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?
» YBF PREMIERE: Omarion's "Work" Video» CHECK IT: Pharrell ADDRESSES The 'Black Girl Controversy' With His "G I R L" Album Cover» SPLIT! Brandy & Ryan Press Call Off Engagement...FOR NOW!
» FOOLISH ACTIVITIES: Stevie J's Alleged FROSTY Nostril + Lil' Boosie's OUT OF JAIL, His Kids Celebrate HOOD Style» IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Gospel Artist Kevin Terry Posts BIBLICAL "RESPONSE" About "ALLEGED" Sex Tape» CLASSIC FOOLYWANG: Dr. Julius Irving Says He Conceived 70's Lovechild Because Of His JUMP OFF'S New BRACES!
» OLD FRIENDS?: Lil Mo's New Man Might Not Be So "New"» Rihanna Spotted At Drake's Concert...AGAIN + The Twosome Hit Afterparty At Spirito Nightclub In Brussels» “BBW:LA” Star Brittish Williams Facing $1800 Tax LIEN Against Her House + Isn't Proud About Her Reality TV Behavior
» Beyonce & Jay Z Take Blue Ivy To The Park & DINE OUT In Dublin (Plus Daft Punk Ft. Jay Z's "Computerized")» SPOTTED: Jaden Smith & Kylie Jenner Grab Groceries At Ralph's Supermarket + Tyrese DINES OUT With A Mystery Lady» SPOTTED: Rihanna & Drake Dine On The Down Low In London
» Timbaland & His Wife Spotted TOGETHER After Filing For Divorce + Lil Mo’s House BURGLARIZED » WORKING IT OUT? Paula Patton And Robin Thicke May Possibly Reconcile (ALLEGEDLY)» Nicki Minaj & Safaree Samuels Wear Matching Rings, CELEBRATE Their "10th ANNIVERSARY" In Cabo
» OH FRANK: Chipotle HITS Frank Ocean With $212K LAWSUIT Over Ad Campaign...That He Backed Out Of Because THEIR Logo Was Featured?!» THE TAX MAN COMETH: Lil' Wayne GIVES Uncle Sam The MIDDLE Finger, OWES $12 Million In TAXES!» Da Brat Ordered To PAY $6.4 Million To NFL Cheerleader She Bottle-Smashed In The Head + Kanye West To Produce New YEEZUS Film Featuring...Kim Kardashian
» OSCARS 2014: Gabourey Sidibe + Alfre Woodard Get Detailed On The Red Carpet!» OSCARS 2014: Hollywood Men Take Over The Red Carpet -- Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tyson Beckford, Barkhad Abdi (And His 'Broke' Revelation), Michael B. Jordan & Tyler Perry» OSCARS 2014: Kerry Washington Flaunts Red Carpet GLOW In Custom JASON WU
» BACK ON? Ashanti FACETIMES WITH NELLY...During Her ATL Album Release Party!» SWEET 16: Justin Bieber Sings “Happy Birthday” To Birdman’s Daughter Bria For Parisian Themed Party » Rihanna GETS FURRY At The Lanvin Show In Paris + Kyla Pratt, Tae Heckard & Tony Rock AT Russell Simmons Inside Jokes Wednesday Night
» Ariana Grande Covers Whitney Houston's “I Have Nothing” At The White House + Jill Scott, Patti LaBelle & More Perform» First Lady Michelle Obama GETS GORGE In CAROLINA HERRERA For White House State Dinner, Mary J Blige & More Attend» President Obama LAUNCHES "My Brother's Keeper" Initiative For Young Men Of Color + Shaq & Big Sean Enter The Fashion World!
» On The Set Of Ludacris' & Wiz Khalifa's "Party Girls" VIDEO + Marsha Ambrosius' FVCK&LOVE EP» Keyshia Cole Previews Brand New Single? + Peek At Her Second 'Keyshia Cole by Steve Madden' Collection» MUSIC FAB: Common’s “The Ladder” + Future ft. Pusha T & Pharrell “Move That Dope” Video
» SPORTS: Jason Collins Takes The Court For The Nets, Makes History As FIRST Openly Gay Athlete In Major League Sports» SPOTTED IN SPAIN: Lamar Odom Is STILL Wearing His WEDDING RING, Says He STILL Talks To Khloe!» ROUND UP: Celebs Have A Ball At The 2014 NBA All-Star Game & After Party + Performances From Pharrell, Janelle Monae & More