Two years ago I was taking a course at my university that spoke about visual and social culture in the US and the expectations it entails from a variety of perspectives, including race and gender. This course challenged me into looking deeper into my identity and how the world reacts to it. My findings affected me so greatly that I took every chance I could to educate others on what I now know, my magazine NEGRA is just another way to do so. In America there is a focus on black and white issues, a battle between them, but what about the other minorities? Afrolatinas face this struggle of being stuck in the middle, not Latina enough for the Latinx community, and not black enough for their fellow Africans. Due to my lighter complextion and looser curls, I do not face this discrimination as harshly as darkerskinned afrolatinas with 4c hair, but that does not make me any less. I’m enraged by the contradictory views we face. We’re fetishized for being “spicy Latinas” but looked down upon because our hair is kinky. Our melanin automatically brings up stigmas and stereotypes but it is also a trait so many desire (which is why people fake tan so much).
NEGRA is a visual platform where I can share my findings with others who have the same curiosity for information. NEGRA reclaims all negative connotations the word itself has, and the colorism in the Latinx community as well as everything that makes us black and beautiful. NEGRA gives Afrolatinas a place to be inspired by others like them and call out the bullsh*t we see and receive every day. NEGRA exposes the issues that come with being both Latina and black in hopes that they will lead to a progressive future. NEGRA is not only a cultural magazine, but a trendsetter. NEGRA informs people of others impacting the world with their art. Whether it is through music, businesses, or any other field, the Latinx community is the future. We are a growing force to be reckoned with. NEGRA will display a new group of Afrolatinx and Latinx individuals giving Caucasians a run for their money. In the fashion industry especially, there isn’t enough awareness towards the beauty of Afrolatinas. The fashion world has beauty standards that are being broken down even more every year but has not reached every community yet. The industry is dominated by white women, and a select range of minorities as if they are passing trends, so it is time to further expand the diversity. There are Afrolatinas gaining love from a select group of people aware of their community and I think they deserve to be recognized globally. But first, they need an introduction to our beauty. Afrolatinas have pride in their latin heritage and african roots, it’s time the world does too.