Sunday, August 19, 2012

Romantic Love Between Blacks & Latinos

When I met Gwen, a fair-skinned Puerto Rican woman of mixed racial ancestry at the church I used to attend, there was a strong mutual attraction. The first time I asked her out, she cheerfully and excitedly gave me her phone number. When I called, her passionate response was, name the time, name the date! And it was on—so I thought! 

After our date, Gwen became very distant refusing to go out with me again saying that it was only an attraction; nothing more. Yet, other church members and I consistently caught her watching me intently from a distance. She even acted somewhat hostile toward another woman whom I started seeing. Word got around the church that Gwen's mother did not want her getting involved with black men; only whites and non-black Latinos; preferably a fellow Puerto Rican.

I've heard of other cases where Latino parents threatened to disown their daughters if they were to marry a black man. As disgusting as this sounds, it seems to be only a minor example of Latin American racism, which so many Latinos I have met deny exists.


R1-17A


Happy marriages between Blacks and Browns, such as the Ormeño family (above) in Perú are much more common and accepted in Latin-American countries than here in the USA.
 
While growing up in New York City where there were a lot of social interactions, cultural exchanges, and political alliances between African-American and Puerto Rican communities, I knew of African-American boys and girls dating Puerto Ricans. I wonder; however, how many of those Puerto Rican boys and girls took their African-American girlfriends and boyfriends home to meet their families over dinner.

In the book Boricua: Anthologies of Puerto Rican Writings, it was pointed out that many Puerto Rican parents told their sons and daughters not to bring blacks home. I'm not sure if that included black Latinos or just African-Americans.

I do know that a lot of black Latino families, not all, encourage their children to improve the race, as they call it, by marrying someone lighter or white so their children will experience less racism. From my personal interactions with Latin-American women, here and in Latin-American countries, it is usually the fair skinned ones, like Gwen and the white ones who seem to take more of an open interest in me. The black ones, as a rule, didn't seem to take me too seriously, with the exception of a couple who wanted what was in my pants [wallet] because I'm a gringo.


Through my own travels to various Latin-American countries, I've observed a lot of interracial dating, marriages, and mixed children through marriage as well as wedlock. However, from my own observation, the interracial relationships are primarily among those in the lower portions of the economic ladder being that “class” is a bigger issue in Spanish-speaking countries than race. 

It was brought to my attention that many non-black, upper class Latin Americans discourage their children from from getting involved with blacks in their own countries, although some do as was alluded to in the first chapter of Laura Esquivel's best-selling novel, Como Agua Para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate), when the father died of a heart attack upon learning that his daughter had a baby by a black Mexican man...

10 comments:

  1. You should definitely do a lot more posts on this, as it is a very hot topic on the internet "black men, latina women"

    But i always find it....ironic...for a puerto rican or Dominican woman to say "dont bring home a black guy" when i hear that Its like Mariah Carey or Vanessa Williams saying to their children dont bring home a black guy.

    People say, but wait Mariah Carey is actually half black and so is Vanessa Williams ....my point exactly. Puerto Ricans (and especially DOMINICANS) are a mixture of African, Indian and Spanish blood but if they happen to have light complexion, long hair, etc etc...they completely disassociate themselves with their African diaspora and then proceed to LOOK down on people of African descent.

    If two half black and half white people have children what are those children? and if those children also have children with other mixed children what are those children? the admixture stays the same...it may show up differently in different generations but it does not dilute the fact that the children are still a good percentage black as they are white.

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    1. Hi Reef,
      Most of the Latina women I've dated “were” black. Blacker than I am. However, we agree on the same thing regarding the African heritage in Latin America, but because of cultural issues, many of them try to camouflage their African heritage. Others try to “improve the race,” as they call it, by marrying someone as white as possible and encouraging their children marry someone as white as possible to dilute their blackness in future generations. They do this feeling that their children,grandchildren, and great grandchildren will experience less racism, if any at all.

      I have a black lady-friend in Ecuador, a grandmother, whom I've visited. If you look at her grandchildren, you would never know they have a Black grandma as her children are married to Europeans.

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    2. Reef, what do you think makes Mariah Carey and Vanessa Williams different in that they not only acknowledge and embrace their African ancestry, but primarily identify with it? They are both light skinned, but can they "camouflage" that heritage any less than many Latina women do?

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  2. I find this topic interesting. I have a lady friend of Puerto Rican descent who doesn't believe she has African heritage. I know it is subjective, but looking at this photo of her, do you think she is in denial?

    http://tinyurl.com/9msusr9

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    1. New York Man,
      I looked at her picture and can see why you say it's a subjective matter. At the same time, I know Latinos personally, who look like her and have a Black grandparent.

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    2. Thanks for your comment, Bill. Do you mean it is not obvious in her case?

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    3. I wouldn't be surprised either way. It doesn't show that she has black roots but it is very possible that she does. I have no judgment.

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    4. All this “race thing” is all so primitive, animalistic, uneducated... from the depth of human stupidity !
      And anyone who actually things he is better than another... is purely and simply an idiot, because he or she too also gets sick and will die one day ! So, where is the “superiority ??

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  3. It may interest you that her husband was African American (I think that was her dating preference.) Unfortunately they broke up, but they have a son.

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  4. Charles Rangal former congressman is African American and Puerto Rican.

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