Black Hispanic and Latino Americans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Black Latino Americans
Estadounidenses latinos negros
Total population
0.4% of the total US population (2010)[1]
2.5% of all black people (2010)[1]
2.5% of all Latino Americans (2010)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Northeastern United States
American English • American Spanish • Nuyorican English • Spanglish • Spanish creole • Portuguese • Portuglish • Haitian Creole
Roman Catholicism, but also Protestantism, Judaism and African diasporic religions
Related ethnic groups
African Americans • Afro-Caribbeans • Afro–Latin Americans and other Latin Americans • Black people and African ethnic groups • Latino Americans and other ethnic groups of the United States •

Black Latino Americans, also called Afro-Latinos[2] or black Latinos,[3] are classified by the United States Census Bureau, Office of Management and Budget, and other US government agencies[4] as black people living in the United States with ancestry in Latin America and/or who speak Spanish or Portuguese as their first language.

Latinidad, which is independent of race, is the only ethnic category, as opposed to racial category, which is officially collated by the US Census Bureau. The distinction made by government agencies for those within the population of any official race category, including "black", is between those who report Latino backgrounds and all others who do not. Non-Latino blacks consists of an ethnically diverse collection of all others who are classified as black or African-American that do not report Latino ethnic backgrounds.


New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island have some of the highest percentages of Latinos identifying as black, where up to 25% of Latinos identify as black, compared to 2.5% of Latinos nationwide.[5] Overall, the Northeast region has the largest concentration of black Latinos; this is partly because of the large Puerto Rican, Dominican, and other mostly or partly African descended Latino populations in the region.[5][6]

Black Latinos account for 2.5% of the entire US Latino population.[1] Most black Latinos in the United States come from within the Haitian, Dominican and Puerto Rican populations.[7][8][9] Aside from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, large numbers of black Latinos can also be found in populations originating from northern South America, and the Caribbean coast of Central America as well,[citation needed] including the Panamanian and Colombian communities,[citation needed] and to a lesser extent, the Cuban American community.[10][11]

Because views of race in Latin America and the United States are slightly different, there is a fluidity in identifying with terms such as "black" or "Afro Latino" among Latinos in the United States. Recent immigrants from Latin America are more likely to embrace mixed identities (mestizaje) while thinking less of their African side, and some immigrant Latinos who are full black with little to no admixture do not identify as black. In contrast, Latinos who have lived in the United States for several generations are more likely to adopt urban afrocentric mentalities from African-Americans and abandon that of their home countries, embracing the One-drop rule, this is especially true for large portions of the Puerto Rican and now Dominican communities on the eastcoast.[according to whom?] The main aspects which distinguish black Latinos born in the United States of America from African-Americans is having Spanish or Portuguese as their mother tongue or most recent ancestors' native language, their culture passed down by their parents, and their Iberian surnames. Of all Latino groups, Puerto Ricans have the closest relationship with the African-American community, and because of this there is also increasing intermarriages and offspring between non-Latino blacks and Latino of any race, mainly between Puerto Ricans and African-Americans, which increases both the Latino ethnic and black racial demographics.[12][13][14]


A review of twenty-one studies found black Latinos to have poorer health compared to white Latinos. The causes are still unknown, but researchers suggested that racial discrimination and segregation may contribute to racial health differences among the Latino population in the United States.[15]

Although black Latinos are often overlooked or dichotomized as either "black" or "Latino" in the United States of America, black Latino writers often reflect upon their racialized experience in their works. The most commonly used term in literature to speak of this ambiguity and multilayered hybridity at the heart of Latino identity and culture is miscegenation.[16]: 48  This "mestizaje" depicts the multi-faceted racial and cultural identity that characterize black Latinos and highlights that each individual black Latino has a unique experience within a broader racial and ethnic range.[16]: 49  The memoirs, poetry, sociological research, and essays written by Afro-Latino writers reflect this concept of mestizaje in addition to revealing the confusion and uncertainty about one's self-image of being both "black" and "Latino".[citation needed] The psychological and social factors also prove to be central in determining how one ultimately defines themselves.

Civil rights[edit]

In Latin America, black Latinos have historically had similar discrimination issues as African-Americans in the United States,[17] including Cuba,[18][19] where racial discrimination against Afro-Cubans continues to be a major Human Rights issue for the Cuban government,[20][21][22] even resulting in riots in Central Havana, a mostly black neighborhood in the capital.[23] In Mexico, racism against black Mexicans has been also an often ignored issue,[24][25] and it wasn't until 2020 that an option appeared on the national census allowing black Mexicans to self-identify,[26] even though polls had showed that about 1.4 million Mexicans identify as black.[26] Racism in Puerto Rico has also been well-documented,[27][28][29] and according to Black Perspectives, "in Puerto Rico, much like in the rest of Latin America, anti-black racism is embedded in the very denial of its existence by the state and society."[30] In Brazil, Afro-Brazilian population also has a long, well-documented history,[31][32] as well as its "whitening ideology" of the 1930s,[33] when the government encouraged European migration to successfully shift the country's racial make-up to a white majority.[33] In Honduras, racism against Afro-Hondurans has also received international attention as the country struggles with discrimination issues.[34][35] Racism in Argentina, is also well-documented[36][37][38] and "persists against indigenous peoples, immigrants, Afro-Argentines, mestizo Argentines, Jews and Arabs."[39] Even in countries with majority black Latino populations, such as the Dominican Republic, the case of racism against "darker" skinned Dominicans and neighboring Haitians is an issue.[40][41][42]

In media[edit]

Since the early days of the movie industry in the United States of America, when black Latino actors were given roles, they would usually be cast as African-Americans.[43] For those with Spanish-speaking accents that betrayed an otherwise presumed African-American, they may seldom have been given roles as Latinos, and the mixed race Latino actors of African appearance were mostly given Latino roles.

Those who claim that black Latinos are not sought to play Latino roles in the United States allege this unfairly leads the masses of viewers to an ignorance to the existence of darker skinned Latinos.[citation needed] Further, some black Latinos who identify themselves as black but of also mixed-race heritage once affirming their Latinidad may be deprived of their status as black people among African-Americans, and categorized by society as non-black in the American historical context.

Critics[who?] accuse US Latino media, including Latin American media, of overlooking black Latino Americans and black Latin Americans in the telenovelas, mostly stereotyping them as impoverished people.[44][45]

In 2020, LATV Networks, LLC premiered Blacktinidad, the first national TV series focussing specifically on the black Latin experience.[46]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Humes, Karen R.; Nicholas A. Jones; Roberto R. Ramirez (March 2011). "Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010" (PDF) (Press release). U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 29, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  2. ^ López, Gustavo; Gonzalez-Barrera, Ana (March 1, 2016). "Afro-Latino: A deeply rooted identity among U.S. Hispanics". Fact Tank. Pew Research Center.
  3. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau Guidance on the Presentation and Comparison of Race and Hispanic Origin Data". U.S. Census Bureau. June 12, 2003. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  4. ^ "Race: 2010 Census of Population, P94-171 Redistricting Data File". U.S. Census Bureau. 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates: 2013 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates". US Census Bureau. 2013. Archived from the original on January 2, 2016.
  6. ^ "Coming Out As Black, When You Were Hispanic". June 6, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  7. ^ Szot, Hilary S. (February 26, 2014). "Black History Month: New Generation Of Afro-Latinos Tackles Race And Identity". Fox News Latino. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  8. ^ Bailey, Benjamin (2006). "Dominican-American Etbnic/Racial Identities and United States Social Categories". International Migration Review. 35 (3): 677–708. doi:10.1111/j.1747-7379.2001.tb00036.x. JSTOR 2675839. S2CID 144585566.
  9. ^ Garsd, Jasmine (May 25, 2013). "'Las Caras Lindas': To Be Black And Puerto Rican In 2013". Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  10. ^ Dixon, Heriberto (1982). "Who Ever Heard of a Black Cuban?". Afro-Hispanic Review. 1 (3): 10–12. ISSN 0278-8969. JSTOR 23053883.
  11. ^ "Cubans in the United States". Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project. August 25, 2006. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  12. ^ Cruz, José E. (2000). "Interminority Relations in Urban Settings". In Yvette Marie Alex-Assensoh; Lawrence J. Hanks (eds.). Black and Multiracial Politics in America. NYU Press. pp. 96–97. ISBN 978-0-8147-0663-3. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  13. ^ Torres, Andrés (1995). Between Melting Pot and Mosaic: African Americans and Puerto Ricans in the New York Political Economy. Temple University Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-56639-280-8. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  14. ^ "Detailed tables: Hispanic or Latino By Race". U.S. Census Bureau. 2007. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  15. ^ Cuevas, Adolfo G.; Dawson, Beverly Araujo; Williams, David R. (December 2016). "Race and Skin Color in Latino Health: An Analytic Review". American Journal of Public Health. 106 (12): 2131–2136. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2016.303452. ISSN 0090-0036. PMC 5104999. PMID 27736206.
  16. ^ a b Pinn, Anthony B.; Benjamin Valentin (2001). Ties That Bind: African American and Hispanic American/Latino/a Theologies in Dialogue. Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 978-0-8264-1326-0.
  17. ^ "Latinos must confront 'ingrained' anti-black racism amid George Floyd protests, some urge". NBC News. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  18. ^ Mirabal, Nancy (November 10, 2017). "The Cuban Revolution and the Myth of Racial Inclusivity". AAIHS. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  19. ^ Starr, Terrell Jermaine. "Opinion | Fidel Castro and communism's flawed record with black people". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  20. ^ Fernandes, Sujatha (May 24, 2016). "Afro-Cuban Activists Fight Racism Between Two Fires". The Nation. ISSN 0027-8378. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  21. ^ "CUBA – Race and Equality". Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights. October 1, 2020. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  22. ^ "African-Americans: Blacks in Cuba 'treated with callous disregard' -". Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  23. ^ Robinson, Eugene (November 12, 2000). "Cuba Begins to Answer Its Race Question". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  24. ^ León, Cristina V. Masferrer; Essport, Marcela Suárez. ""I'm Not Sitting Next To You": Education and Racism in Afro-Mexican Communities". Diálogos sobre educación. Temas actuales en investigación educativa. 7 (13): 1–16.
  25. ^ "In Mexico, Racism is Alive and Well". Banderas News. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  26. ^ a b Russell, Benjamin (June 22, 2020). "Mexico's Messy Reckoning With Racism". Americas Quarterly. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  27. ^ "The Hidden Narrative of Racial Inequity in Puerto Rico". Non Profit News | Nonprofit Quarterly. August 26, 2019. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  28. ^ Cruz-Janzen, Marta I. (2003). "Out of the Closet: Racial Amnesia, Avoidance, and DenialRacism among Puerto Ricans". Race, Gender & Class. 10 (3): 64–81. JSTOR 41675088. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  29. ^ "Puerto Ricans Share Personal Stories to Combat the Myth that Racism Doesn't Exist on the Island". Remezcla. June 16, 2020. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  30. ^ "'Racialization works differently here in Puerto Rico, do not bring your U.S.-centric ideas about race here!'". AAIHS. March 3, 2020. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  31. ^ Amparo, Thiago (June 8, 2020). "Why America's Protests Resonate So Deeply in Brazil". Americas Quarterly. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  32. ^ McCoy, Terence (June 28, 2020). "In Brazil, the death of a poor black child in the care of rich white woman brings a racial reckoning". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  33. ^ a b Telles, Edward (October 1, 2020). "Racial Discrimination and Miscegenation: The Experience in Brazil". United Nations. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  34. ^ "Afro-Hondurans". Minority Rights Group. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  35. ^ Nadel, Joshua (June 14, 2014). "Race and racism in Honduran soccer and society". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  36. ^ "Racial Discrimination in Argentina". Dayton University. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  37. ^ Chough, Thomas (May 31, 2018). "My Experience with Racial Tension in Argentina". The Bubble. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  38. ^ "Blackout: How Argentina 'Eliminated' Africans From Its History And Conscience". International Business Times. June 4, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  39. ^ "Racial Discrimination in Argentina". Human Rights Documentation Center. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  40. ^ "Antihaitianismo: Systemic Xenophobia and Racism in the Dominican Republic". Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  41. ^ Planas, Roque (July 7, 2015). "Where Anti-Haitianism In The Dominican Republic Comes From". HuffPost. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  42. ^ Taub, Amanda (June 18, 2015). "Dominican Republic strips thousands of black residents of citizenship, may now expel them". Vox. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  43. ^ "Myth: Hispanics are portrayed accurately on TV". Archived from the original on June 4, 2008. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
  44. ^ Quinonez, Ernesto (June 19, 2003). "Y Tu Black Mama Tambien: Latinos Are Racist, Too. Just Turn On The Tv". Archived from the original on October 27, 2008. Retrieved May 2, 2008.
  45. ^ Fletcher, Michael A. (August 6, 2000). "Racial Bias Charged On Spanish-language Tv". Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  46. ^ "New Series". LATV. Retrieved November 2, 2021.

Further reading[edit]

  • The Afro-Latin@ Project - The Afro Latin@ Project aims to document, promote, coordinate and support the development of Afro-Latin@ studies and grass roots activities in the United States. This primary focus is informed and enriched by the historical and contemporary experience of African-descendant peoples in the Americas.
  • RUSQ Afro-Latino Archives - An extensive list of books, films, memoirs, databases, and articles which provide more insight into the Afro-Latino experience, in and out of the United States.

External links[edit]