On Race and Being Spanish Speaking

Thanks Alona for sharing this video by Jeffrey Almonte on Being Black in Latin America.

“Ethnicity involves culture and heritage, not just nationality.” Very succinct. Mr. Almonte has parents who are from the Dominican Republic (nationality) and whose ethnic heritage are Puerto Rican (as well as the grouping terms Asian, white, and black), so I understand being mistaken for pulled into the “Latino “/” Hispanic” realm. I wish peoples would ask ‘what’s your heritage?’ It’s a much better question.

I’ve been asked if I’m Spanish tons of times. From Hispanic individuals too. From an anthropology point, do I resemble any Latino or Spanish cultures? No. Analyze bone structure, not skin color! You can learn a lot from brows, nose structure, cheekbones, etc.

I love his point on “mixed hair.” I’ve stopped ‘defending’ my being black and white (and religiously Jewish).
My mom’s family is from as far back as I can trace, as the Jews would call it, Ashkenazi: in our case, Poland and Ukraine. Being Jewish, this that was likely an interracial pitstop for many generations from the original Israel-Judea area. Thus, the family’s now white, but retains its Jewish (multicultural) ancestry. My dad’s family is African-American, and being black, don’t know from which country/region our family’s genetically from.

Oh, how I could write a book.

Justin Fair

I create bold graphics + offer creative clarity. urban planning, community dev, public art crdntr, artist. Morgan grad student, Terp. Jew, black, fitness, cake!

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