Latinos come in all shapes, sizes and skin tones. Here are 13 Afro-Latinos who are making waves in the entertainment industry. You should definitely be looking our for their next big moves.
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Since being invited to the Academy of Motion Pictures, the world has finally learned that Tessa Thompson is Afro-Panamanian. You might remember her from “Dear White People” and “Creed,” but this Latina has so much more in store. Not only has Netflix decided to pick up “Dear White People” for a new series, Thompson is also going to be in the new “Thor” movies, giving us all an Afro-Latina superhero to look up to. Yasss!
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If this Afro-Mexican singer isn’t adorning you with his beautiful smile and sultry voice, he’s using that same voice to call for social justice. Miguel’s latest song “How Many” is a plea for justice and acknowledgment of deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police. “How many black lives does it take to wake a change?” Damn.
Maxwell is currently touring and giving men and women everything with his incredible talent. In a recent interview, the soulful singer spoke about not feeling black enough to be in the company of some of the greatest should singers of the time. In his latest song “Lake By The Ocean” the Afro-Puerto Rican gives us clues to his love of his Caribbean background.
4. Tatyana Ali
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Tatyana Ali won all of our hearts as Ashley Banks on the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” but she is in the news now for marrying a Stanford English professor. The Afro-Panamanian actor has a few projects that will be released soon, but for now she seems totally content being a mommy-to-be with a dashing man at her side.
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Christina Milian hit the scene in “American Pie” and had us all dancing to “Dip It Low.” Though she recently caught herself in some controversy over an #AllLivesMatter tweet, this Afro-Cuban beauty will be on your TV screen this year in a made-for-TV version of “Rocky Picture Horror Show.” Though, most memorable is probably her daughter’s ADORABLE makeup tutorials.
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Rosario Dawson has been killing the acting game for a long time. Now, this Afro-Cuban/Puerto Rican has become the voice many young Latinos have turned to this political season. Not only has the actor been out campaigning for her fave politician Bernie Sanders, she has even been arrested exercising her right to protest in a peaceful sit-in.
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It has been a long time since we’ve heard “Milkshake” bless our radios, but Kelis isn’t done with her adventure yet. The Afro-Puerto Rican has been up to… cooking! Seriously. Not only is she now a chef, but she trained at Le Cordon Bleu and is showing off in London of all places. Now that is how you reinvent yourself.
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When this Afro-Puerto Rican isn’t dominating on the basketball court, he’s offering his voice and fame to social good. As a Baltimore native, Carmelo Anthony was in the march for justice following the death of Freddie Gray. Most recently, Anthony stood with other athletes to demand justice and change during a speech at the ESPYS.
9. Zoe Saldana
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Dominican-Puerto Rican actor Zoe Saldana is probably best known for her role in “Avatar,” when in fact she is really THE Afro-Latino representation in the sci-fi world. Not only are there three more Avatar movies in pre-production (all starring Saldana), she’s working with Star Trek and Guardians of the Galaxy. She also did this awesome thing where she called out the Bond writer for saying Idris Alba was too street to play Bond. We ALL know what “street” means, right?
10. Gina Rodriguez
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That’s right. You might not have know this, but Gina Rodriguez is Afro-Puerto Rican. The TV comedy sensation revealed her Afro-Latina roots in an Instagram post tied to her #MovementMondays. Her father is Afro-Latino. You probably know her from a little show called “Jane the Virgin,” but did you know that she is the co-founder of a new lingerie line, Naja, which promises nude colors for all women of any race?
11. Selenis Leyva
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She might be Gloria Mendoza on OITNB, but in the real world, Selenis Leyva is out to help everyone she can. The Afro-Cuban/Dominican actor spends her time off the set donating her energy and fame to the causes that matter to her most, like LGBTQ rights and fighting cancer.
12. Kid Cudi
Kid Cudi came out of NOWHERE with his hit song “Day ‘N Night,” and the whole world took notice. Since, the Afro-Mexican singer has been dropping hit after hit and recently teased us all with a future collaboration with Pharrell. He also opened up to a Billboard reporter about his past drug use as self-medication for his depression, giving others an example of what it means to get help and get out of dangerous and life-threatening situations.
13. Bruno Mars
Puerto Rican-Filipino-Hawaiian singer Peter Hernández, a.k.a. Bruno Mars, rocked our worlds when he first released “Just The Way You Are” in 2010. (And you just started singing it in your head, didn’t you?) In fact, this year, “Just The Way You Are” was certified nine-times platinum, meaning he’s another Latino owning the music industry. Most recently, Mars joined a growing list of musicians and music companies asking for Congress to change the wording of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. He joins artists like Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift asking for Congress to start protecting music and the copyrighting of musical content. You know, like how FULL albums get leaked on YouTube and people get to hear their hard work without actually playing for it.