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Afro-Latinos or individuals of African descent from Latin America, or those who have one parent from Africa or Latin America, play a very important role in the United States.
African-Americans and Latinos in the United States
Latinos and African-Americans are the two leading minority groups in the United States. For years, they have greatly contributed to the country. Their population has grown so fast well. Today, they are now the main workforce in the country.
Latino community is the largest minority group in the country. They are comprised of 32 million and they are followed by the African-American community which is comprised of 30 million according to Pew Research Centre.
Meanwhile, in a 2018 of the insight news report, 24 percent of the U.S. Hispanics identified themselves as Afro-Latinos. Most of the Afro-Latinos reside in the states of New York, California, and Florida. Moreover, majority of Afro-Latinos were born in the United States compared to Latinos.
What Does it Mean to be an Afro-Latino?
In 2017, a Latino news outlet compiled dozens of responses as part of the Black History Month 2017. Many have responded and when they were asked about the question, the following persons said:
- Merrick Moise said: “Being Afro Latino is being a bridgebuilder, standing squarely at the crossroads of pan Africanism in the US. I am a proud Black Panamanian! We exist! And we exist with the knowledge that Blackness is global in its scope. No one has hegemony on Blackness and we are the proof!”
- Rosa Clemente said: “Afro-Latino is not about being Black and Latino, Afro-Latina means to be a Black Latina/Latino hence why the term Afro-Latino came about in the late ’70s. Since Latino is not a race, its really not even an ethnic group, it is false to say that folks are Black and Latino, we are racially Black and then many refer to their ethnicity or i.e Afro-Boricua, Afro-Dominican. Often in the US Black becomes synomus [sic] with those that are African-American which then does not take into account the millions of African descendants, Black people globally that are in the world and in the USA.”
- Sophia Raine Surage answered: “It’s obviously about people who identify as Afro Latino…to complicate what it means to be black and Latino and any combination because the diversity of black identity is often oversimplified. Just because people are both doesn’t mean they are less of one…”
- Olivia Love answered: “I am black and Latina…I might only be HALF black, but I am still black. It is silly to take pride in black history month yet to singlehandedly exclude those of us who are TREATED like blacks, yet some of our black sisters and brothers refuse to accept us as one of ‘them’. As a biracial minority, we grapple with a constant state of acceptance from both cultures.”
It is important to understand the importance of Afro-Latinos in the country. In this time of the global pandemic, they are disproportionally affected. Many of them died due to the virus because they were not able to have equal access to healthcare services.
Meanwhile, the unrest in the country due to the deaths of nearly 16 African-Americans this year including the brutal arrest and tragic death of George Floyd just shows that the country is now uniting to end racism in the country.
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