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Color and culture.

Yes! Finally people will know that you can be Latino[a] and of African descent simultaneously. I was very excited when I saw "The Afro-Latino Connection" on the cover of your February 2004 issue. As an African American and student of the Spanish language, I find it so refreshing to know that there are people who look like me whose native tongue is Spanish or Portuguese. I didn't develop a passion for the language until I became aware of the Afro-Latino population.

In the article, Mr. Mercado-Valdes made a very good point about blacks being invisible in Latino broadcasting because it is Mexicancentric. What's frustrating is that the few Latino networks with Afro-Latinos in commercials, only, show these commercials at 4 a.m. in the morning (i.e.. Dominican singer Antony Santos' album). Also, it is wonderful that he mentioned that there are pockets of blacks in Mexico. Most people believe that "No hay Negros en Mexico" (there are no blacks in Mexico). However, they can be found in places like Veracruz, Costa Chica, and Puerto Escondido.

I was disappointed that there was no mention of Evelio Grillo. author of Black American, Black Cuban. A Memoir (Arte Publico Pr: $13.95). As an Afro-Cuban, he is one of the original community organizers of both the Latino and African American communities.

Lastly, in my opinion, it is difficult to compare the identity of Afro-Latinos and African Americans due to the differences in the development of the histories and cultures of each group. For example, in Latin America neither Jim Crow laws nor the octoroon designation existed. Had it not been for these [characteristics of American color consciousness], would African Americans see and define themselves as a group of people of mixed ancestry, similar to the way many Latinos view themselves?

Margann L. Hardy

Powell, Ohio

margsbussacct@hotmail.com
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Title Annotation:Letters
Author:Hardy, Margann L.
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Jun 1, 2004
Words:307
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