Difference Between Race And Ethnicity In The Latinx Community


                   Photo Credits to Diego G Diaz / Shutterstock.com

For the past decades, Latinx have managed to put themselves into a box with "Race" on top of it. They try their best to not align themselves with white or black. Many Latinx will try to say they are Latinx, but it doesn't answer the question, "What race are you?"

This question was raised a lot when the Black Lives Matter protest was viral in 2020. You would see many signs that stated, "Latinos for Black Lives Matter." This sign showed that Latinx was a separate race, instead of being considered black or white. When in reality, Latinx/Hispanic is not a race; instead, it is an ethnicity.

Most Latinx and Hispanics are mixed races. They are a mixture of African, European, and even indigenous ancestry. Even though you may think you're only one ethnicity, you probably are a mixture of many cultures because of colonization.

 What Is The Difference Between Race and Ethnicity?

Race is often categorized with biology that affects your physical appearance. Ethnicity is described as someone's culture. According to Harvard University, there are five races: Black, White, Asian, Oceania, and Native American. When ethnicity comes into the question, there are Hispanic, Latinx, Caribbean, French, Italian, etc.

There are many ethnicities in the world that you can think about; however, there are not many races you can be.

What Race Do I Identify With?

When identifying with a race, it is based on your culture's background and choice. In this instance, you will have to research your culture and geographics. Everyone is different, so you can not depend on someone else to tell you what you are. Also, your race can not be based on your complexion. You can have very pale skin, but you could be identified as black.

For example, Dominicans have sub-Saharan ancestry. Their race is classified as race, so it makes them an Afro Latinx. Their race is black, while their ethnicity is Latinx.

Why Does Some Latinx Do Not Acknowledge Their African Roots?

Some members of the Latinx community do not acknowledge their African Roots because of colorism. In their culture, being dark-skinned or having kinky hair is described as "ugly" or "bad" hair."

They were raised to believe that the lighter you are, the more attractive you become. Due to this false belief, Latinx people do not identify as black because they will start to believe they are not a fair representation of their culture or beauty.

This belief is incorrect because being dark skin or having any melanin is beautiful. Any skin complexion is beautiful and should not be discriminated against.

While Afro Latinx are being discriminated against, white-skinned Latin should not also deny their white privilege. They gain benefits from white privilege because they appear to be white. They have to acknowledge that they have it easier than darker-skinned people, instead of discriminating against them.

Are you a member of the Latinx community? Do you identify as Latinx, black, or white? How do you feel when Afro Latinx are discriminated against because of their hair or skin? How do you feel when your family says racial slurs? How can you change this issue in the community?

1 comment

  • Loved reading this! This whole post sheds light on an important topic especially with today. As a black man, I’ve had a hard time both identifying members of the Latinx community, and also struggled on how to educate them. This whole post brings light to a huge question I hear a lot, “are members of the Latinx community allowed to say the n-word?” Just food for a thought. Great job with this queens!

    Malik Clinton

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