Natasha S. Alford, deputy editor of The Grio, is a proud Afro-Latina but she admits it took her some time to get to there. Growing up, according to her op-ed in The New York Times, she questioned if she was truly considered a Latina because of her brown complexion, black frizzy hair and full nose. In her estimation and what is typically showcased through mainstream media, Latinas were fair-skinned, had long blonde or brown wavy or straight hair, small noses and European features. 


PHOTO: The New York Times

Now she recognizes the beauty of Afro-Latinas (or Afro-LatinX people) makes up a larger community who are proud of their African roots and exist all over. Alford says the internet, specifically Instagram, played a big part in her coming to this realization. 

"Sure, a handful of Afro-Latinas in mainstream media do exist — women like the lawyer and commentator Sunny Hostin, the actress Gina Torres and VH1’s 'Love & Hip Hop Miami' star and singer Amara La Negra, who has campaigned against colorism in the Latino community — but they’re few and far between. Filling the gaps are digital communities of Afro-Latina women. We are purposely recognizing one another in ways we’ve never found in popular media representations and sharing images and stories that redefine the narrow Eurocentric definition of Latinidad many of us have consumed for years."

If you are looking to follow more incredible Afro-Latinas on Instagram here’s 10 beauties you need to follow right now: 

MONICA VELOZ 

Monica, known on social media as MonicaStyleMuse, is a beauty-lifestyle blogger who brings her bold, Dominican culture to everything she does. In 2015, she posted a video titled I Am Too Dark To Be Dominican to address negative comments she received after participating in the Latina Tag. 

JANEL MARTINEZ 

There's no place like home. 📷 : @laurasfuchs

A post shared by Janel Martinez (@janelm) on

Janel is a multimedia journalist and the creator of blog Ain’t I Latina. The Afro Honduran-American wanted to create a platform that not only highlighted the voices of Afro-Latinas but also combine her love of pop culture news, lifestyle and current issues. 

AMANDA ALCANTARA

🌸

A post shared by Amanda Alcantara (@yosoy_amanda) on

Amanda is a writer, poet, journalist and co-founder of La Galería Magazine which "encourages dialogue, celebrates the community and inspires action among Dominicans of the Diaspora." The Dominican-American loves to post messages surrounding the experiences of Afro-Latinx in society today. 

DIOMARA DELVALLE 

Diomara is a singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, New York and a proud Panamanian-American with killer vocals, style and vision. 

ALBA RAMOS

Guess what? I’m so over my long hair. I’ve been desiring shorter hair for over a year, but decided to wait until after giving birth to finally change my hair do. I’m looking for good curly stylist in the NY/NJ area. I’m open to suggestions so leave your advice below! I’ll also start doing curly routines again after I cut my hair 👏🏽 #ShortHairGoals ———————————————————————— Adivinen que?… ya me canse de este cabello largo. Por más de un año estado deseando cabello más corto. Pero decidí esperar hasta después de tener a mi hija. Si tienen alguna recomendaciones con estilistas de cabello rizado en el area de NY/NJ comenten abajo. También volveré hacer mis rutinas/video de cabello rizado después de mi corte porque de verdad no e tenido el animo. 👏🏽 #CambioDeLook

A post shared by Alba Ramos (@sunkissalba) on

Alba, popularly known as SunKissAlba, was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in NYC. Her parents made sure to maintain her Dominican roots as she grew up and she relates those roots through the posts she creates as a beauty/lifestyle content creator. 

JULIET CASTENEDA 

Juliet, known as JuJu, is a Cuban-American actress, author, business owner and more. She is known for her recurring appearance on Love & Hip Hop: Miami but she is more than a reality show personality. 

ELIZABETH ACEVEDO

Elizabeth the author of the New York Time best-seller THE POET X. The Afro-Dominican writer has been writing and performing practically her whole life and is an avid lover of reading/writing naturally. 

VERONICA BONILLA

Veronica is a Puerto Rican fashion blogger who specifically focuses on styles for petite women. 

MASSIEL ARIAS

If you want to succeed, you’ll have to keep moving forward even when circumstances weigh heavy on your shoulders. It is in fact, a matter of who is persistent enough to not get discouraged when their world is holding them back. One of the reasons people give up so fast is because instead of looking at how far they have come, they are still sabotaging themselves with how far they still have to go. If you are persistent enough, you will reach it. But it will take consistency to maintain it. Even when you find yourself at a point in your life where you have reached your goals, it will take a relentless person to keep it going. Be tougher than the challenges life throws at you, because you won’t get much done in your life, if you only work hard when everything is going in your favor. Fight. 📷 @simonneedhamphotography www.massyarias.com #mawarrior #ma30day #childofGod ________________________________________________ Si quieres tener éxito, tendrás que seguir avanzando incluso si tus circunstancias pesan mucho sobre tus hombros. De hecho, se trata de quién es tan persistente como para no desanimarse cuando su mundo los está reteniendo. Una de las razones por las cuales las personas se dan por vencidas tan rápido es porque en vez de mirar qué tan lejos han llegado, todavía se están saboteando con lo lejos que todavía tienen que ir. Si eres lo suficientemente persistente, lo alcanzarás. Pero se necesitará consistencia para mantenerlo. Incluso, cuando hayas llegado a un punto en tú vida en el que hayas alcanzado tus objetivos, necesitarás ser implacable para mantenerlo. Sé más duro que los desafíos que te plantea la vida, porque no conseguirás mucho en tu vida, si solo trabajas duro cuando todo va a tu favor. Lucha. Vamos a aplastarlo mañana. 📷 @simonneedhamphotography www.massyarias.com #hijadecristo

A post shared by MankoFit 🇩🇴 (@massy.arias) on

Fitness bae, affectionately known as Massy, is a popular Dominican fitness trainer/health coach. If you’re looking for fit-spiration, just scroll down her feed! 

CALMA CARMONA

🐍 🌚 more merch dropping soon💦

A post shared by Calma Carmona (@calmacarmona) on

Myraida Desireé Carmona, who goes by Calma, is a Puerto Rican singer-songwriter who proudly rocks locs and embraces her soul sound. 

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