6 Afro-Latina Athletes To Watch At The Olympics

Maria Belford, a photographer and filmmaker from New York, recently took to Tumblr to create AFROLATINAS FUERTES, a long list of Afro-Latina athletes who are killing it in a wide array of sports. Naturally, there are a few Olympic athletes tucked away in there. Here are a few of those athletes you should be watching this year in Rio de Janeiro.

Don’t let her sweet face fool you. Marcia Videaux is a global name in gymnastics and will be competing in all the gymnastics events in Rio.

Country: Cuba

Videaux is the Cuban gymnast to watch, for sure. She will be one of three Cuban women who will be competing in the gymnastics competitions at the Rio Olympics, and she is literally doing ALL of the events, including all-around. Earlier this year, Videaux proved that she is a force to be reckoned with when she won the vaulting event at the World Cup of Gymnastics in Anandia, Portugal.

Ángela Tenorio went from troubled teen to the fastest sprinter in Latin America.

Country: Ecuador

Tenorio is going to the Olympics to compete in the one event she totally dominates throughout Latin America. The Ecuadorian sprinter is currently the fastest woman in the 100 meter sprint in Latin America and will be competing in that event at the Rio games. She’s also going to run in the 200 meter sprint. Tenorio will be racing against fellow Ecuadorian sprinter Marizol Landazuri in Rio. Both women, among the fastest sprinters in Latin America, grew up labeled as problem youths and channeled that energy into running. It all paid off as they are definitely two women to watch this year at the Olympics.

Once described as “the little one,” Idalys Oritz is one judoka that is definitely making her name known on the mat.

Country: Cuba

Ortiz first fell in love with judo when she was very young. By 14, she had fully committed her life to the sport. That was when she first arrived at the national training center in Havana and decided to prove her stuff with other fighters. After a long tryout process battling women bigger and stronger than her, she remembers the instructor saying that “the little one stays.” After that, she has dedicated her life to winning — and she has more than 200 medals to prove it.

Déborah Rodríguez is going from best female athlete in her home country to challenging the best in the world.

Country: Uruguay

Rodríguez is one of the best sportswomen in Uruguay. No, seriously. In 2014, the track star was awarded the Gold Charrúas by the Círculo de Periodistas Deportivos, officially crowning her the best Uruguayan female athlete for the 2013-2014 season. This honor is made even grander when you learn that she beat out competitors in 38 different sports to be the best. Since winning that award, Rodríguez has been focused on training for the 2016 Rio Olympics. She won her spot in the women’s 800 meter sprint, and the last Ibero-American Championships show Rodríguez even has a knack for the 400-meter hurdles.

She was the first Colombian athlete to bring home a gold medal from the International Association of Athletic Federations competition. Now, Caterine Ibargüen is going to try to win the gold in Rio.

Country: Colombia

Ibargüen made history at the International Association of Athletic Federations competition in Moscow as the first Colombian ever to bring home the gold. Since then, she has been slaying on the track and earned herself a spot on the 2016 Colombian Olympic Track & Field team. Her specialty? The triple jump. She told El Heraldo that she never considered herself the best, but by qualifying for the Olympics, she at least knows that she’s not the worst.

This 4′ 11″ weightlifter dominated the Pan Am Games and will be looking to impress in her second Olympic appearance.

Country: Dominican Republic

At only 4′ 11″ tall, Pirón is a surprising force in the sport of weightlifting. Though she usually competes in the 48kg division, this Dominican lifter dominated the 53kg division during this year’s Pan Am Games and even took home two of the three gold medals for the competition. This will be her second Olympic appearance, so those competitive nerves, while still there, are not enough to deter this Dominican powerhouse from chasing her dreams.

Now that you’re done, go to AFROLATINAS FUERTES to check out the rest!

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

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Dad Of Julio Urías Got A Tattoo Honoring His Son’s World Series Win


Dad Of Julio Urías Got A Tattoo Honoring His Son’s World Series Win

Parents always find new ways to be proud of their children and how to tell the world how proud they are. This includes Julio Urías’ father who recently unveiled his newest tattoo in honor of his World Series-winning son.

Julio Urías’ dad is showing off just how proud he is of his son.

Tattoo artist Andres Ortega Rojas posted photos on Instagram showing off the tattoo. Carlos Urías forever enshrined his sons victorious lunge after Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Rays while a tattoo on his left arm.

Rojas told TMZ that the tattoo took nine hours to complete and that is was Carlos’ first tattoo. The moment captured on Carlos’ arm is one that is etched into the brains of Dodgers fans. It was the first time the Dodger has won the World Series since 1988 ending a decades-long dry spell.

The tattoo is catching everyone’s attention.

People are loving the tribute made to his son with a tattoo. It being his first tattoo is even sweeter. We all know how much our parents are anti-tattoos so seeing this happen is extra touching. Julio is framed by the flags of the Commissioner’s Trophy in the tattoo marking what is clearly Carlos’ most proud moment.

The moment marks a culmination of a long journey to athletic stardom.

Julio first pitched for the Dodgers in 2015. The Mexican baseball player was called up to join the famed baseball team. Carlos and the family made a 13-hour road trip from the Mexican state of Sinaloa to Maryvale Park in Phoenix, Ariz. It was after that long trip that Carlos got to see Julio on the field pitching against the Milwaukee Brewers.

It just goes to show you that anything is possible and that, if you work towards your goals, they can come true.

READ: Dodgers Win First World Series Championship Since 1988 And It’s Great To Be An Angeleno

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How Afromexicanos Fought For Their Place on the 2020 Mexico Census and Why It Took So Long

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How Afromexicanos Fought For Their Place on the 2020 Mexico Census and Why It Took So Long

Photo via SusanaHarp/Twitter

Black history month is the time of year that we shine a spotlight on the rich and unique history of people of African descent in the United States–a past that has consistently been downplayed, ignored, and in some cases, erased from our history books.

At this point, it’s evident that the Black experience is not a monolith–there is no “one way” to be Black. And yet, many people still struggle to comprehend the fact that Afro-Latinos exist.

When you hear the term Afro-Latino, you might immediately think of a few Caribbean Spanish-speaking nations with explicit ties to the African diaspora–Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, for example.

But the fact is, Black people are everywhere in Latinidad. But Afro-Latinos in non-Caribbean countries often feel overlooked, erased. And this phenomenon is especially true for afromexicanos.

In 2020, after years of fighting, Afro-Mexicans finally got recognition on the Mexican census.

The question was simple, but powerful: “Por sus costumbres y tradiciones, ¿se considera usted afromexicano, negro o afrodescendiente?” (“Based on your culture and traditions, do you consider yourself Afro-Mexican, black or Afro-descendant?”)

For Americans, especially, it can be hard to understand why the question wasn’t on the census in the first place. After all, Americans live in a country where identities are divided into strict categories: Black, white. Hispanic, non-Hispanic.

But for Mexicans, the concept of race and ethnicity is a bit more complicated. To critics, separating people into Black, white, and Indiegnous categories on the census seemed divisive. Many Mexicans identify as mestizaje–a combination of indigenous, European, and, to some extent, African roots.

But for the organizers of the #AfroCensoMx campaign–a campaign to add the negro/afromexicano to the census–the movement was more than just identity politics.

Self-identifying as Black on the Mexican census is, of course, a little bit about pride in one’s identity, but it also has more practical concerns.

The census numbers who also inform organizations about socio-economic patterns associated with being Black in Mexico–information that is invaluable. Because as of now, afromexicanos have unique experiences that are informed by their heritage, their culture, and their place in the Mexican stratum.

As Bobby Vaughn, an African-American anthropologist who specializes in Black Mexicans, put it bluntly: “Mexicans of African descent have no voice and the government makes no attempt to assess their needs, no effort to even count them.”

But for afromexicano activists, being identified as such on the Mexican census is empowering.

Lumping all Mexicans together and ignoring their (sometimes very obvious) differences can have the effect of making certain groups feel erased. Yes, Black Mexicans are simply Mexicans–that fact is not up for debate. But stories abound of afromexicanos being discriminated against because of the way they look.

An Afro-Mexican engineer named Bulmaro García from Costa Chica (a region with a significant Black population) explained to The Guardian how he is grilled by border guards and asked to sing the Mexican national anthem whenever he crosses into Guerrero.

He says the guards’ behavior is “classic discrimination due to skin color. [They think] if you’re black, you’re not Mexican.”

The differences exist, and by acknowledging it, we are more able to speak truth to power.

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