Sunday, September 22, 2013

Controversy over Black Girl Winning a Latina Beauty Contest


From looking at a wonderful photo of a young Afro-Dominican beauty queen, Jakiyah McKoy, 7, crowned Chiquita Delaware (Little Miss Hispanic Delaware) posted by journalist Dash Harris, there was some speculation expressed about the controversy surrounding the pageant winner. As I myself explored this matter, I learned that the eight finalists, all very intelligent with pleasing personalities, had to demonstrate their talents by dancing or singing, modeling along the catwalk, and answering questions. Ironically, Jakiyah was the only contestant of African heritage, and the only contestant required to prove her lineage as a Latina.

After being announced the winner, there was an uproar stating that she is not the best representative of Latin beauty. It never ceases to amaze me how so many Latinos that I meet in my personal life who are so oblivious to the racial diversity in their own community. I hate to bust some folks bubble, but not all Latinas look like Jennifer Lopez. I’m not Latino, yet I myself have personally met and rubbed elbows Latinos who look like Denzel Washington, Merryl Streep, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Sun-Young-Moon. Where have these folks who criticized the winner been all of their lives assuming you have to be a certain color to be Latino. As I stated on another blog post, I’ve been in Latin-American restaurants and grocery stores in the US, Perú, and Venezuela that were owned and staffed by Chinese, and if I didn’t speak Spanish (or Cantonese), I didn’t eat. It was simple as that!

The pageant winner’s Latin-American bloodline goes back to her grandmother who was born in the Dominican Republic. Jakiyah herself was born in Brooklyn, New York where her mother currently lives. The little Miss Hispanic Delaware currently stays with her father in the city of Wilmington, Delaware. She likes to sing, dance and watch movies with her grandmother. Jakiyah McKoy has one brother, Shad, and a sister, Jamiyah. She loves spending time with her aunts, uncles, and her cousins and loves her godmother Relly. Her favorite pastime is drawing.

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