My husband Shamar. Patient, Loving, Attentive, Passionate, Strong, and Protective of all who are important to him. But these past few weeks he was shook with anger and frustration. This hit differently from any other hateful crimes.
He was retraumatized. He relieved feelings he buried. Feelings of hindrance and embarrassment from the handful of times he was profiled, pulled over and arbitrated because of the hue his skin carried. Each and every time he would carefully calculate ALL his moves because any misinterpreted move could cost him his LIFE.
This one particular day, feeling dehumanized he was handcuffed before he was even told why he was being restrained. He was accused of taking someone’s wallet at a bank; just because the privileged assumed it was the black guy next to him on the counter- the video footage quickly cleared up the “misunderstanding”. Many fake apologies following. (This is the short version)
Every day He fears for his black and brown sons and daughters because he doesn’t know whose path they may cross one day.
Today He is a Proud faith-filled Black Man, husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend. STANDING firmly and loudly in representation for the BLACK WOMEN and BLACK MEN who today cannot stand for themselves because their lives were taken away because of SOMEONES hate and privileged actions. Let’s continue to pray and stand strong together for protection and justice. Each day I Stand in solidarity with you!✊🏾
Black Lives Matter
Shout out to photographer Rachele Petosa @ciaobellagency for creating standing, “The Solidarity Project”, Houston TX 6.19.2020
What defines me as Afro-Latina? Is it because its an acceptable term, now? Is it the texture of my hair, because, I can just go to the “beauty supply” and buy a hair follicle acid applicator… that would give me, “good hair”. Is it the delicious platanos that I boil, mash with butter and eat with my salami, eggs and queso frito. The go to dish for Dominicans when hunger strikes. Or is it the language, the obligated alphabet my generations past to my Taino mothers and fathers were forced to learn, and stripped us of our authentic and God created selves. Could it be my rich melanin color that the sun nourishes while others says it’s rays give cancer. Hmm, have I been taught without a lesson to doubt my skin color. Could be another question to answer.
I’ve been in this journey of research and learning about my cultura and really what does it mean, ” I am Afro-Latina.
I’ve always identified myself as, “Dominicana”, born and raised in New York, proud as I can be. For some, saying, “I’m Dominican”, would argue that I am not genuinely Dominican. Technically it makes sense, since I was born in North America. Technically, an American. But in this case, I am talking culturally, traditionally, and spiritually. Yo Soy Dominicana. I was taught to be proud and nothing less. So when someone called me something other than… it was like you cut your eyes on me and you shoved my head asking me to fight. Until, I learned that there’s actually more to just calling myself Dominicana.
I am Afro-Latina because, that’s the more recognized term. I am ok with it, if it catches your attention to converse about the matters of social justice, women issues, and gets a momentum going to talk about topics that effect individuals that consider themselves Spanish speaker. Then yeah, I’m all for it. In reality, Soy Afro-Mujer, Afro-Quisqueyana. Soy Africana, de la Isla Quisqueya where my Taino roots began. The beautiful Islands of the Carribean were colonized by the Spainards. Again, Im in a journey of learning and discovering.
So, what defines me as an Afro-Latina. It means that I understand that my roots run deeper that the land I was born in. That my blood comes from the lands of Africa, mixed with the Island of Quesqueya. That many aimed to dilute with their fantasies, greed and spreadable poisonous power to destroy who my seeds were created to be. It means, I carry Taino blood, music, culture, traditions and beliefs that have been developed over time by my ancestors.
At the end of each day… Soy Mujer, en una aventura de aprender de donde soy, pero si estoy segura de quien soy. I am woman, in an adventure to learn where I am from but, one thing I am sure is I know whose I am. I am God’s creation living in a art canvas on earth.