Social media has provided greater access to information. With the continuous rise in engagement across popular platforms like Twitter and Instagram, more people have turned to social to establish community online. Over a five-year time span, many have seen how this uptick has impacted conversations around visibility, representation, and equity for Afro-descendants, namely Afro-Latinxs, globally.
Here we highlight 10 Instagram accounts that’ll inspire you to delve deep into Latin America and the Caribbean’s African roots.
Fueled by Dominican blogger Amanda Pericles, @afrolatinas_ highlights the beauty of Black women of Latin American descent. In 2015, Pericles began aggregating and posting photos of Black Latinas of all shades, shapes, sizes and hair textures. “I’m trying to make it a point to show people we have differences here and there, but we’re all Black,” she said in a New York Times article on Afro-Latina visibility.
In 2015, Panamanian writer Tamika Burgess launched the monthly newsletter Es Mi Cultura during Latinx Heritage Month. Every first Monday of the month the newsletter provides readers with positive examples of women (and men, on occasion) who “proudly acknowledge their African ancestry while staying true to their Latino ethnicity and culture,” as mentioned on its website. Es Mi Cultura is a compilation of must-read stories centering Afro-Latinxs across the web, as well as articles penned by and for Black Latinxs.
Founded in September 2017, Blactina was created by Brooklyn, New York-based storyteller Nydia Simone to amplify Afro-Latinx and Caribbean voices through media. Scrolling through the Blactina Instagram page you’ll see a compilation of photos and videos centering Black Latinxs, such as the viral video of Afro-Peruvian performer Victoria Santa Cruz reciting her iconic poem, “Me Gritaron Negra.” Blactina is set to launch its website at the close of February.
#IAmEnough (pronounced hashtag I Am Enough) is a platform founded in Afro-Latina empowerment. Launched by writer Jenay Wright, her blog instills “self-assurance, pride, and confidence into the lives of all Afro-Latinas,” as mentioned on its website. While you’ll find content series like “Being Afro-Latina and Multilingual” or “Afro-Latinas in Media,” you’ll also find uplifting content on #IAmEnough’s Instagram account.
Bianca Kathryn birthed Yo Soy Afro-Latina in 2015 shortly after moving to NYC. As a lifestyle brand, YSAL’s goal is to bring representation and awareness of the “Black Diaspora within Latin America and the Caribbean” with a specific focus on Afro-Latinas through content and merch. If you’ve spotted the super cute “Mija I’m Busy” tote, “Yo Soy AfroLatina” mug or “Latina Black AF” tee, Kathryn is the brains behind ‘em.
Blatina with the Good Hair, created by Shomara Garcia, captures Afro-Latina pride through merchandise, content, and events. You’ve likely seen their popular “Born to an Immigrant” tees, as well as the mood AF sweatshirt that reads “Eff Your Latina Standards.”
The Afro-Latin Diaspora was started by Sessle Sarpy alongside Jazmin Samora and Mavelyn Cedeño. The Instagram account, which boasts 39K followers, consistently shares video clips, photos, and information centering the Black experience from each of the 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. They encourage critical analysis of the history we’ve been taught and the constant messaging received. Those who choose to bring anti-Blackness into their space is immediately shut down.
The Afro-Latino Festival NYC is an annual multi-day cultural event that takes place every summer. Spearheaded by Mai-Elka Prado and Amilcar Priestley, the festival explores necessary conversations surrounding Afro-Latinidad and supports Black Latinx and Caribbean business owners, innovators, and creatives during the outdoor celebration. The festival headliners have included Alison Hinds, Milly Quezada, Calma Carmona, and Amara La Negra, to name a few. You can catch highlights from the 6-year history on their Instagram page.
Though travel is in the name, Afro-Latino Travel has a core focus on educating and immersing travelers in Latin America and the Caribbean’s African roots. Focused on Cuba and Panama, co-founders Dash Harris and Javier Wallace provide multi-day experiences, as well as specific programming for those looking to truly explore each locale. “Cuba is not African-influenced. Its core root, is Africa,” said Harris in an interview with USA Today. You’ll want to learn more about their offerings via Instagram.
With a current focus on Haiti and the Dominican Republic, founder and CEO of In Cultured Company France François and team are healing divides through education. “In Cultured Company aims to work with our communities to build bridges where others have built barriers,” said François to HipLatina about their mission. “My team of Dominican and Haitians aim to sow the seeds of peace in the next generation of leaders in order to move from a divided past towards a shared future.” On the organization’s Instagram page, you’ll find resources, insightful conversations, and details on their upcoming events.