Good Morning World Wide Web,
The other day I was speaking to a young man. He actually reminded me of my son. He was raised by an African-American mother, and his father who was not a part of his life is Latino. He doesn’t speak Spanish or understand Latin culture much at all and it made me wonder about there being a distinction. If you’re African-American and Latino mixture, does that just make you Afro-Latino? Are you African-American & Latino? Comparably, I have a friend who is Latina, that would racially be considered white after she selected her ethnicity of Latina, then her race next. Her husband is also Latino. If he selected race he could consider himself black by his skin tone and obvious mixed hair texture. Although multiracial and similar to how a child of black and white American heritage would just be considered black or African-American, the off-springs of the couple that are both Latino could be considered “black” and could pass for “black or African-American” The difference is the child of the Latino couple would more than likely speak Spanish, celebrate and understand the Heritage and be able to speak to what would make him or her Afro-Latino. What about the mixed African-American and Latino, raised by the African-American mother without having been introduced to Latin culture? Is he Afro-Latino also? It makes me wonder what truly classifies a person. Is it skin color or culture? Is it skin color & culture? Does it have to be both? What does that do for the person from a two parent household of Latino parents but doesn’t speak Spanish? Could he/she still pass somewhere else outside of their Latin heritage not having a connection to it, with the same measure that someone else could be accepted into the same culture without having a direct connection to it?
My questions just started to stack up once I noticed this. This is the main reason I started this project. As an African-American woman with children from a Latino father, I wanted them to celebrate me as well as their father. Somehow if I just throw them into the box of “Afro-Latino” there are several open-ended questions of racial classifications that would leave my children’s identity up to another person’s experience and perception. This is also why I chose “other” so many times and then decided to start a conversation for the infinite questions there are about “other.” Who checks this race box and why? If you’d like to chime in with an answer or opinion type away. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I always love to hear for you.