Skip Nav

These Black, Indigenous Latinxs Challenge Identity Norms

These Black, Indigenous Latinxs Are Challenging Traditional Notions of Identity

These Black, Indigenous Latinxs Challenge Identity Norms
Image Source: Johan Ordonez / AFP via Getty Images

The policing of identity is a common occurrence for the Black Indigenous community. Questions laced with anti-Blackness — for example, inquiring about a person's percentage of "Native blood" — top the long list of attempts made to invalidate the existence of Afro-Indigenous people.

According to white supremacy, a system upheld by Latinidad, there is no room for intersection. Language, ethnicity, gender, nationality, and race are overwritten in favor of Latinx's "shared culture." This forcefully flattens the existence of those on the outskirts of the definition. Hence, Black Indigeneity suffers erasure.

The resistance to Black Indigenous identity is global. Whether zeroing in on the Americas or the continent of Africa, Blackness is seen as separate from Indigeneity; however, Blackness itself is Indigenous. Examining the definition, Indigenous folks are the descendants of those who inhabited a geographical region when people of different cultures or ethnic origins arrived. As writer and author Hari Ziyad points out, Black people are colonized and displaced Indigenous people. "Africans, including those of us born of the diaspora, are an Indigenous population withstanding the same global colonization efforts enacted by white supremacy that has bled its way — quite literally — across the Atlantic, and our lived experiences as colonized and displaced Indigenous people should be recognized accordingly," they said.

In spite of the violent attempts to deny Afro-Indigenous folks access to their identity, they remain, continuing to affirm their full selves and experiences; creating safe spaces to exist, and challenging traditional views on identity. Such is the case with Audrey and Nora Flores, and Vivian Moran, who each have a unique story to share about their identity.

-This story was edited on 10/05/2022

Latest Juntos