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A Story About Race and a Colombian Family: Es Complicado

July 2, 2018

 

My paternal grandfather had a hurtful saying: “Not even my horse is Black, because I’ll lose him at night.” But as life in the land of magical realism would have it, he went on to have several mixed-raced grandchildren.

 

While Dad does not remember any of his mixed-race nephews visiting Abuelo José before he died, the family has managed to fumble its way through coexistence. At times this has been painful, others have produced good memories and a few times have been cathartic.

 

Yes, the issue of race with Latinos is, let’s say, complicated. Even after Abuelo José’s passing during a 1956 national tragedy that killed hundreds in Cali, Colombia, the sting of intra-family prejudice continued doing its share of hurt while simultaneously developing and fraying bonds.

 

Lately in Miami, we have been going through the issue after a Latino theater found that one of its characters, who wore blackface, was hurtful not just to African Americans, but to Black Latinos as well (after pressure, the theatre did away with the offending role). However, this goes deeper than an intercommunity issue. It’s an intra-family issue for Latinos of all backgrounds.

 

Click here to read the entire piece on the Latino Rebels blog. 

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