“Afro-Latinos” Still Deal with Misunderstanding from Both Sides

Gina Torres

A recent post in Reach Hispanic does a good job at outlining the challenges that “Black Latinos” face every day–in the media, and in ‘real life’

Zoë Saldaña

We’ve covered a number of Latino entertainers at every level in Hollywood who don’t “look Latino”–that is, who don’t conform, by genetics or choice, to the slyly stereotypical few of the dark-hair, dark-eyed, brown-skinned image of an “Hispanic.” Some of them–particularly the ‘white’ Latinos who most closely resemble Europeans–actors like Sara Paxton, Alexis Bledel, and Joanna Garcia Swisher–rarely if ever even have the opportunity to play a Latino role. And others, who most closely resemble African Americans, often find themselves relegated to playing African American roles in general. Zoë Saldaña is one of many performers in this group, and she’s worked very hard to break through that, with roles like Colombiana.

Reach Hispanic has just posted a good piece about the “Afrolatino” issue, using Gina Torres of Suits and Hannibal as an example. When a reporter from Telemundo spoke to her at last year’s ALMA Awards, she was clearly surprised that this beautiful black woman could speak Spanish at all. Take a look:

Duran, writing for RH: ReachHispanic, from the Alcance Marketing Group, uses this as a good stepping-off place to talk about the issue of Latinos who don’t quite ‘look’ Latino, and what an important part of the market and the community they really are. Read the whole article here.