» EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK: Tamar Braxton & Towanda Sing About Sister Trina....Finally Dating A Black Man» EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK: Toya Wright Tries To Explain WHY She Gave MempHitz A Hall Pass To CHEAT On "Marriage Bootcamp: Reality Stars"» Here's Why It Will Take Until 2020 For Us To See Those Harriet Tubman $20's
LaLa Vazquez: Puerto Rican Can Be "BLACK" Too!
Jan 21 | by Natasha
LaLa Vazquez wrote a personal note addressing all the drama that tends to ensue when people discuss her (and other Boricuas' for that matter) racial background. She says that while both of her parents are Puerto Rican, that makes her Puerto Rican. But she also says that doesn't mean she's not "black" as well. LaLa explains that black and Puerto Rican are not always mutually exclusive...and she schools people on her Latina heritage and what she teaches her son Kiyan. Her words when you read the rest...
A lot of people don't realize that I'm Latina, which is fine. One thing about being Latina is that there isn't one look that comes with the territory. I don't expect people to know my cultural background just by glancing at me. I do, however, expect that when I tell people my family is from Puerto Rico, that I will be believed and not accused of trying to be something that I'm not. It usually goes something like this: a person having a conversation with me discovers one way or another that I'm Puerto Rican and fluent in Spanish. That person then expresses their shock over these realizations for any number of reasons--common responses are, "You don't look Latina" and "I thought you were black!" I never said I wasn't black. And since when does being black and being Latina have to be mutually exclusive? In my experience, people tend to have an uninformed and rather narrow view of what it means to be Puerto Rican. For me, not looking like some people's idea of a typical Latina has been challenging and often painful. I constantly find myself trying to justify who I am, and why should I? I'm proud of my heritage and my family. Both of my parents are from Puerto Rico. They raised two kids in Brooklyn and later in New Jersey, where we ate arroz con gandules and pasteles and listened to salsa music. I feel just as at home in Puerto Rico, where I still have tons of family, including aunts, uncles and cousins. Puerto Rico is in my blood. And that has nothing to do with the color of my skin. I'm not angry with anyone who doesn't understand the complexities of race and culture. And I'm also not interested in having long, drawn out conversations about how it's possible for me to look like this and speak Spanish. In fact, sometimes I make it a point not to mention my parents' birthplace because I don't always feel like having the inevitable discussion that follows. Instead, I let people look at me and come to their own conclusions. As I start to get my feet wet in Hollywood, I already know that there are certain parts I won't even be considered for. The character can be Puerto Rican and speak Spanish just like me, but Hollywood defines Latina as Jennifer Lopez and Sofia Vergara. As beautiful as they are, we're not all one race in Latin America. But I don't go to auditions so that I can give history lessons to film executives. I'd rather skip the entire process. I'm raising my son to understand who he is, and it's my hope that he'll never let others define him. It reflects poorly on us when we don't educate ourselves about the rest of the world and what it looks like. I encourage people who are interested to learn more, do research and ask informed questions. If you're lucky enough to visit various countries in Latin America, you'll be baffled to see the blackest of the black and the lightest of the light living together. And I dare you to ask one of them to prove their latinidad.Very interesting. Your thoughts?
» Juvenile Just Cut Up At The Waffle House -- Punches Customer For Allegedly Calling Girlfriend A Ho» HARPO, Who 'Dis Woman?! Lil Kim Has Us Scratching Our Heads After Posting New Selfies That Look Nothing Like Her» Katt Williams Allegedly Assaulted 5 Women In SECOND Arrest This Week! + Orlando Brown Vlogs His Court Appearance
» ISH RAPPERS SAY: Kevin Gates – “Don’t Put Your Dirty Hands On Me, I’m Married!” + Plies' Hilarious Father’s Day Message » Columbus Short & Rumored Fiancée Aida Abramyan Get Cozy On The Red Carpet + Toni Braxton & Birdman Coupled Up On Father’s Day» Lil Wayne Says Sizzrup Did NOT Cause Seizures, Hits The Stage In L.A. + Joseline Hernandez BLASTS Stevie J For Watching Gay Porn [RECEIPTS]
» HOT COUPLE: Fresh Faced Ciara & Fiancé Russell Wilson Hold Hands On Date Night In Hollywood» Chrissy Teigen & John Legend Take Baby Luna Shopping + Tia Mowry Makes A Retail Run + Angela Simmons Gets A Check Up Then Hits The Gym » Nick Young -- All Smiles & Clowning Around With His Homie After Iggy Azalea Breakup, Then Sings Drake's "Redemption"
» WHOA! Chris Brown’s Former Manager Mike G Sues Saying Breezy Beat Him To A Pulp, Chris Says Mike Was STEALING Money!» Future Dropped His Lawsuit Against Ciara, But She Doesn't Drop Hers Against Him» Columbus Short Thrown In Jail For Probation Violation! + Deion Sanders & Pilar Are Being Sued After Son Allegedly BRUTALLY ATTACKED School Employee
» BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS: First Lady Michelle Obama Does Carpool Karaoke With James Corden & Joins SnapChat (With A Squad & A DAB)!» The Obamas Spend Father's Day Weekend Hiking, And It Has Us Ready To Book A Trip To Yosemite» UNITED STATE OF WOMEN: First Lady Michelle Obama & Oprah Rally For Gender Equality At White House Summit + POTUS & Kerry Washington Hit The Stage
» Find Out What Kelly Rowland Named Her New Girl Group + Wiz Khalifa Talks About Bash Picking Up Bad Words & Having Another Baby With Amber Rose» Kelis Is Taking Her Delectable Bits To London Launching A Pop-Up Burger Joint + We Can’t Understand A Word In Desiigner’s XXL Freestyle, But It’s Catchy» Beyoncé & Jay Z Turn Lemons Into A Hawaiian Vacay (And Blue Serves Mermaid Realness) + Jay Readies New Track With DJ Khaled & Future
» LIT! The Cleveland Cavs & Army Of Fans (Like, 1.3 Mill Of Them) Celebrate At Championship Parade» LeBron James Crafts Perfect Clap Back To His HATERS + NBA Legend Michael Jordan Is Investing $500K To Charlotte Charities» WHY THEY PLAY: Cavs Make A Quick Trip To Vegas Before Returning To Cleveland + NBA Champs & Their Families Snap Flicks With Trophy + Did LeBron Throw Shade?
» VACAY FLICKS: Keke Palmer Brings The Sexy In Beach Photoshoot + Rihanna's Still Showing Off In The Tropics + Chanel Iman Jets To The Ivory Coast» Muhammad Ali Still Fighting In Last Photoshoot + His Body Arrives In Louisville Ahead Of Funeral » WHEN BLACK DOESN'T CRACK: Vanessa Bell Calloway Just Channeled Her 'Coming To America' Character For A New Photoshoot