Blaxicans: Closing Gaps Among African-Americans And Latinos

Written by Jae Jones

An ethnic group that is often neglected but is prominent throughout many communities are the Mexicans, or Blaxicans. There are so many people who identify themselves with the race one that is often referred to as Afro-Mexicans as well. Walter Thompson-Hernandez explained  to teleSurtv, that Afro-Mexican is an identity of his African roots as well as the land lived on, though claimed by America, and belongs historically to the original Mexican people. Hernandez is the child of an African-American man and non-black Mexican woman.

Hernandez was quoted telling teleSur that “When we think of race, people tend to conflate ethnicity and race, and tend to think of the two as one.” “We have to recognize that Blackness in this country is usually described and understood in the African-American experience. We cannot sit here and make excuses for the experience. It is important to recognize other experiences like that of Afro-Latinos, who are often not considered Black in this country.” Although, the two cultures intertwined they are still very different from one another. The music, culture, and food, might be Mexican and quite different from foods of the African experience.

Thompson-Hernandez describes his community strictly segregated, Afro-Latinos are often intergrated with African-Americans and Latinos in Los Angeles. However, they have to identify as either being on or the other. It is hope that through people telling their personal experiences that they realize they do not have to be one or the other they can in fact embrace both sides. It is important for people to do this in order to accept their heritage as a whole. For Thompson-Hernandez to claim the Blaxican identity is a “political and revolutionary act,” adding that people are challenging U.S. racial classifications. “I am not just African-American, I am not just Latino, I am actually Blaxican,” Hernandez stated to teleSurtv.

The big concern among Blaxicans is how to identify themselves to their young children. It is something when young children see some relatives being deported by to another country, while their African-American relatives are being gunned downed in the streets just because of the color of their skin. It is still work that has to be done within the African-Americans, Blaxicans and Mexican communities.

They have to learn how to get along within their own circle and expect who they are and explain it to their children in a way that they can be proud of who they are and their heritage background. Myths such as Latinos are immigrants moving into the country to steal the African-Americans jobs has to stop. There is no better person to help stomp out some of the myths about both cultures than Blaxicans.

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About the author

Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

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