“Hispanics come in all colors and shapes. There are Asian Hispanics, white Hispanics, black Hispanics and even Latino Hispanics, as roughly 20 million people defined themselves, puzzled by the ‘race question’ in the 2000 U.S. census.”
“ Black Hispanics struggle for their racial identity ” Bruno Diaz, Midland Reporter Telegram 2/13/2005
"When people realized that my accent didn't match my face , they asked me where I was from. And when I told them that I was from the Dominican Republic, and that I spoke Spanish -- therefore my accent -- I always got this 'wow!-that-is-weird!' kind of look"
“ Then we were entertained by what I perceived (with North American eyes, seeing narrowly) as an ‘integrated’ group. Such a group! Black, brown, white, yellow, pink, gold complexions.
… And then we presented ourselves as ‘black’ Americans (they presented themselves, un self-consciously and without words, as Cubans, of course), and their faces changed. For the first time they seemed aware of their color differences among themselves—and were embarrassed for us.”
“…before the revolution, blacks were disproportionately employed in menial jobs, in which many remained…Now, everyone, including the black waiters, studies constantly in order to improve their positions.”
“ My Father’s Country is the Poor,” In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens , 210
The 2002 census, which asked Cubans whether they were white, black or mestizo/mulatto, showed 11 percent of the island's 11.2 million people described themselves as black . The real figure is more like 62 percent , according to the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami.
“ A barrier for Cuba's blacks ” Miami Herald Staff Report 6/20/2007
Alice Walker’s take “ We can see that great efforts have been made to have Cuban art reflect the masses of Cuban people, that the African heritage is given equal time with the Spanish , and that the ‘dominant culture’ is recognized as being a synthesis of the two .” “ My Father’s Country is the Poor,” In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens , 210
“ In our country, the image of black people is one of enormous goodwill , which is reflected not only in characters like Memin Pinguin, but in popular songs ... like 'Little Black Watermelon,'" a song about an unruly black boy.”
"It's the United States, not Mexico, that has a history of slavery," wrote columnist Sergio Sarmiento in the newspaper Reforma.
In fact, Mexico had hundreds of thousands of slaves during the colonial period, though it banned slavery before the United States did. “Mexico: Stamp Protests Don’t Stick” CBS News, July 1, 2005
Agree or disagree? Skin color has a bigger impact on a person’s identity than language. Afrolatinos are really no different than any other latinos.
Agree or disagree? That Afrolatinos do not identify themselves as black indicates they are ashamed of their heritage. That there are more Afrolatinos than other Latinos in Cuba’s prisons has nothing to do with racism.