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.
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.”
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.
Thankfully, these claims have been met with outrage by fans and followers, many of whom called out the ignorance behind such rumors.
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.