LaLa says It Loud and Proud: “I’m Puerto Rican Dammit… Get It Right!!!”

- By Bossip Staff Categories: For Your Information, Interviews, News

It is obvious that LaLa is tired of people mistaking her for being black or even mixed, so she decided to write an essay on it:

A lot of people don’t realize that I’m Latina, which is fine. One thing about being Latina is that there isn’t one look that comes with the territory. I don’t expect people to know my cultural background just by glancing at me. I do, however, expect that when I tell people my family is from Puerto Rico, that I will be believed and not accused of trying to be something that I’m not. It usually goes something like this: a person having a conversation with me discovers one way or another that I’m Puerto Rican and fluent in Spanish. That person then expresses their shock over these realizations for any number of reasons—common responses are, “You don’t look Latina” and “I thought you were black!” I never said I wasn’t black. And since when does being black and being Latina have to be mutually exclusive?

In my experience, people tend to have an uninformed and rather narrow view of what it means to be Puerto Rican. For me, not looking like some people’s idea of a typical Latina has been challenging and often painful. I constantly find myself trying to justify who I am, and why should I? I’m proud of my heritage and my family. Both of my parents are from Puerto Rico. They raised two kids in Brooklyn and later in New Jersey, where we ate arroz con gandules and pasteles and listened to salsa music. I feel just as at home in Puerto Rico, where I still have tons of family, including aunts, uncles and cousins. Puerto Rico is in my blood. And that has nothing to do with the color of my skin.

I’m not angry with anyone who doesn’t understand the complexities of race and culture. And I’m also not interested in having long, drawn out conversations about how it’s possible for me to look like this and speak Spanish. In fact, sometimes I make it a point not to mention my parents’ birthplace because I don’t always feel like having the inevitable discussion that follows. Instead, I let people look at me and come to their own conclusions. As I start to get my feet wet in Hollywood, I already know that there are certain parts I won’t even be considered for. The character can be Puerto Rican and speak Spanish just like me, but Hollywood defines Latina as Jennifer Lopez and Sofia Vergara. As beautiful as they are, we’re not all one race in Latin America. But I don’t go to auditions so that I can give history lessons to film executives. I’d rather skip the entire process.

I’m raising my son to understand who he is, and it’s my hope that he’ll never let others define him. It reflects poorly on us when we don’t educate ourselves about the rest of the world and what it looks like. I encourage people who are interested to learn more, do research and ask informed questions. If you’re lucky enough to visit various countries in Latin America, you’ll be baffled to see the blackest of the black and the lightest of the light living together. And I dare you to ask one of them to prove their latinidad.

LaLa says she’s not angry but it sure doesn’t come across that way. The only people she needs to prove her race and culture to is… NOBODY!!! People are always going to talk… As long as she knows and her family knows, that is all that matters.

Source

Comments

  • Hannibal

    GOOD FOR HER, DOES SHE WANT AN AWARD OR
    SOMETHING?

  • itzgood

    Big Whoooop!

  • Scotia Womack

    Okay. LALA THE LATINA……. {whatever}

  • SIP

    Okay…and?????????

  • GET MULA

    AND! …SO YOU WILL HAVE A MUSTACHE WHEN YOUR 40, NEXT!! THATS WHAT I HATE ABOUT LATINA GIRLS. THEY WANT BLACK DIX AND BLACK MONEY BUT THEY WANT TO CALL MY SON JULIO. GTFO!!! JULIO CAN’T DUNK, RAP, OR STICK 11 INCHES IN YOUR BIRTH CANAL.

  • Somali Ninga

    SOMALIA!!!
    anyways i really don’t care about attention ho lala vacoules!!!!
    EVERYONE knows there are lightskin darkskin black latinos!! If you don’t then you better read a damn book!! Everyone knows Rosario Dawson and Zoe Saldana are latina but no body cares about who you are because ur a c-lister…

  • Sylmarvelous

    I thought she was Dominican! lol!

  • lola

    uh did we read the same thing…didn’t she say she’s not trying to say she’s not black..and she also made it a point to say that latin america is not all one race…good for you LaLa..

  • Dirty Diana...Let Me Be ♪

    It is obvious that LaLa is tired of people mistaking her for being black or even mixed
    _________________________________________________

    um, being Puerto Rican is a NATIONALITY and has nothing to do with being black or mixed😐

  • GET MULA

    Let me tell you something about Latinos. Dark skinned Latin women are very very insecure. The have to give up the pu..sy to be accepted. If her son tried to claim Puerto Rican…LOL The would laugh their azz off (just go to Miami). If u can’t be f”cked, they will starve you. I been around the world. I’m eexposing these frauds.

  • nuyoricanson

    im impressed with lala’s ‘essay. She sounds strong and intelligent. It’s refreshing to see a more personal side of celebrities and its even better if they can articulate themselves with eloquence. it’s too bad even though LaLa is successful she still has to encounter so much ignorance.

    “It reflects poorly on us when we don’t educate ourselves about the rest of the world and what it looks like.”

    this women has a good head on her soldiers. carmello better hold on to her.

  • UrHeinessDaQueen

    I actually like how she expressed her thought & I totally can relate to what she’s saying..I too am a black hispanic & often have come across ppl who are either ignorant or just choose to act like they’re unaware that hispanics come in different shades just like black ppl. & yes,unfortunately the media tends to display certain hispanic women as the only representation of the culture like the women Lala mentioned above amongst others.Anyways I’m still a black women regardless & proud🙂

  • Renee

    Why is she important enough for anyone to care.

  • oxy gentles

    I dont see where she is denying being black. Its just that people tend to think if you are not J-lo’s color and lighter you cant be hispanic. Alot of americans think if you are black you cant be Puerto Rican.

  • UrHeinessDaQueen

    puertorrican is only a nationality not an actual race…black is black no matter what part of the globe you come from…There are black hispanics,black caribbeans,African Americans,Africans etc

  • http://www.musicplustv.com Shannon

    SHEESH Lala you’r ethnicity is “Latina” but your race is BLACK!

  • http://bossip Keep it Real

    HOLLYWEIRD IRONY. You have this young latin woman of African descent who is considered TOO DARK to play the “cute latin” girlfriend/wife. She does not want to be considered an African American woman but the only acting jobs that she can get are playing the “cute African American” girlfriend/wife. And then you have the African American woman who can only get the “angry/prositute/drug addict/obese” African American acting roles because she is considered TOO DARK to play the “cute African American” girlfriend/wife. Sad

  • Niko

    So why is this biiittch representing black journalism!!!!

  • DEMI

    Why didn’t she simply say I am a black Latina? Case closed. We know this, man !!!

  • Gmen

    Shannon

    nah she’s not black latino she’s mixed latino

  • T

    Wow! This must be a touching subject to many of you on this sight. i think that Lala just wanted to be clear on who and what she is and stands for i can respect her for this..to the rest of u…please relax

  • Somali Ninga

    the word “race” is politicallt incorrect!! It’s all about ethnicity!! and lala is AFRICAN just like all you african americans and afro-caribeans!! DONT GET IT TWSITED!!!!

  • iREAD

    AMERICA REALLY HAS PEOPLE CONFUSED. WHY ARE PEOPLE SAYING BLACK & PUERTO RICAN IN THE SAME SENTENCE. WHEN ONE IS CLEARLY DEFINING CULTURE (PUERTO RICAN) AND THE OTHER ETHNICITY (BLACK). IM AMERICAN AND IM BLACK. AND BILL CLINTON IS AMERICAN AND HIS WHITE. SO IF I SAID IM NOT AMERICAN IM BLACK HOW MUCH SENSE WOULD THAT MAKE????? ITS SAD, OFTEN TIMES “LATINOS” AS SHE PUT IT ARE SO PRIDEFUL AND DONT KNOW SHIT. SORRY TO SAY IT BUT ITS NOT A RACE. ITS A MIXTURE OF OTHER RACES ALWAYS HAVE AND ALWAYS WOULD BE. AND FOR THE RECORD SPANISH PEOPLE ARE FROM SPAIN. THEY ARE WHITE!! WE ALL REMEMBER THE MOST FAMOUS SPAINARD RIGHT? CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS…SHEEESSHHH

  • Somali Ninga

    @ Realest
    DUDE race doesn’t mean anything!! We’re part of the HUMAN RACE!!!! It’s all about ethnicity!!!

  • sara

    You ARE black FOOL! Im black and born in london, dont make me white… get a grip it is not that serious! mscheeew

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