During the peak of COVID-19, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has taken the world by storm as people have continued protesting police brutality and systematic racism for weeks.
Afro-Latinos are among those most affected by systemic racism. They have been underrepresented in history books, corporate board rooms, and media for years. According to the 2017 U.S. census, there were more than 3 million Afro-Latinos living in the United States.
Over the years the community has increased its visibility by sparking conversation about what it means to be Afro-Latino. A Pew Research Center study has shown that Afro-Latinos make up a quarter of the Hispanic population, yet not all are convinced that BLM concerns them.
South Florida Access reporter Paola Marcano-Bolívar talked to Orlando J. Addison, an Afro-Latino leader and founder of the Ernesto Gamboa Project and the Afro-Latino Excellence Summit. He works on increasing the representation of his community. People who think Black Lives Matter doesn’t affect them are “living in a bubble.” Many constantly feel the pain of discrimination.
The Afro-Latino Excellence Summit recently cited Univision journalist Tony Dandrades. He expressed excitement about being the first Afro-Latino awarded at the summit. This has allowed him to inspire younger members of his community. Dandradres said he constantly advocates for more Afro-Latino inclusion in the Hispanic television and film industry.
Addison and Dandrades agreed that education is vital if society is to move forward on this issue.