After Lin-Manuel issued an apology regarding the lack of Afro-Latinx actors cast in lead roles, I began to read a variety of articles responding to the matter. One particular article from the New York Times stood out to me, titled “‘In The Heights’ and Colorism: What Is Lost When Afro-Latinos Are Erased.” Six authors (Maira Garcia, Sandra E. Garcia, Isabelia Herrera, Concepción de León, Maya Phillips, and A.O. Scott) came together to discuss the film and the topic at hand. I will end my article with a quote by Herrera:
“Latinidad itself is a fraught category because it centers a homogeneous and monolithic conception of ethnicity over the often erased experiences of Indigenous and Black communities. I hope this issue will open the door for these kinds of conversations in public — for my fellow white (and non-Black) Latinos to listen and learn about the history of colorism, to acquire the tools to speak about these issues, and not in a defensive way.”
- Garcia, M., Garcia, S. E., Herrera, I., De León, C., Phillips, M., & Scott, A. O. (2021, June 21). ‘In the Heights’ and Colorism: What Is Lost When Afro-Latinos Are Erased. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/21/movies/in-the-heights-colorism.html.
I think this is the best and only way that we can continue fighting for and with our Afro Latinx community in the entertainment industry. Only when we all continue to work together will we truly be able to have an authentic “Carnaval del Barrio.”