Gringa, Black or Afro-Latina? I’ve Been Called All Three

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-01-28 03:37Z by Steven

Gringa, Black or Afro-Latina? I’ve Been Called All Three


Barbara Gonzalez

I’ve always had a very complicated relationship with the term “belonging.” Perhaps it’s because I’ve straddled so many worlds in my life, but my true “belonging” place often feels like it’s in the fringes.

My parents are completely representative of Puerto Rico’s diasporic history. My mom’s deep brown complexion and large-and-in-charge, black, kinky curls serve as the complimentary to my father’s fair, freckled skin with soft, dark brown curls. Together, they made me: medium-light skin, a bushel of tight, black corkscrew curls on my head and dark brown eyes. For as long as I can remember, my mother has called me hincha, which in our dialect of Spanish means pale or light-skinned. I don’t know why, but from a very young age the word made me feel like an outsider…

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