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Is There Racism Against Black Latinos?

Black Caribbean Literature (BCL)
Newspaper Article
Publication Date:
Los Angeles, CA
African American Research Center, Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject Term:
Caribbean area, United States, Blacks, Racism, South America, Hispanics, Racial discrimination, Mfume, Kweisi, 1948-, Cruz, Celia, 1925-, Lopez, Jennifer, 1969-, Gonzales, Ruben, 1985-
I am referring to prejudice against those who are both Latino and black, whose ancestors arrived on Spanish or Portuguese Slave ships. Living in Los Angeles, it might be easy to think that most Latinos are brown-skinned and of Mexican descent; after all, the majority of our city's Latino population identify as Mexican. Latin American scholars and historians agree that about 95 percent of the Africans forcibly brought to the Americas were bought to what is now Latin America. They are concentrated in the Caribbean, Colombia and Brazil, where half of the population is of African ancestry. And many dark-skinned Latinos also live in the United States. A black Latina wrote recently in Hispanic Magazine that Latinos see blackness as a liability in this country because the Latino community seems to be perpetuating the long-standing racism in South America. In Peru, blacks are sill being used as ornamental images ... chauffeurs valets and servants and blacks in Brazil are still considered marginal members of society. And it was reported that "Batista's skin was not pink enough to gain membership to some Cuban elite clubs."