» YBF INTERVIEW: Boris Kodjoe & Nicole Ari Parker Reveal How They Avoid Cheating In Hollywood!» YBF FRESH FACE: Meet "Dope" Star Kiersey Clemons -- Her Take On Why Former Disney Stars Go Crazy, Her Wine Obsession & Her Island Fantasy With RIHANNA! [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]» SNEAK PEEK: Tami Roman Flips Script On Having A Baby With Boyfriend Reggie + Flips Out On Kendra Wilkinson On "Marriage Bootcamp Reality Stars"
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?
» ARRESTED (AGAIN)! NeNe Leakes' Son Bryson Bryant Arrested In Connection To Check Forgery Bust!» Stacey Dash Backtracks On Her "Naughty Girl" Victim-Blaming Comments About Rape Survivors, Still Needs To Have A Seat» FOOLYWANG MATERIAL: Rapper Kevin Gates Admits He’s SLEEPING With His Cousin And…Doesn’t Plan to STOP?!
» DON’T EMBARRASS ME: Rihanna CHECKS Friend Leandra Over DRUNKEN Antics At 2015 BET Awards + Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" Video» 2015 BET AWARDS SHADE: SWV's Coko RESPONDS To K. Michelle’s Twitter Shots (EXCLUSIVE) + John Legend Shades Off-Key Performers!» ON BLAST: Darnell Dockett’s Baby Mama POPS Off About Him Traveling Out Of The Country On Father’s Day! Shots Fired At Ashanti?
» Mariah Carey Schools Us On How To Stay Classy While FALLING On A Yacht...Did She Have One Too Many?!» CALIFORNIA LOVE: Tyga & Kylie Jenner Grab Lunch In Calabasas—Gets Cozy On The ‘Gram Before Her 18th Birthday » COUPLES NIGHT: Diddy & Cassie, Kelly Rowland & Tim Witherspoon, Ciara & Russell Wilson, LaLa & Carmelo Anthony Dine In L.A. After 2015 BET Awards
» SECRETS, SECRETS! Anthony Mackie Wed Long Time Girlfriend Sheletta Chapital...In December! + Rihanna Hits The Streets With Soccer Star Karim Benzema...Again!» [YBF EXCLUSIVE] 'Power' Cast -- "Season 2 Becomes A Lesson In Karma!" (VIDEO)» "POWER" PLAYERS -- Omari Hardwick, 50 Cent, Naturi Naughton, LaLa Anthony, Elle Varner & More Hit The Season 2 Premiere!
» CELEBRITY FRIENDS WORKING TOGETHER: Terrence J, Cassie, Brandy, Paula Patton & More Return To Filming "The Perfect Match" + Rob Riley, Camille Winbush & Logan Laurice Browning Do Hollywood Carnival » 2015 BET AWARDS AFTER PARTIES: Lil Kim, Tracee Ellis Ross, Diddy’s Sons & More Hit Up BOA Restaurant + Chris Brown, The Game & More Party It Up At Playhouse» SUMMER FUN: Draya, Cassie & Terrence J At Ciroc's Summer Brunch + Tamar & Vince's Private BBQ For BET Awards Weekend
» Joe Budden SLAMS Meek Mill's "Sappy F*ck Sh*T" Appearance With Nicki Minaj, "I'm Glad A Dark Skin Guy Is Behaving This Way"» Diddy Announces The "Bad Boy Family Tour," Drops "Finna Get Loose" Feat. Pharrell + Brandy CASTING Her BET Show "Zoe Moon"» RHYMES & ROMANCE: Meek Mill Releases “All Eyes On You” Ft. Nicki Minaj & Chris Brown + Nicki Flosses In A Denim Bikini For Video
» TENNIS HOTTIES: Sexy German Player Dustin Brown Has Us Watching Wimbledon + Serena Williams Rises Through The Ranks» SPORTS: Blake Griffin Shooting A New NIKE Commercial + LeBron James Will Become A Free July 1st!» SPOTTED: L.A. Lakers Baller Nick Young Drops Son Off To Mom Keonna Green Outside Of Iggy Azalea's House