When it comes to the Afro-Latinx identity, there is so much to celebrate.
Just ask any of the men and women The Root interviewed for its new video on Afro-Latinx pride, posted to Facebook on Wednesday. From musical idols like Joe Arroyo and Celia Cruz to the different Latino foods that have an “African connection,” these folks explained why they embrace their multifaceted identity.
“My favorite thing about being Afro-Latina is just being able to relate to two very amazing cultures,” one woman says in the video. “I love being able to represent those two groups.”
But Afro-Latinx also know their identity comes with its own set of challenges, particularly when living in the United States.
“People in America just don’t get that you can be black and Puerto Rican or you can be black and Guatemalan,” one man says in the video. “Hispanic is not a race, it’s an ethnicity. It’s two totally different things.”
And as another participant explained, being a part of two rich and different cultures can mean feeling like you have to choose:
You deal with a lot of issues of membership, which I think is similar to any person who is Afro-Latino or is a group of different cultures coming together that doesn’t necessarily fit in one box or the other. And so it’s really a process of owning your own membership in a community and not always worrying about whether you fit into a one box or the other, or whether you’re validated.
Watch more Afro-Latinx explain why they embrace and celebrate their identity in the video above.