Fresh off the set of “Live By Night” Miguel stopped by the Telemundo studios to talk about his role in the movie directed by Ben Affleck. In the film he plays Estéban Suárez, a rum trader from Cuba who owns a rum business with his sister Graciela. His sister is played by none other than Zoe Saldana who could probably pass as his sister in real life. Although the host interviewed Miguel in Spanish, Miguel tried his best to keep up. Hearing his family speak Spanish at home helps him understand the language, he said, and he’s working toward improving so he can Speak it better.
And while he’s working on perfecting his Spanish in real life, he actually had to work on thickening his accent in English for the movie to fit the profile of the Cuban character. For inspiration, Miguel revealed that he studied Desi Arnaz’s accent. (Those old enough remember him as Ricky Ricardo from “I Love Lucy.”)
Movie aside, Miguel talked about growing up bi-racial and gushed about having the best food growing up thanks to his Nana (abuelita). And he made it clear she makes way more than just tacos. But not everything was easy for him. As he says he experienced first hand, “being black is a different thing” in the United States.
The conversation got a little lighter as they continued walking through the hallways. The host asked Miguel if he grew up watching telenovelas to which he responded very excited by singing the theme song to “Luz Clarita.” Wildly random, but we take that as a yes.
While we’re in the middle of Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s important to note how the outdated term “Latinidad” excludes a large portion of the Latino community. We’re talking about the existence of indigenous and Black Latinos. The “Hispanic” label specifically includes those from Spain, celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month feels completely weird if you’re Afro or indigenous.
There’s been more of an uproar recently between Hispanic, Latinos, and Afro-Latinos after musical artist Rosalia got awards and praise for her music as a Latin artist. The thing is that she isn’t Latina, she’s Spanish. That entire debacle was just another nail in the coffin that proves how white-washed our society is, and it’s not just coming from Caucasians but Latinos as well.
People on social media are using the hashtag #LatinidadIsCancelled to discuss anti-Blackness in the Latino community. Not to mention, how society, in general, discriminates against Black Latinos when referring to Latinos as a whole demographic.
“Latinidad just really just centers on the shared history and shared culture, but doesn’t necessarily, like, delve into all of those multifaceted identities,” writer Janel Martinez told León and added she’s straying from the term Latinidad. “And for me, Latinidad ultimately serves white cis-gendered, straight, wealthy men.” Martinez continued, “I am none of those things, so for me, I’m at the margins of this term.”
You ever noticed how the most popular Latino celebs are light-skinned? We’re talking Jennifer Lopez, Camila Cabello, Gina Rodriguez, America Ferrera, Rosalia and that’s just when referring to the women.
The topic of canceling Latinidad shows how racist our own people are against Black Latinos.
Ever notice how some Latinos praise a baby that is born with light skin and blue eyes? Or how they object to someone dating a Black man? It is a sentiment that has been part of the Latino community for a very long time.
Afro-Latinos face so much discrimination because of their ancestors, their dark skin, and their hair.
How can a group of Latinos fit nicely and perfectly under the Latinidad family if some people there clearly don’t want to include Black Latinos? It’s kind of sad how light-skinned Latinos favor their whiteness as superiority. Black is beautiful. When will the Latino community finally realize that? Thanks to the inclusion of Black Latinos in the media, we’re able to see the representation even though it’s still quite limited.
While we know some Latinos are racist against their own people, it’s important to know that colonized societies have been white-washed and that cycle continues to this day.
How do we break a cycle of racism against our own people? By educating ourselves about the history of our diaspora, and not by closing our eyes to the reality of colonization. We’re not perfect people, but we can learn to be more inclusive by realizing our own hate and blindness. The blatant and longstanding practice of ignoring the Afro and indigenous identities within the Latino community has justifiably left so many people done with Latinidad.
It’s funny how Rosalia was beloved from day one until she starting owning her Latinidad on a public stage.
During her acceptance speech at this year’s MTV VMAs, Rosalia said, “Wow. I wasn’t expecting this, honestly. Thank you, because it’s such an incredible honor. I come from Barcelona. I’m so happy to be here representing where I come from and representing my culture. … Thank you for allowing me to perform tonight singing in Spanish.”
So if she said she’s representing where she came from, which is Spain, she is certainly not Latina so why is she cradled into that group so openly?
As one person put it nicely on Twitter, @gacd86 writes, “Latinidad isn’t just for white Latinos though. Mestizos participate in the normalization of anti-blackness and the benefit of the exploitation of indigenous communities.” The rampant and dangerous anti-Blackness in the Latino community needs to stop now.
Indya Moore, who uses the pronouns they/them, was on Emmys purple carpet when they were asked about a comment they made previously. The comment was about Latinidad and how they don’t identify with that community. Here is why Moore says they are not Latina but Afro-Taíno.
“Pose” star Indya Moore has no time for the colonized identity of Latino.
Moore first spoke about their identity during a discussion at the Sundance Film Festival. Moore spoke with Buzzfeed’s Curly Velasquez as part of the Up Next Series Brunch and got candid about their identity on a racial and cultural level.
“I don’t understand why we have to be identified as ‘Latin’ or ‘Hispanic’ when most of us are not from Spain,” Moore said at the brunch. “Our language, the ways we identify with ourselves have been given to us.”
Moore further clarified their comment during the Emmys purple carpet.
Moore was at the award show last night with their co-stars of “Pose,” which was nominated for an award. Their biggest moment came when Remezcla asked the star to clarify their remarks about not identifying as Latino.
“A lot of the culture was lost through imperialism and there’s still so much distance and disconnect with me,” Moore added at the Sundance brunch. “I did learn a lot about my gender variance, it was acknowledged through my ancestry. Something that was very important to me: that my ancestors loved me. And that I am my ancestors’ dreams.”
Their comments about their cultural heritage has angered at least one Twitter user.
The conversations about anti-blackness in the Latino community have intensified in recent years. Afro-Latinos are rightfully demanding their place at the table to demand representation within their community.
However, Moore’s comments speak to another sentiment within the Latino community, one of decolonizing our identities. From cookbooks to social media discussions, Latino people are searching for answers about their identity that does not tie back to the Spanish colonization and European oppression that led to our current understanding of our identity.
Moore was unapologetic at the Emmys about their complete identity.
“Black Latinos don’t necessarily have the same experience as Latinos who are not Black,” Moore told Remezcla. “I, personally, do not identify as Latino because Latino means Latin and Latin, it means white. And I’m not white, so I just call myself Afro-Taíno ’cause that’s what I am.”
The Taíno people are an indigenous population that lived in the Caribbean islands of Cuba, Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti), Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and the Lesser Antilles. They were the first group of First World people to encounter European colonizers in 1492 with the arrival of Christopher Columbus.
Like other indigenous groups, European colonizers set about killing off indigenous communities to steal land and inject European ideals and culture in their place. This is the kind of history people are having to find for themselves since it is not taught in class. Labels like Latino, Hispanic, and Latin America have long been contentious because of their clear reference to the violent and forced colonization of indigenous people in the Americas.
Moore not only took on the blanket identity of Latino, but they also took on the beauty standards of female-presenting people.
Moore walked the purple carpet in a stunning dress that showed off their long and beautiful legs. However, some people are thrown by the appearance of leg hair on the star. When someone asked if there was hair on their leg, they responded with power.
“I grow hair on my legs. And I choose not to shave it cus I like it,” Morre tweeted back. “There are bigger issues being debated about my life in the supreme Court right now anyways. But yes, I have hair on my legs, and under my under arms too and in my ass. Have fun.”
Moore was referring to the Title VII case heading to the Supreme Court on Oct. 8.
Solicitor General Noel Francisco filed a brief with the Supreme Court telling the justices that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act does not protect transgender people. Laverne Cox brought attention to the coming case at the Supreme Court by bringing ACLU attorney Chase Strangio who spoke about the case on the purple carpet.
“Everyone should be aware that the administration is asking the Supreme Court to make it legal to fire workers just because they’re LGBTQ and this is actually going to transform the lives of LGBTQ people and people who are not LGBTQ,” Strangio said on the purple carpet. “Anyone who departs from sex stereotypes like all the fabulous people here for example so we really need to show up October 8 and pay attention because our lives are really on the line.”