There is absolutely nothing we love to see more than our own people making an impact on the world in different industries. It brings us so much happiness to see Afro-Latinx faces on our TV screens and dominating our social media feeds, and thanks to these 10 impactful Afro-Latinx artists, 2021 is shaping up to be a year full of representation in the entertainment world. Some seriously well-known actors, musicians and artists are making some big moves this year and amplifying Latinidad.
From Hollywood A-listers and music mega-stars to up-and-coming actresses and one creator taking the art world by storm, our voice in entertainment continues to grow and become stronger. Keep scrolling to find out which Afro-Latinx artists you should be looking out for in 2021:
Most people will recognize Dominican actress Julissa Calderon from the Netflix series Gentefied playing the anti-gentrification activist Yessika, the girlfriend of Ana Morales (Karrie Martin). She steals the show and we can’t wait to see her in Season 2 which is expected to land on the streaming service later this year. She also acts in the film Bridges which debuted at the Miami Film Festival on March 7, and she recently designed and released a manifestation journal to help goal-oriented people set intentions and continually work towards. She also recently announced the premiere of Go Off, a show she’s co-hosting with On My Block actress Jessica Marie Garcia on Netflix’s Youtube channel. It’s a digital talk & comedy sketch series with conversations on pop culture featuring special guests. Talk about making jefa moves!
Black and Puerto Rican visual artist Clotilde Jiménez has been making waves on the art scene for some time now, and his mark is continuing to grow in 2021. He uses intricate multi-media collages to create works of art that represent specific moments and themes from his own life that give a peculiar insight into his personal thoughts and emotions. He continues to create pieces for his ongoing collection, “The Contest,” which was previously on exhibition at Mariane Ibrahim’s Chicago gallery.
Boricua entertainer Lala Anthony has quietly been making her way through the entertainment ranks for what seems like decades now. She recently announced that she will be joining the cast of 50 Cent’s upcoming TV series, Black Mafia Family, along with Snoop Dogg and Serayah. Not only that, but she just held an incredible Masterclass session on wigs with hairstylist to the stars Tae.
Starting off the year right, Puerto Rican musician Ozuna released his sixth studio album, Sound Fresh in February 2021, just a month after releasing an album with Anuel AA. All of the music superstar’s albums so far have managed to crack Billboards’ Top Latin Albums, and there’s no reason to believe Sound Fresh will be any different. Don’t be surprised if you start hearing some of the singles on American radio stations once summer hits.
Everyone knows Cardi B is killing it and has been for some time now, but we’d be remiss not to include her on this list. While she has yet to announce a potential new album for this year, she just keeps making “money moves” at every change she gets. Her latest single “Up”, came out in February and last we checked it was at #2 on Billboard Top 100 list. The song debuted at number one on the Rolling Stone Top 100, becoming both Cardi B’s second number-one single and second number-one debut, as well as the first time a female rapper debuts atop the chart with a solo song. She also became the first female artist and first lead artist with consecutive number-one debuts on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and second overall performer following Drake in 2016. She just took the stage at the Grammys with Megan Thee Stallion to perform their hit “WAP“.
Dominican singer Natti Natasha made a huge announcement earlier this year when she revealed that she is expecting her first baby after struggling with infertility. You can’t get much bigger than becoming a mom for the first time, but Natti has already been featured on two musical collaborations this year and is becoming a bonefied TikTok star as well with more than 6 million followers.
Whether we’re seeing her on-screen or not, actress Zoe Saldana doesn’t ever seem to slow down for long. It was recently announced that she has signed on as executive producer of the upcoming HBO Max series The Gordita Chronicles which will be directed by Latina actress/producer Eva Longoria. Plus, she’s still designing athletic wear for the partnership with Adidas and Kohl’s that she entered last year.
Actress Gina Torres recently signed on as a series regular for Season 2 of the hit FOX show 9-1-1: Lone Star and has garnered much attention for what is being considered a leading role. The Cuban-American actress identifies as Black and has already used her role as one of the few Black leading ladies on TV as a platform to speak out about the lack of representation in Hollywood and an opportunity to call for even more diversity on-screen than we’ve seen in the past several years.
The young Afro-Latina actress Alycia Pascual-Peña has been busy turning heads ever since she starred in the much anticipated Saved by the Bell reboot last fall. Hot on the heels of that success, she’s now starring in the already-acclaimed Amy Poehler-helmed Netflix original film Moxie which premiered on the streaming service on March 3. From the outset of her career, she’s been a vocal advocate of equal rights, social justice reform and we have so much respect for her authenticity.
Actress Tessa Thompson, who is of Panamanian and Mexican descent, just announced that she is launching her first production company in conjunction with HBO Max and is already working on multiple projects for the company, including two film adaptations of books, both of which will highlight Black voices. Oh, and she’s already been featured in two magazines this year and we’re only three months in! She killed it as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame and will be reviving her role in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder.