My Last Step

The Latino community has so many different skin colors, hair textures, and traditions. In my first post I did research on other Latinos’ experience with colorism and discrimination with other Latinos. Some of their confrontations were with their family members, friends, and even random people on the streets. I also talked about how there isn’t much representation in the media of dark skinned Latinos or Latinos with kinky curly hair. In my second blog post I did my own research because I wanted to hear different experiences of colorism or if they had even heard of colorism in my community. I sent out a survey to get my information, and I didn’t get the results I was expecting. I was expecting the darker Latinos to be more discriminated against for their color, but my responses were the opposite. The lighter skinned Latinos were being denied as being Latino. People were telling them that they were “too light” to be like us.

The next step I had to take for this project was how was I going to make difference for this issue in my community. I wasn’t sure at all what I wanted to do. I knew I couldn’t fix everything and change other people’s minds easily. The least I could do was bring awareness and educate others of this issue or at least bring up the conversation because “we, as a community, need to start having the conversation about colorism and anti-blackness within our circles. We need to better educate each other about Afro-Latino identity and how Afro-Latinos are just as great a part of our community as anyone else.” To spread this word around,  I thought a video would be a great way to reach people. There would be different Latinos in the video with different looks, expressing they are proud of who they are. I emailed some Latinos at my school and they agreed to be in the video, and I also had some people at my church say that they would love to help me out. In the video you see Latinos of different ages, shapes, sizes, skin colors, and nationalities. This is how I chose to display a glimpse of our diversity.

In the video you see Deliah, who is Afro Latina and standing next to her are her two children. She and her family are darker skinned with curly coily hair. Deliah and her family never shy away from who they are and celebrate their culture just as much as anyone else. Also in the video you see Carol who is Mexican American and is so proud to be who she is. Some people might say that she is “not the typical looking Mexican” but what does that mean? How could one culture all look the same? Just because Carol isn’t slightly darker or have pin straight black hair makes her less Mexican American as anyone else who is Mexican American. Those comments have never stopped her from embracing her culture and her beautiful features. The last person you see in the video is Luz, 93. She is Puerto Rican and says something that speaks volume. “I feel just like anyone else. What vary between culture is the costumes and behavior. We are all human beings.” Luz is right, we are all human beings. So what does it matter if someone doesn’t look like you? Or if their hair has different texture? Or if their skin is a different shade?

After the making of the video, I showed it to some of the people who were featured in the video. They said it was “quick and to the point” which is exactly what I wanted this video to be. My goal was bringing awareness so people can ask questions and bring acceptance to the diversity within my community. My mom uploaded my video to her Facebook and I got so many comments! One person said “Isabella is right, there is so much tension within our own community and people don’t even talk about it.” Another said “Isabella is so young to even know about this division in the community. When I found out about all the colorism, I was an adult in college! She did a lovely job at making this video.” I got many comments complimenting me, cheering me on, and encouraging me. Seeing all of the positivity really put a smile on my face and they inspire me to do more for my cause.

The countless hours I have done researching, gathering, and documenting information for this project has inspired me to move forward. Information given to me by the Facebook viewers have also inspired me to continue spreading acceptance and awareness against colorism within my community. I wish I had more time to be able to let you know everything I have learned but through this method is simply not possible. I think this project has taught me a lot about myself and people in my community.  This has been a cool project for me and something that I have become more passionate about. Because I am 15 and Puerto Rican and proud of me and my curly kinky hair.