Afro-Latinidad is a topic that seems to invoke a lot of emotion in people, and draw out just as many opinions on what it means to be Black, what it means to be Latinx and what it means to Black and Latinx. As with most things that have to do with race and skin color, conversations on Afro-Latinidad can quickly turn into controversy. But, that’s mostly because a lot of people are confused about exactly what it is and what the Afro-Latinx experience looks like in real life and that’s where influencers come in.
There are number of Afro-Latinx influencers that have used their social media platforms to help inform others about the truths of Afro-Latinidad. From influencers who post about political and social topics on the regular to fashion and beauty influencers bold enough to speak up, these 11 influencers are doing their part to educate all of us about Afro-Latinidad.
Shomara Garcia, Shop Blatina
Shomara Garcia is the founder of Shop BLatina that sells apparel featuring empowering including her signature message “Latina has no skin tone.” Shomara, who is Belizean/Puerto Rican, also uses her platform to post videos and messages about her experience as a Black Latina including getting questions about her Latinidad, her hair, and her name.
Bianca Kathryn, Yo Soy AfroLatina
Bianca Kathryn is the founder of apparel shop Yo Soy AfroLatina which is committed to increasing Afro-Latinx visibility, by selling a range of fly apparel with empowering messages. Through her Instagram she shares her own experience as a Black Latina who grew up in an area where Latinx people were a minority. During an IG Live chat with HIpLatina she talked about building a community through her platform that amplifies the Afro-Latinx diaspora in the U.S.
Reggaeton Con La Gata
Reggaeton historian Katelina Eccleston uses her digital platform reggatonconlagata to discuss all aspects of the musical genre including her Black roots. As she unpacks the history of the genre including its roots in her homeland of Panama, she touches on topics of race, colorism, representation and Afro-Latinidad. During a recent IG Live with HipLatina, Katelina talked about the importance of the representation of Black Latinas in reggaeton music and how it’s about inclusivity and recognizing Black contributions to the genre.
The Afro Latin Diaspora
The entire mission of theafrolatindiaspora on Instagram, founded by musician Sessle, is to be a place where those who are within the Afro-Latinx diaspora can connect and share their experiences. Posts on the page often discuss the importance of Black people within the Latinx community, but also break down some of the wrongs that have been and continue to be done to the Black community. For example, this post was poignantly captioned, “The problem is that a lot of people think that Latinidad can exist without Black people, and it simply CANNOT, all things that we celebrate and highlight comes from Africans, and people get so upset when we point it out.”
Angel Jones, PhD
Afro-Latina professor and critical race scholar Angela Jones dedicates her Instagram, angeljonesphd, to discussing all things race and colorism. She’s able to draw from her own experiences and her formal education to address them with facts and personal anecdotes that inform in a direct and practical way that we really appreciate.
Honduran Alexa created garifunabosses over on Instagram to help empower and connect the Garifuna community in the United States. She often uses the space to discuss the ways that the Latinx and Garifuna cultures overlap. The Garifuna are a group of people of African and Caribbean indigenous ancestry that originated in the Caribbean and migrated to countries including Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
Amara La Negra
Dominican-American TV personality and singer, Amara La Negra, has been using her social media platforms to tackle the topics of racism and colorism for a while now. These issues were the focus when she appeared on Red Table Talk: The Estefans, where she was praised for speaking honestly about being Black in the Latinx community. Her blunt, straightforward perspective and insights are something we could all use more of.
Afro-Latina TikTok influencer, J’chelle is so much fun to follow at amorjchelle. She celebrates both her Latinx and Garifuna cultures with fun videos related to dance, music, family and more, but she also addresses some of the issues she regularly faces as a Black Latina. Learning about her experience and how people’s perceptions about her and other Afro-Latinx people, make her feel is enlightening and honestly, pretty powerful.
Nydia of Blactina’s entire mission is to amplify and tell Black Latinx stories. She herself comes from a Panamanian family but currently lives in the Dominican Republic and has traveled all throughout Latin America in search of stories that are relevant to the Afro-Latinx community. On Instagram, she often discusses her own struggles with the aspects of her culture and experience as a Black Latina that are sometimes challenging for her, including mastering the Spanish language and entering non-Black Latinx communities with confidence.
At this point, Afro-Latinx poet Elizabeth Acevedo has a huge platform that goes far beyond social media, and she is intent on using it to amplify Afro-Latinx voices in a way that honors their experiences and perspectives accurately and honorably. She has taken on the role of representative and regularly uses her own voice to speak up for Black Latinxs and her books including the award-winning The Poet X and her powerful poem on pelo malo “Hair” are examples of her mission.