Earlier this week, Dominican singer Amara La Negra went viral after the premiere of Love & Hip-Hop: Miami, when she schooled producer Young Hollywood, who challenged her Afro-Latinidad and insinuated her natural hair was keeping her from being “elegant and breathtaking.” The incident introduced her to a whole new audience in the U.S. and beyond, and many took to social media accusing the young artist of blackface.
Amara la Negra looks like a white woman in blackface.
— a habitual line stepper (@shegreentea) January 3, 2018
Amara La Negra looks like she’s wearing black face.
— ❤️ (@__BRAT_) January 4, 2018
Am i the only one who feels like amara la negra looks like she’s in blackface? Like idk it doesn’t look like her real skin color, it looks like she been spray painted or some
— Fashion Queen Vee✨ (@Savage_Glam) January 4, 2018
I don’t know what it is about Amara La Negra, but for some reason she looks like a white person in blackface to me.
— Naomi (@ToughCrowd) January 4, 2018
Bro I’ll be honest that amara la negra shorty looks like she in black face. Like… I know she not but when I saw that video of her and the disrespectful producer, I couldn’t help but feel like she was just a shorty in black face
— dannyphoto (@_dannyphoto_) January 4, 2018
Many speculated that Amara takes melanin shots or spray-tans herself to darken her skin, and some even suggested that she isn’t Latina at all. Yesterday, in response to these critiques, Amara La Negra posted an Instagram video of herself as a child to disprove some of the rumors. “I guess I was born in a ‘Black Face Body!,’” reads the caption. “These days you gotta explain it all…I’m being questioned every single part of my body.”
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Well Yea I guess I was Born in a “Black Face Body!” Its funny that I even have to go through this and show you baby pictures or videos to prove to blogs and people on social media that my skin color is not airbrushed or spray tanned nor do I take melanin shots to be black! This shit is hilarious however this is one of my favorite baby videos. I started when I was four years old doing beauty pageants, working on TV, commercials, etc. I have always been sassy & confident! Iv always been Naturally curvy Hips, Thighs, butt lol Thanks Mom/Dad lmao.. and Yess Thats My Hair! Back Then I used Braids… ( These days you gotta explain it all… Im Being Questioned every single part of my body )
During a recent promotional interview, The Shaderoom’s Angie Nwandu asked Amara about the blackface accusations, which she dismissed. “It’s really important to me, being on this show to educate and inform people about Afro-Latinos,” she said, noting that her fellow Love & Hip Hop: Miami star Trina is also Afro-Latina.
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Who is The Fake Spanish Girl? ♀️ So My Girl from the @theshaderoom Asked me about the whole “AMARA LA NEGRA IS DOING BLACK FACE” controversy thats been said about me all over social media… During an Exclusive Interview with @trickdaddydollars & @trinarockstarr #LHHMIA #LHHMIAMI
Thankfully, these claims have been met with outrage by fans and followers, many of whom called out the ignorance behind such rumors.
Honestly this season is correcting my ignorance. After seeing pictures of Amara La Negra I thought it was a black face situation, didn’t know Latina’s like her existed. We learn every day #LHHMIA
— U (@TheUwaniAliyu) January 4, 2018
Hold on a second. Are people really accusing Amara La Negra of being in black face/fake Spanish like if there aren’t BLACK DOMINICANS, PRs, Cuban, Brazilian, Mexican……? People questioning ones blackness bc it doesn’t fit your idea of black is ignorant as hell y’all
— C:hristina (@divinetechygirl) January 5, 2018
So first there’s no such thing as AfroLatinx and now she’s in blackface? Amara La Negra’s role on lhh Miami is so important I can’t wait for her to shine a light on the intense racism in the Latinx community no one ever wants to address
— bobby houston (@halfdeadshorty) January 5, 2018
Let's get down to it:
People are saying Amara La Negra is in Blackface because y'all can't FATHOM the beauty and versatility of the Black woman. Y'all always gotta attribute a black woman's beauty to us being mixed or some shit. That's a problem.
— Rose (@__rockytee) January 5, 2018
So why I go on ig and I hear that people think Amara la Negra is doing black face… it's not a façade, there is such thing as Afro-lantinos people. Ya still don't get it. We come in all shapes, sizes, and shades believe or not ♀️. We're not all Sofia Vergaras
— Jo So Waveyy (@Lyfeofjojo) January 5, 2018
It’s sad that Amara La Negra has to prove her blackness because people believe she’s too pretty to be a real dark skin person. That’s what it boils down too. I can’t believe they think she’s in black face. #LHHMia
— DeVon (@NeesieDeVon) January 5, 2018
Issues of racism and colorism have long existed in Latinx communities, but they aren’t often part of the mainstream conversation, and the incident between Amara La Negra and Young Hollywood has started more of a dialogue about these problems outside of our world. Notably, some of the Twitter users who claimed she was in blackface were also black or of African descent, evincing how difficult it has been for audiences to distinguish between race and ethnicity, and how crucial it is to have Afro-Latinx representation – like Amara – in the media.
In 2016, Amara was actually a victim of blackface when Aquí Se Habla Español hostess and former Nuestra Belleza Latina contestant Geisha Montes de Oca imitated her by wearing an afro wig, hip pads, and dark makeup. Amara La Negra is on a mission to give visibility to Afro-Latinxs, and it comes with the expense of putting herself on the spot and having her roots constantly questioned and ridiculed. She’s doing the hard work for all the people who look like us.