It’s time we dropped this preconception of Latinos as being a ‘white’ race like it’s hot

Chocquibtown, a Colombian hip-hop group

The amount of times I have been told that my mother is not allowed to identify as black because she is actually Latino has baffled me for a long time. For context, my mother is from Colombia, as is her family. I, on the other hand, have an English father and was born and raised in London. When I was younger, I would always call my mother black as not only does she appear pretty damn black to most people but also because there was rarely an option to put down a hispanic option when answering what ethnicity I am on forms. However, as I grew up, upon learning that my mother was hispanic, people would tell me that I could not call her black. This attitude is harmful to the Afro-Latino identity, as it promotes racism within the Latino community, despite around 10.6% of the Colombian population being made up of Afro-Colombians. It is officially recognised as an ethnic minority group in Colombia, and are a thriving and vibrant part of the country. There have been a few times where I have been told that if they had not known my mother was from Colombia, they would have called her black. Very recently, some friends have told me that they were not even aware that black people existed in Colombia. Intelligent, educated people. I honestly have to say, I was shocked! I mean, black people are everywhere for starters. This was an eye-opener for me, as I realised that the majority of people, or at least all the people telling me my mother could not be black, thought this way. This is probably due to the fake media who constantly portray Colombians as light-skinned or white. Just take a look at all the gorgeous Colombians you know that call to mind. Shakira. Sofía Vergara. Gabriel García Márquez. Most likely any Colombian friends you may have. This is in no way an attack against light-skinned Colombians or Latinos, but a protest against anyone trying to dictate what my ethnic origin is. This extends to black people around the world who say that hispanic people are trying to culturally appropriate them, or cannot include themselves in their narrative because they are all white. What! Well guess what, you have just been bamboozled because my fellow Afro-Latinos are very much on your side, because they understand. Stay woke, guys.