Jharrel Jerome is so proud of his roots. 1
The Afro-Dominican actor won Emmy Award for outstanding lead actor in a limited series or a movie for his work in When They See Us, becoming the first Afro-Latino to win an Emmy. “It’s an honor,” he said about his award at the time. “It’s a blessing, and I hope this is a step forward for Dominicans, for Latinos, for Afro-Latinos. It’s about time we are here.”
Tristan "Mack" Wilds is proud of his mixed roots. 2
He is a half Dominican, half black actor and singer who has been in the industry for many years and is proud of his roots.
Swizz Beatz is a force in music. 3
The record producer has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry. He was born to a Puerto Rican mother and an African American father.
Cardi B has had her fair share of issues because of her background. 5
The rapper's mom is Trinidadian, while her dad is Dominican, but some people have questioned how black she is and how Latina she is. Cardi continues to represent both of her cultures with tons of pride.
Rosario Dawson is a voice for all Latinos. 6
The Cuban and Puerto Rican actress doesn't just star in great films, like Rent or Sin City, she also dedicates a lot of her time to Voto Latino, a nonprofit voter registration organization she co-founded in 2004.
Dascha Polanco set the record straight that you can be Dominican AND black. 7
During an interview with The Breakfast Club radio show, Dascha was forced to defend her roots. "I consider myself to be a black woman, and I think a lot of Dominicans should, because from what I see that’s what we are,” the actress said, to which host Charlamagne tha God asked her why she doesn't just identify as Dominican instead. “I say I’m Dominican. Because I’m from the Dominican Republic but I am a, we’re talking about where you’re from, your country, and you’re talking about race/ethnicity, right? So I am Afro-Latina.” BOOM.
Miguel is half Mexican and half African American. 8
Born Miguel Jontel Pimentel, the R&B singer's father is Mexican and his mom is African American. When he did an interview with Telemundo, hearing the singer--who sings mostly in English--speak Spanish was so beautiful!
Joan Smalls is showing the world what beauty looks like. 9
This gorgeous Boricua model isn't just one of the hottest and most successful Latina models in the industry right now, Elle magazine claimed she has "the planet's most perfect face." I don't think anyone would argue with that!
Gina Torres has been making strides in Hollywood for quite a while. 11
What I love the most about this Afro-Cuban actress is the fact that she always plays strong confident women. She's acted in several sci-fi sitcoms, like FlashForward, Alias, and Dark Angel just to name a few. She was also in two of the Matrix films, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. Plus she's most recently been seen in Suits, in which she worked with none other than Meghan Markle (and got an invite to the Royal Wedding to boot).
Tego Calderon is also a proud Afro-Latino. 12
"I started to do music from a black beat, so that blacks can feel proud being black," the Puerto Rican reggaetonero once said in an interview with NPR. "Thank God my parents are people that are pro-black and are also for the independence of Puerto Rico. I grew up in a house that is very different than others, and I don't blame people that feel the way they do because they have been sold this. This has been passed down from generation to generation."
La La Anthony (Vazquez) is a force to be reckoned with. 13
This Puerto Rican chica went from hosting on MTV's TRL, to having her own reality TV show, VH1's La La's Full Court Life, to starring in Power and even launched her own makeup line. "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?" she wrote in a personal essay for Latina.com.
Victor Cruz brought his salsa moves to the NFL. 14
The football star repped his Puerto Rican side during his games by dancing some salsa every time he scored a touchdown. His mom is Puerto Rican and his dad was African American.
Christina Milian had a hard time growing up as an Afro-Cubana. 15
Everyone has heard of Christina Milian, but most people don't know that the singer and TV personality is actually 100% Cubana. The mom of an adorable daughter named Violet claims she had a hard time growing up because kids couldn't figure out what she was. "I was like, 'Well, Mom what am I? Everyone is asking me what I am' ... she was like 'Well Christina, you're Cuban and you're brown,'" she said in a Mun 2 interview.
Tatyana Ali has been making us proud since the '90s. 16
We all know her as little Ashley Banks from the 1990s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But did you know she's also half-Panamanian? "I remember my mom really trying to have us be bilingual ... you know my mom trying to only speak to us in Spanish," Tatyana told Mun 2.
The gorgeous Yaya Decosta has been speaking her mind since she first appeared on TV. 18
The half Brazilian model got her big break on America's Next Top Model and has posed in fashion magazines like Vogue and W. She also has strong views about the way race is perceived within the Latino community. "The world isn't simply black or white," she told NBC Latino. "And racism is still prevalent, both in subtle and more insidious ways. My child's reality will be different from mine, but I think that makes knowing our history that much more important."
Actor Sarunas J. Jackson has opened up about not being accepted by Latinos. 19
The Insecure star is half Panamanian and half black and although he's damn proud of it, he says it hasn't been easy. Growing up he was only accepted by the black community in his neighborhood and now it even affects his career. "Auditioning for roles isn’t always easy for me. For instance, there’s a show that’s out right now that my manager was trying to get me to go out for, but they were like, 'Oh, we want Latinos.' My manager responded, 'He is Latino.' It would just be easier for them to say they want Euro-Latinos or European descent than Afro descent," he told People en Español. "But they don’t want to say that because they know it sounds ridiculous. It’s mad disrespectful because Latinos come in all shapes, colors and sizes. It’s like being in America. When you’re in America an 'American' can be anybody: white, black, Latino, Asian. It’s not necessarily a race, it’s a culture, it’s a nationality, you know, depending on where you’re from."
Esperanza Spalding is breaking barriers in music. 20
I love Esperanza Spalding! The part-Latina singer and musician played her single, "Overjoyed" for President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama when they were in the White House.
Fabolous reps his Dominican side with pride. 21
The rapper is of Dominican and African American descent and he's been representing his Latino side since the start of his career.
Amara La Negra is proud to be Afro-Latina of Dominican descent. 22
The Love & Hip Hop star has been open with sharing her struggles with colorism and eurocentrism within the Latin community, after she says she's been rejected from the Dominican Republic due to her dark skin.
Tessa Thompson's Mexican mom helped her identify as a black woman. 23
The Creed actress was born to an Afro-Panamanian father and a mother of Mexican descent. “My mom is a woman of color even though she might not be readily identified as such and I feel like because of that, she always gave me space to explore my identity; get in touch with who I am," she said during an Essence event. "She understood the void of not having enough guidance, in that. Even though she is not a black woman, throughout my life, she filled me with such pride of being one.”
Carmelo Anthony wants the Latino community to accept him as one of our own. 25
Carmelo's dad, Carmelo Iriarte, was part of the Puerto Rican social justice group, the Young Lords. "It’s something I didn’t know until later when I started doing research on him and what he was into. Talking to my sisters on that side, reading books, and just hearing stories from other people talking about him," the NBA star said. "My mother told me one day, ‘Your daddy would be proud of you.’ I said, ‘For what?’ She said, ‘He would be proud of you for what you’re doing, for what you’re standing up for, for what you’re fighting for, what you believe in, following your beliefs. That’s what he did.'"
Judy Reyes said it was tough for her to land Latina roles because of her skin color. 26
“It bothered me, of course it bothered me, because what I look like and what I am, it doesn’t change that I’m a Latina,” the Dominican-American actress said. “And you’re telling me that I’m too dark?”
Arlenis Sosa is bringing her Afro-Latinidad to the fashion world. 27
This gorgeous model was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. In 2008 she walked into a modeling agency and was signed on the spot!
Kid Cudi's dad was half Mexican and half Native American. 28
The rapper, who was born Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi, once talked to MTV about a fictional character he once created that was his alter-ego and he named it Juan Pablo. Juan Pablo, who was black, grew up in a Mexican family similar to Cudi.