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LaLa Vazquez: Puerto Rican Can Be "BLACK" Too!

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?
Source: I Am LaLa via Latina
Photog: Mayer

Comments

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A - Men to that! Exactly what

A - Men to that! Exactly what I was trying to say earlier. If there was a like button I'd press it 10 times. Just because a person has a few drops of African blood doesn't make them completely African anymore than a person being 1/200th Native American and claiming he's a full fledged Cherokee or something like that. Of course it shouldn't be ignored. As small as it is it is a part of him. However - They are usually the kinds of people with pink skin, firey red hair and liquid blue eyes that go on TV on a Discovery Channel show about Native Americans where he talks about how the White Man has plundered the Native People. Hey, News Flash: You ARE the white man, and you look rediculous in that Suede fringe jacket and head band! While you're at it, drop the "accent" too. You sound as rediculous as you look.
Salsa Still Rocks's picture

A - Men to that! Exactly what

A - Men to that! Exactly what I was trying to say earlier. If there was a like button I'd press it 10 times. Just because a person has a few drops of African blood doesn't make them completely African anymore than a person being 1/200th Native American and claiming he's a full fledged Cherokee or something like that. Of course it shouldn't be ignored. As small as it is it is a part of him. However - They are usually the kinds of people with pink skin, firey red hair and liquid blue eyes that go on TV on a Discovery Channel show about Native Americans where he talks about how the White Man has plundered the Native People. Hey, News Flash: You ARE the white man, and you look rediculous in that Suede fringe jacket and head band! While you're at it, drop the "accent" too. You sound as rediculous as you look.
Salsa Still Rocks's picture

Well said I love how you

Well said I love how you spoke about the difference of race and nationality. Also people of different nationalities embracing their Afro ancestry. In addition I am glad you mention that Latinos can be Black White Asian or Amerindian.
SaySay's picture

Thank you! I am in the exact

Thank you! I am in the exact same boat as her! I am half Dominican and half Puerto Rican. People always tell me "Oh! I thought you were black!" And try to make me feel less of who I am when they tell me I don't "look Hispanic".. To who? To you and your ignorant, blind thoughts? One time, I got pulled over and the officer gave me a ticket. He asked me to look over everything and as I skimmed through, I noticed it said "BLACK" under ethnicity. So I said "Oh, I'm not really black. Im full blooded Hispanic" Not rudely or anything, either. And he looked at me and said "You look black to me. It's not really a big deal though. It's just easier when giving a description." Really? So you will not grant me the correct recognition that I deserve because I look black to you? It made me so mad because I'm thinking the whole time "Ok really? theres a Puerto Rico flag on the mirror, reggaeton music turned up a little loud, and my last name is Acevedo-Jimenez FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!! So it doesn't matter that I look like I'm black...I'm not, And that should be respected.
Evalisse's picture

forgive me for saying this

forgive me for saying this but Reggeton is NOT Puertorrican. It never was. It was some concoction of Reggea and rap picked up from somewhere in South America and is sadly the latest result of young Puerto Rican youth trying to be someting they are not by copying some other country's music. To me Puerto Rican music is Plena, Salsa - They type played by Willie Colon, El Gran Combo, Hector Lavoe and other famous Fania All Stars used to play, and did NOT include Merenque, which is also not Puerto Rican but has Dominican roots along with Bachatta. I'm sure if you blast a little Tito Puente (a great man and awesome musician!) there would be no mistake as to who you are and wheere you are from. Drop the Reggeton. It's not Puertorican. It's a scourge in the Latin music industry. It's horrendous. Toqua mas Salsa!(BTW nothing wrong with Merengue and Bachata - Rock em out too, just shelve the Reggeaton for love of God)
Salsa Still Rocks's picture

First of all, to get things

First of all, to get things straight, you are black. You need to stop lying to yourself and truely learn about your Puerto Rican and Diminocan heratige and you'll find that both countries have a large amount of African ancestery or simply black. And Also you need to realize Uncle Sam doesn't give a damn about what you claim you are.To him, if you look black then your black. All I'm saying is learn about your history. But I can't blame you for thinking like that cuz most hispanics "WITH" African ancestery are usually ashamed of it.Maybe thats you, you know it, but you hate it...
Racially Conscious's picture

He is Black. He is White. He

He is Black. He is White. He is Indian. He is all yet he is exclusively neither. Yet all three should be celebrated because they make up who he is. He and Spike Lee may have similar ancestry. But cultually speaking, they are nothing alike. Honestly now - would you lump Tito Puente in the same boat as Snoop Dogg and say "they are the same". I hear enough talk about "don't be shameful of your African roots" but when a Latino starts talking about how he/she also has Irish/French/Italinan/German ancestry, the Black/Latino community gets all in a tizzy and flood his/her box with such comments about, why dont you just say you're black and other such nonsense. Yes, most of us have African ancestry, but please, African Americans, don't lump is in with you. It is an insult to our heritage and other lineages to simply state that "yall are black". We have the best of 3 worlds. That's who we are. Deal with it.
Salsa Still Rocks's picture

look if you look black then

look if you look black then you black you can be hispanic but your ass is still black because there are women who are pale as hell mixed with white lighter than u im sure and they claim themselves black so can you your a black hispanic THE FREAKING END JESUS WHY IS IT SO HARD TO ADMIT YOUR BLACK WHEN YOU LOOK THE PART. OBAMA IS BLACK AND LOOK WHERE HE IS THE DAY WILL COME FOR AN HISPANIC BUT BLACKS AND WHITES ARE THE MOST TALKED ABOUT IN HISTORY NOT HISPANICS AND ASIANS
sexymama's picture

No disrespect but you are not

No disrespect but you are not saying the same thing that she judt stated. In fact it's the exact opposite. She said that she is black but her nationality is puerta rican. race and the country that you're from is two diffrent things. I'm black and I am from America. You're black and you're....well you are from America as well so we're in the same boat. Now, your parents are from another county so that makes then Latino but if you're of African desent and was born in America then you're African American or you could call yourself a Latino. None of that changes your race. I think that you just have a problem with being labeled black as if it is a bad thing. I'm sure that if you check my roots you'll find that i have other races in my blood because due to slavery there are hardly any pure races. Still, I'm considered black and so are you. It's just too bad that you cant embrace that. Do you have issues with being African?
Anonymous's picture

Well said. Saying that

Well said. Saying that because they are mixed that makes them Latino is stupid because Latin began in Italy & was part of Europe. Latin Europe is Italy, Spain, Portugal, France & Romania. These are the people who brought Latin to the new world. They were a white complexion like Christopher Columbus look at his picture. Also look at painting of the King and Queen of Spain. They were also white complected. The reason African Enslavement began because the Indigenous population was dying off so nearly 2 decades after the Spanish had arrived in Hispaniola they began mass importation of slaves to the new world. By 1542 only 5000 indigenous Taino remained on the island. Many dying due to illness brought by Europeans they had no resistance to. Also many Spanish left the island once Gold was basically non existent and went to the Americas for more riches. Tori Hunter has a white name is he white? Sammy Sosa has a Spanish name is Spanish? Is he Hispanic/Latino Answer No he is not He just has a Spanish name and knows Spanish. He eats Arroz just like Tori eats rice in America. Sammy is black just like Torri Hunter is black. Just like Lennox Lewis is Black. Just like Cheik Kongo is black, Just like Anderson Silva is black. Just like Lala Vasquez is black. If you get a chance look at black in Latin America it is a good documentary. Maybe it isn't accurate as it should be but it has a lot of good stuff in their.
LeBraun's picture

EXACTLY IF YOU LOOK BLACK

EXACTLY IF YOU LOOK BLACK YOUR ASS IS BLACK THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BLACK BECAUSE IF YOU NOTICE NOW WHITES AND HISPANICS ARE MIXING WITH US SO UM TO SAY YOUR NOT BLACK WHEN THE WORLD AND WHITE PPL SEE YOU AS SUCH THEN YOUR ASS IS BLACK OK MOTHER FUCKING BLACK
sexymama's picture

im black color but 100%

im black color but 100% puerto rican
Anonymous's picture

relax its only a color

relax its only a color beautiful at that . yes im black puerto rican .
Anonymous's picture

No disrespect to you but your

No disrespect to you but your post is what drives me crazy about people and race! From a scientific stand point and genetically speaking there are only 5 races that have genetic differences (Black, white, Native Indian, Asian and Australoid) but even then there isn’t much difference genetically outside of outward appearances. All other races are what’s called a sub race, people that are a mixture of the top 5. I don’t doubt that you are Hispanic but that is not a race. You may be Hispanic but racially what are? Can you say without a doubt that there isn’t a percentage of you that isn’t black? Do you even know what race or races make you who you are? Not too many of us can say what the hell we truly are made of because there has been so much “race mixing”. You probably aren’t just black but without genetic testing can you without a doubt say that isn’t a part of your genetic makeup? Just because you have a Puerto Rican flag on your mirror, or reggaeton playing and your last name is Acevedo-Jemenez doesn’t mean anything racially. There are people in Latin America that are as close to 100% black as you can get that have Hispanic surnames (through slavery), speak only Spanish etc. All that represents it what culture you are apart of nothing else. The cop shouldn’t have known anything from that.
Blank minds's picture

dear @dallasboogie black

dear @dallasboogie black american's do not have a monopoly on blackness. there is something called pan-africanism. and i'm sure you know world history, and know that spain was the largest importer of black slave into the americas. not great britain. puerto ricans who choose to identify as black are NO less black than black americans (especially given legacy of one-drop rules in america that make people who were only 1/16th black, or people like colin powell black). and as a matter of fact, puerto rico had african slavery for over 150 years longer than the united states of america. lala is very clearly stating that she is a black person from another country- it souldnt be any different than being a black person from jamaica, or another place colonized by european superpowers. she didn't say she was african american. she said she's black. meaning "of african ancestry." here's some more information about the african diaspora, and the many places afro-descendant were taken across the americas: http://manifestfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/03/13/%C2%BFy-tu-abuela-donde-... also, please note that brazil (not the US) has the largest population of people of african descent outside of the continent of africa.
Anonymous's picture

Absolutely well said! Some

Absolutely well said! Some people think they own everything!
Salsa Still Rocks's picture

i think you are right!< she

i think you are right!< she dosent wanna be viewd as a "black" girl more as a "latina" most puerto ricans have african desendants! and you can tell she most deffinetly does by the color of her skin!! so get it togehter lala much love to you and all but hunny you are a black puerto rican!
cambrie's picture

Wow! You are very ignorant. I

Wow! You are very ignorant. I feel her pain because I, too am a darker skinned Latina. She is absolutely right. You can go to Puerto Rico and see pale skin and blonde hair. You can also see black people with brown eyes. That is what I love most about our culture. There is so much diversity and yes, we do have African roots. For you to ridicule her and say she "is just a black Puerto Rican" makes you sound very intelligent. I've never understood why YOU PEOPLE find it so easy to classify people in to "black", "white" or "latin" just by first glance. That's called being judgemental. And it's not a matter of her not wanting to be viewed as "a black girl" as you said. If this was true, she wouldn't be explaining where she comes from as well as defining black as a race. Anyways, I'm done. You're probably just a fat, jealous black lady who always has to try and shoot someone down to make yourself feel better about that short, dry and brittle hair you got that has been trying to grow for seven years but never made it passed the earlobes. Appologies. (See, doesn't feel so good to be mocked, does it?")
Evalisse's picture

LOL!!!Sorry,Evalisse.... I

LOL!!!Sorry,Evalisse.... I just really found your comment funny as hell, do you know how ignorant you sound???Lol!!First you admit that ya'll do have African ancestery, then you turn around try to mock black people, Ha!!! Do you not understand that your mocking "YOUR OWN ANCESTERS"????It's cool cuz wrether you see it from my point of view or not."YOU HATE WHAT YOU ARE".....
Racially Conscious's picture

,If this is the EVALISSE,I

,If this is the EVALISSE,I know there you go talking about black women again,you so jealous it's sad.but your baby is black right.You got issues i dont know what black guy would get you pregnant. THEY usually like thicker black women with nice asses. THANK YOU, AND LEARN HOW TO SPELL.
Anonymous's picture

IF YOUR PROUD TO BE BLACK AND

IF YOUR PROUD TO BE BLACK AND LATINA/O, AND YOUR NOT AFRAID TO SHOW THAT PRIDE, THEN LISTEN TO THIS!!! www.myspace.com/balantacimarron
The Teacher's picture

besides the fact that Puerto

besides the fact that Puerto Rican is a nationality for those born there (although some argue that they are no longer considered such because they are U.S. territory so they're sellouts- I don't necessarily agree) it's also a culture, a heritage. What amuses me is that AA's rant about being proud of your afrocentricity yet there are so many color issues within that community itself...which i've lived in for a good chunk of my life and still do. Stop worrying about color and racial issues across the world & fix them within your communities first. Black & PR aren't mutually exclusive, like others have said...learn to differentiate the meanings of race, nationality, and ethnicity. Besides that, PR's , like other places in the Caribbean, are a mix of Spanish, African, and Native. Yet everyone's amount of each varies in their mix of it. Obviously the African ancestry may be obvious in a lot more than people from both sides talk about, for some like Sammy Sosa it even becomes self-hatred. but the term Puerto Rican also gives it to you in a nutshell because for those educated, non-ignorants that already know and are conscious about the triple mix background of these folks, are aware of the african presence. I applaud my Afro-Latinos of darker complexions or even lighter but still African features who really acknowledge and know your history and why your genetic makeup is the way it is. We're caught up in a limbo where people try to make you choose and u just want to be who you are. and you idiots talking about Zoe Saldana, LaLa and other AL's saying we're black when it's convenient, no we're black all the time, and we're also (insert nationality and/or ethnicity here) all the time. Regardless of what we identify ourselves, to ppl who aren't us, we're damned if we do, and damned if we don't. I have that issue and Zoe Saldana said she is a black woman by race, however that is not the 1st time & it won't be the last. 6et your facts straight. To my black latinos who are still in denial about their african roots, get your head right. Educate yourselves and stop the ignorance. To you white latinos, even the asian latinos and mulattos, nobody can tell u who you are or what you should be considered. It's your bloodline and your heart doesn't lie to u. Much love to everyone else who actually embraces diversity and knowledge, spread truth. God bless the human race and Mama Africa. RealEyezRealizeRealLies.
trigu3na soy's picture

AND!!!!!!....you and millions

AND!!!!!!....you and millions other Afro-Latinos!
J.Jones's picture

kut pic ever stop lovin this

kut pic ever stop lovin this pic
jasmine's picture

I went to Spain and I was

I went to Spain and I was surprised to see a dark skinned lady in a restaurant speaking spanish. And she was from Spain. I understand where Lala is coming from though
saintsbound's picture

Yay LaLa, I am of mixed race,

Yay LaLa, I am of mixed race, but I look Colombian, I hate having to explain that I am also black, I think that those that are saying that "dark skin" latinos hate being called black is so untrue sweetie they are black RACIALLY their CULTURE?ETHNICITY is different. Their is sou much ignorance from people when it comes to the differences between race and culture, for example Black Africans (Nigerians e.t.c) are more accepted in the American Black Community than Latin Blacks, at the end of the day all of our Black ancestors came from the same Place Africa, the only difference is what Europeans brought them over to America and Where they brought them. but our cultures are different because of where they ended up. LATINO is not a RACE it is a CULTURE/ETHNICITY. HISPANIC is a not a RACE either it is classification. YAY for Lala teaching her son about his culture and his race. Love Smart, Educated women. @Dallasboogie...You are ignorant...That is all.
LaVa's picture

YEA YEA WHATEVER…ALL OF THESE

YEA YEA WHATEVER…ALL OF THESE “DARKSKIN” LATINA/LATINOS HATE TO BE CALLED BLACK….BUT WHEN THEY ARE ALL OF A SUDDEN CONVIENTLY BLACK WHEN A CHECK IS IN THERE FACE. LALA IS ALWAYS ON FLAVOR OF LOVE OR SOMETHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH BLACK PEOPLE ON TV. JUST BECAUSE YALL NEW YORKERS GREW UP AROUND THAT BULLSH*T (LATINOS USING THE N WORD ETC…) DOESNT MAKE IT OK. IF U HATE TO BE CONSIDERED BLACK AND CHERISH YOUR LATINO HERITAGE SO MUCH QUIT TRYING SO HARD TO BE ON B.E.T. AND DATING BLACK PEOPLE(MELLO) AND AT BLACK FUNCTIONS. GO TO TELEMUNDO AND CREATE SOME SHOWS. THEY DONT WANT TO BE BLACK, LETS GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT. THE THING IS…WHEN A CHECK IS THERE FOR THEM ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY ARE BLACK FOR INSTANCE: DOES ANYBODY REMEBER THAT zoe saldana PLAYED AN A.K.A.(A HISTORICALLY BLACK SORORITY, KNOW FOR TAKING ONLY LIGHTER SKIN BLACK WOMEN) TYPE CHARACTER IN THE MOVIE STOMP THE YARD? SHE WAS BLACK ALL OF A SUDDEN!!!!!!
DallasBoogie's picture

YEA YEA WHATEVER...ALL OF

YEA YEA WHATEVER...ALL OF THESE "DARKSKIN" LATINA/LATINOS HATE TO BE CALLED BLACK....BUT WHEN THEY ARE ALL OF A SUDDEN CONVIENTLY BLACK WHEN A CHECK IS IN THERE FACE. LALA IS ALWAYS ON FLAVOR OF LOVE OR SOMETHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH BLACK PEOPLE ON TV. JUST BECAUSE YALL NEW YORKERS GREW UP AROUND THAT BULLSH*T (LATINOS USING THE N WORD ETC...) DOESNT MAKE IT OK. IF U HATE TO BE CONSIDERED BLACK AND CHERISH YOUR LATINO HERITAGE SO MUCH QUIT TRYING SO HARD TO BE ON B.E.T. AND DATING BLACK PEOPLE(MELLO) AND AT BLACK FUNCTIONS. GO TO TELEMUNDO AND CREATE SOME SHOWS. THEY DONT WANT TO BE BLACK, LETS GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT. THE THING IS...WHEN A CHECK IS THERE FOR THEM ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY ARE BLACK FOR INSTANCE: DOES ANYBODY REMEBER THAT zoe saldana PLAYED AN A.K.A.(A HISTORICALLY BLACK SORORITY, KNOW FOR TAKING ONLY LIGHTER SKIN BLACK WOMEN) TYPE CHARACTER IN THE MOVIE STOMP THE YARD? SHE WAS BLACK ALL OF A SUDDEN!!!!!!
DallasBoogie's picture

um.teknically - her

um.teknically - her nationality is AMERICAN. SINCE SHE WAS BORN IN AMERICA. unless of course puerto rico is no longer a us territory
mj's picture

Author: Black

Author: Black Wallstreet Comment: I didn't read all 232 comments but it seems that we are missing the point from the few I have read. LaLa explained things on a personal stand point so let me give you more concrete information from what I researched. Which is broader. A "Race" is a distinct human being. There are only 4: Caucasians, Negros, Asians and People Native to the American continent. Everybody else is mixed. For example, you can see apparent traces of Negro in Samoans, Phillopinos and some hispanics....and Asian & Native American in Alaskans. "Hispanic" is not a race, it is a culture or ethnic group. In an Ethnic group you may have more than one race though most is of one race. So if you ask someone there race and they reply, I'm "Cuban" that is equavalent of somebody asking your race and you reply "American". And as you know this makes no sense at all but people accept it because they are taught to accept it. Life Experience When my nephew was 13, he was hanging with a white guy and I stated to him, I'm happy you are integrating with whites (he had a deep hatred for whites at a young age), he replied, "oh he is not white, he is Puerto Rican" This really angered me but I did check him and explained to him (on many occasions) the difference between: Nationality, Ethnicity and Race. He must have learned because he began dating a Dominican of CONSIDERABLE African Decent, he broke up with her, why? She kept telling him she was not black, he felt she didn't know who she was. I'm a proud uncle! Please teach your kids the difference, but do not allow them to confront the general public with this information---because the conversation can become dangerous. Here is something you may not know: Did you know there is a portion of southern Mexico that is made up of Blacks, go figure. -------------------------------------------- I am swooning over you right now! I love an informed man! I do not understand why people are holding on to something so silly and ridiculous. People do not even that black slaves were dropped all over the world (including indians too - not the amerindians - but the indians were called indentured slaves/workers)and its not just the Americas that possessed slaves. Asia - Phillipines, China, India had black slaves too. Why do you think Appleseed (Black Eyed Peas) is black and Phillipino? The pattern that I am seeing here is that some black people are lazy to know their real history....maybe even ashamed and that answers a lot of questions for me. That is why there is this black on black crime. You think your black is better than my black? No we are ONE. Saying I am not black I am Cuban/Peurto Rican/Dominican only shows how minimal your mind is. Read and learn things. YouTube is bursting at the seams with African History and the subsequent voyages. That is why some of you have these anger issues - it must be a dark place just not to know. Anyway, at first I thought you all were being 'cute' but I think you actually believe you are not black. smh. Start with YouTube. PS I have seen a lot of ....but I am light/white and my family is darker. You are black boo. and its FABULOUS to be black.....it always was!!!! FOr those thinking that being latina is better look at how Sotomayor was treated - and she could pass for white on a good day. Knowledge is your friend. White people do not care how many quarts of blackasian u have...u r still black. Be proud. I will stop because I am excited now and have lost focus but you get the gist
the anti idiot's picture

@tdotbanks We have a parade

@tdotbanks We have a parade and wave our flag because we have pride, black white , yellow green at the end of the day we are Puerto Rican and PROUD!!! Before you say that because of your flag we are free please educate yourself we as a country cannot vote in the general election of the president of the United States but we can enlist in your army and die for your freedom. Do me a favor practice safe sex and go F*** yourself!
Anonymous's picture

@tdotbanks We have a parade

@tdotbanks We have a parade and wave our flag because we have pride, black white , yellow green at the end of the day we are Puerto Rican and PROUD!!! Before you say that because of your flag we are free please educate yourself we as a country cannot vote in the general election of the president of the United States but we can enlist in your army and die for your freedom. Do me a favor practice safe sex and go F*** yourself!
Anonymous's picture

@ lisa SPEAK! and please

@ lisa SPEAK! and please inform these people who dont quite get it. Once everyone understands that first point alone, there would be alot less confusion. Black does not mean African American or even Black American for that matter.
mskai_LA's picture

@ lisa SPEAK! and please

@ lisa SPEAK! and please inform these people who dont quite get it. Once everyone understands that first point alone, there would be alot less confusion. Black does not mean African American or even Black American for that matter.
mskai_LA's picture

@ lisa SPEAK! and please

@ lisa SPEAK! and please inform these people who dont quite get it. Once everyone understands that first point alone, there would be alot less confusion. Black does not mean African American or even Black American for that matter.
mskai_LA's picture

I read some more comments and

I read some more comments and just wanted to advise: All Africans who came to the American Continent were not slaves. Remember we (including myself) should research our history before Europeans enslaved Africans. I have researched some, and it really shocked me. Something important to research is to understand, why black Hispanics are the way they are. Find out their role in Latin America. I did because most people from Latin America always told me they did not have a race problem. I found those statements intriguing and wanted to actually find a place where race didn't matter. Now I know the truth. My job is not to educate but inspire you. There is nothing like speaking to a Dominican, and knowing more about his or her culture than he/she does. Culture goes deeper than the food you eat, and the music you listen to. Because that can alter or change completely. After researching black Latinos, I don't despise them anymore. I guess its true, you only fear and hate what you don't know. "Know" and you will always have the upper hand: and that goes for any part of life. Something you may not know: On the "American Hemisphere" Brazil have the most blacks in the millions, well over twice as much than the United States. hmmm--there is another shocking fact about that country, do you know what it is?
Black Wallstreet's picture

I didn't read all 232

I didn't read all 232 comments but it seems that we are missing the point from the few I have read. LaLa explained things on a personal stand point so let me give you more concrete information from what I researched. Which is broader. A "Race" is a distinct human being. There are only 4: Caucasians, Negros, Asians and People Native to the American continent. Everybody else is mixed. For example, you can see apparent traces of Negro in Samoans, Phillopinos and some hispanics....and Asian & Native American in Alaskans. "Hispanic" is not a race, it is a culture or ethnic group. In an Ethnic group you may have more than one race though most is of one race. So if you ask someone there race and they reply, I'm "Cuban" that is equavalent of somebody asking your race and you reply "American". And as you know this makes no sense at all but people accept it because they are taught to accept it. Life Experience When my nephew was 13, he was hanging with a white guy and I stated to him, I'm happy you are integrating with whites (he had a deep hatred for whites at a young age), he replied, "oh he is not white, he is Puerto Rican" This really angered me but I did check him and explained to him (on many occasions) the difference between: Nationality, Ethnicity and Race. He must have learned because he began dating a Dominican of CONSIDERABLE African Decent, he broke up with her, why? She kept telling him she was not black, he felt she didn't know who she was. I'm a proud uncle! Please teach your kids the difference, but do not allow them to confront the general public with this information---because the conversation can become dangerous. Here is something you may not know: Did you know there is a portion of southern Mexico that is made up of Blacks, go figure.
Black Wallstreet's picture

I am boricua.. but who cares?

I am boricua.. but who cares? I don't at this day in time.. when our president is mixed and my family looks like someone puked the ethnicity in our family. It not that serious, unless you are black skinned or white skinned. Racism doesn't exclude cultural background. It's all about how light and dark you are. So I am a light skinned black person and a dark skinned boricua and i f'n love it! lol Love and peace!
latina's picture

These comments are

These comments are interesting. I know it is easy to say who cares about race in 2010, but MOST people do. I didn't care until I had my 2-yr-old daughter. My hubby and I are both black, but my M-I-L is half black/half white and my daugther came out very light and has curly hair just like her (my genes are no where to be found LOL). I routinely get aasked "is she mixed?" or "is she adopted" and mostly by other black people. My old, dear 96-yr-old great aunt told me she "looked like a Mexican" when she was first born because her hair was straight and jet black and already down her back. "you're so lucky"...WTF? At some point, I feel I have to check those who rudely ask the heritage of my daugher as if I couldn't possibly have given birth to her, but the issue would never come up in my household unless others didn't bring it up.
kimmie's picture

@Teri Preach girl!!

@Teri Preach girl!!
Bootsy's picture

LaLa is correct in her

LaLa is correct in her statement! People lack a lot of knowledge in the differences between Nationality, Race, and Ethnicity. Obviously someone is not learning during school.
LaLa's picture

I appreciate Lala for posting

I appreciate Lala for posting her blog. I'm black and my husband is Puerto Rican. They come in all shades and colors. His mother looks like a black woman yet some in his family appear "white". While in Puerto Rico visiting we saw the color spectrum. My husband's family is proud of their heritage, acknowledging the mixture of african, tiano indian, and spanish. Lala's point is that others need to be educated and not look at her strange when she discusses her Latina heritage, they come in all shades just like African-Americans.
Dawn's picture

Way To Go LALA, many people

Way To Go LALA, many people do not know that puerta ricans are of African heritage as well. When slave ships left Africa, they had more than one destination. Some stopped in what is now Puerto Rico and others stopped in what was them, the 13 colonies. Now is the time for us to know our heritage.
Pink Capp's picture

I have a whole new respect

I have a whole new respect for Lala. She gets 8 million cool points. I guess I was so used to seeing her in a fashionista/baller wife prism. (Not in a bad way) I didn't know she struggled with this. It's sad that people are that ignorant to understand that slaves were taken all over the America's, not just the United States.
Lyoness's picture

I consider myself an African

I consider myself an African American woman. I have met Latino people, particularly, Puerto Ricans & Dominicans who are a lot darker, have kinkier hair and broader noses than I do; in short, they look more ethnic black or African descent than me. And they are always flummoxed when I tell them I am African American because they don't know how to process my appearance with my culture. So they tell me, 'No,no, you are mixed right? You don't look black!' Their ignorance makes me sigh in frustration because everyone with eyes to see now accept the fact that black people do not all alike. We don't all have kinky hair and dark skin. I am an African American woman who looks (Italian, Greek, Jewish) with a tan, I have been mistaken for all three. And this makes certain Latinos I speak with uncomfortable because I clearly define myself by the culture and race I was born into. So where does that leave them when I have more of a European phenotype than they do? When they look black but I don't? They think they have they right to tell me what I should call myself based on their color belief of what a black person should look like. I don't object when they call themselves Spanish when they clearly are not Spanish, but merely the descendants of the slavery mess the conquering Spanish slavemasters left behind. If they choose to identify more with the Spanish slaveholders who owned their ancestors that is their business. But in America, the majority of black people chose not to identify with the slave masters who owned their ancestors. More often than not, we have always sided with the victims of slavery where we emanated from. I have never understood why Latinos who are black in appearance are so proud to speak Spanish, the language of their ancestors oppressors. But I guess it is their choice.
Alison's picture

@ imj I agree with u too. Ppl

@ imj I agree with u too. Ppl act like black is the lowest thing to be called.
doo better's picture

@ TERI I AGREE.

@ TERI I AGREE.
doo better's picture

@ccd really. Zoe shouldn't

@ccd really. Zoe shouldn't say she is black. she is black you dumb ass. Black refers to skin colour so she is. I think people are still confusing skin colour with nationality, heritage wow.
Miesha's picture

Listen up people. I am first

Listen up people. I am first born latino american in my family. My parents came from Dominican Rep. in the 70's. We are a family of 5 kids 3 of us are lily white and me and my younger brother are chocolate brown. My first language, taught by my parents was spanish, the only food I ever knew before attending school was rice, beans and plantains, drank Maltas like it was nobody's business. Our first dance steps were to the beats of merengue,bachata,perico ripao, and salsa. This was all I knew until I learned english in kindergarten. I was taught to love, live and embrace my dominican background to the fullest. we taught not to be embrassed when "americans" white and black make fun of us because you speak spanish and your parents have certain traditions that americans do not understand or think its stupid. I am proud of my beautiful black skin color but I will always say I am dominican it's in my blood and in my heart. My parents love for their culture,language and traditions have trickled down to each of us. My beautiful daughter will always know where her moms family came from as well as her dad's (black american). All Latinos are mixed with spanish,italian, black and indian. We were colonized by the spanish, French and Italians, who bought the african slaves.These lands were full of Indian people. We were raped, sodomized and used for many years before we able to become independent. Our people struggled as well. I will always be proud of my black skin and my spanish heritage.
Xenai's picture

To all the non-American

To all the non-American blacks on the board, please get off your high horse looking down on American blacks. You are a n*gga just like everyone else, and regardless of your "rich culture" (like people really care about this fake, 'I'm proud of who I am' mess when you had nothing to do with what race/ethnicity/nationality you were born in. Please drop the holier than thou attitude. I can't stand the little trite, "you black Americans are beneath me" mess coming from non-American blacks. Newsflash, racist don't care about your rich "Island" culture or how many mixtures you can count in your background. You are still a n*gga when it's all said and done and you will, if you haven't already, get a very rude awakening if and when you come to America!
Teri's picture

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