Hispanic heritage month is coming up in a couple of weeks, and it really got me thinking about some of the Latina groups I’ve been apart of.
When I started blogging I did it because I felt completely alone as a new mom. I was dealing with PPD and I didn’t have a support system. I had dealt with depression before but coming from a Latino family I was looked at like I was crazy. Talking to my family about it was not an option.
However what started out as me sharing my personal experiences in becoming a stay at home wife and mother had evolved. There were situations were I needed to tell my back story and how it was shaping me as a mother. Growing up as an Afro-Latina in the south and how confused I sometimes felt. I knew I would have to teach my children about our culture to keep them from feeling the same way.
More importantly in today’s society there are situations that effect us as black people, and also as Latinos.
Overlooked By the Media
On Sunday, July 29, 2018 Natasha Alford wrote a piece for the NY Times. She shared her experiences finding herself as an Afro-Latina growing up around Latinas who didn’t look like her. Experiences that sounded similar to myself and other Afro-Latina women.
In that moment I realized I too had found “friendships” and belonging in online Afro-Latina groups. One of the places has been Instagram. Initially Instagram was just a place I would share random pics of my day. However once I started blogging I started finding other Afro-Latina women. They were moms, influencers, Bloggers, businesswomen and they were so welcoming.
I was able to share my story and guest post with #IAMENOUGH and BoldLatina. I supported businesses by purchasing Afro-Latina t-shirts from Boriqua Chicks, Blatina with the Good Hair, Brown Sugar and Canela. However it didn’t just stop at guest posting and buying shirts. It’s been a support system. I remember on one occasion Jes Perez actually reached out to me after I had messaged her about how inspirational she was. Not only was I surprised when she messaged back but she took it a step further and called me. She was such a genuinely nice person. Not only was she a mentor, but she connected me with companies who she believed would be good for me to work with.
Friendship and Belonging
The women I have met through online Afro-Latina groups have supported my blog, have shared the stories and posts of numerous other Afro-Latina women who like me are out here just trying to be recognized in a world of people who act like we don’t exist. There have been times I have had to leave Latina groups that promoted diversity and unity, but I didn’t feel represented because they wouldn’t showcase any Afro-Latina women. You can’t have a group celebrating Latina women and not represent ALL Latina women.
The Latinas Rising Facebook Group always made me feel like I belonged even though I didn’t live in Houston. Not only was it co founded by an Afro-Latina, but they bring awareness to issues that are often overlooked in our communities. From mental health to major social justice issues. They often post Latina women of all shapes, sizes, and every beautiful shade of brown.
Online Afro-Latina groups
and the friendships I have made have given me a voice. I finally felt like I belonged somewhere. They have allowed me to share my struggles and strengths as an Afro-Latina mom. These women relate and understand, because they too have felt the same things. They have also educated me and allowed me to educate those around me as well.
If you want to follow some of my favorite Afro-Latinas on Instagram here you go!