This week, “The Grapevine” released their newest episode on the relationship between the Black and Latino communities. It was truly an honor to sit on a panel with individuals who held a range of experiences, identities, and opinions.
The point I made during the episode was the lack of available spaces we have to speak on this subject early on in our lives. If you think about it, unless you were lucky, when did you have a safe space to speak about any of your identities? Probably high school or college. For me, it was in college when I was able to dive deep into a conversation surrounding Afro-Latinos because I had Latin and Caribbean departments.
However, unless public school has changed since my time, the only history you are exposed to is American history. Slavery in America is as far as it goes. From what I remember, we never spoke about slavery in the Caribbean or evil Columbus’ time on the islands.
We may think we have made tremendous progress because these conversations have been going on for years in a variety of spheres, from college classes to social media forums; however, we have to realize these conversations have also been occurring later on in our lives. How are we going to create spaces early on enough for our future children, nieces, nephews, cousins to have these discussions about being Afro-Latino? We have to realize there are a lot of young individuals who want to speak up on the subject yet they do not feel they can have these conversations with family members or friends because those people still have a notion of rejecting that they are somewhat black. We need to make sure we are creating a path not only for ourselves but also for those who come after us.
Make sure to check out the episode above, and let us keep having these discussions!