Unlike the United States, Puerto Rico doesn’t classify race in such black-and-white terms. Puerto Ricans are taught that everyone is a mixture of three groups of people: white Spanish colonizers, Black African slaves, and the indigenous Taíno population.

African influences on Puerto Rican culture is ubiquitous and is present in Puerto Rican music, cuisine, and even in the way that the island’s language evolved. And although experts estimate that up to 60% of Puerto Ricans have significant African ancestry, almost 76% of Puerto Ricans identified as white only in the latest census poll–a phenomenon that many sociologists have blamed on anti-blackness.

On Puerto Rico’s Día de la Abolición de Esclavitud, many people can’t help but notice that the island celebrates a day of freedom and independence when they are not really free themselves.

As the fight for Puerto Rican decolonization rages on, there is a bit of irony in the fact that Puerto Rico is one of the only American territories that officially celebrates the emancipation of slaves, when Puerto Rico is not emancipated from the United States. Yes, many Black Americans recognize Juneteenth (June 19th) as the official day to celebrate emancipation from slavery, but it is not an official government holiday.

Perhaps, Puerto Rico celebrates this historical day of freedom because they understand how important the freedom and independence is on a different level than mainland Americans do.

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Christina Milian Is Replacing Naya Rivera as ‘Collette’ in the Starz Show ‘Step Up’

Entertainment

Christina Milian Is Replacing Naya Rivera as ‘Collette’ in the Starz Show ‘Step Up’

The producers of the Starz show “Step Up” announced on Monday that they would be recasting the role of Collette, previously played by the late Naya Rivera, with singer-actress Christina Milian.

“Step Up” originally starred Naya Rivera and Ne-Yo as Collette Jones and Sage Odom–business partners and lovers who run the prestigious High Water Performing Arts School in Atlanta.

The series premiered in 2018 on YouTube Red and ran for two seasons before being cancelled. It was renewed and picked up by premium cable channel Starz in May of 2020–just months before Naya Rivera’s tragic drowning in July.

In a statement, Milian acknowledged her predecessor while also expressing joy at being able to take on this new role.

“I am so excited to join the Step Up family,” Milian said. “I know I have massive shoes to fill. Naya was incredible. I hope to honor Naya, her family, friends and fans with a great performance.”

Ne-Yo, who worked closely with Naya Rivera in the previous seasons, also put out a statement praising the legacy of Naya Rivera.

“There is no replacing Naya. Let’s get that straight,” Ne-Yo wrote. “Her spirit lives on in our memories and every part of what this show is and will be.”

He added that Milian has “big shoes to fill” but he was is “certain of her ability to bring an energy and light to this character that Naya’s fans as well as the rest of the world will love.”

He concluded: “We’ve welcomed Christina with absolute open arms and have rallied around her with love and support. I’m excited and can’t wait for the world to see this!”

According to Starz, the decision to recast the character came after careful consideration and consulting with Rivera’s family.

“Naya’s death was a terrible loss to our world that we will, frankly, never stop mourning,” said creator and executive producer Holly Sorensen.

“It was almost impossible to consider there could be someone so graceful and loving who could both help us honor our loss, while also bringing a deep reservoir of talent to our show, in so many areas. Christina is an exceptional human and a dazzling performer and we are so happy she has joined our family.”

Starz will start airing the first two seasons of “Step Up” on their channel starting in early March, when viewers will be able to watch Rivera in one of her final roles.

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