Monday, January 26, 2009


I have been spending the last couple of days thinking about why I really started this blog. What is the purpose of me writing to a few friends and virtual strangers. When I lived in NYC, I used to blog everyday about life as a New Yorker. I would write about my various mis-adventures in the subway or my experience with how crappy America Online was. Come to think of it there was no cable modems or wireless routers that I have come to enjoy so much. But, I digress. When I finally chose my career path, the time that I once had for writing disappeared.

The last few years have been very challenging for me personally and professionally and what I have discovered is that I did not have a way to express myself. I wrote a few short stories here and there, even did some poetry. All, which I must say, are rather good. But blogging just does something that the other forms of writing doesn't. It is about maintaining a certain discipline. I made such a broad sweeping resolution for New Years which I can only describe as me redefining who I am.

A part of that is me being able to finish something I start, which is hard to do when you are writing a story long or short. Then, there is the part of me that looks for gratification in pleasing others. Some would consider me a pretty nice guy, however I am not writing this blog for the benefit of others. I write for me. To say that I do not care if people read my blog or not would be false. I welcome the criticism because it would make me better. Then it hits me. I want to be better at everything. I felt for years I have just been passing through life just being average. Because I can get away with it.

The best advice I have received was from Juno Diaz, the Pulitzer prize author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, who came to speak at Syracuse University. In his talk, he expressed that he simply did not care about what people thought about his writing. He wrote because that is what he loved to do. Juno was going to do it his way and take as long as he wanted until his writing was good enough to satisfy himself. If you ever read his books, then you would know how amazing he truly is.

The funny thing is, I wanted to be a comic book writer. I wanted to write stories about Latino superheros from the Bronx that saved the world a dozen times over. Even as a kid, I knew that dark Latinos were not represented in any form of entertainment outside of Baseball. Which brings me to the other reason for the blog. I call myself a latinegro, which can be described as a Negro Latino, or a Afro-Latino, or just black. I have come to understand how I am placed in this world, particularly when I started taking Masters Courses in Race and Ethnicity. I have very radical opinions about my people. I once had my father tell me not to date a black woman, in which I can only respond, "that is hard to do when I look like my mother".

Let this not be about my father or any of my family since they are just cogs in a larger society that tells them that having lighter skin is just better. I mean, look at Univision and Telemundo and tell me how many Afro Latinos you see in the Novelas? Better yet, name 5 famous Latino Negros that are not David Ortiz or Rosario Dawson? Here is the best question of the night...Have you ever seen a black Mexican?

I am writing this blog because the truth hurts.


Brooke said...

That's a good question - I don't think I ever HAVE seen a Black Mexican....hmmm....

Anonymous said...

It's true and I relate because growing up --- kids thought I was "too" dark to be Latina but I had "good" hair so I couldn't be Black. Add into that the complicated relationship Latinos have with race and ethnicity and there were more question marks than answers.

When I got to private school in 8th grade (and I could count how many of "us" were in my grade on two hands with fingers to spare), I realized for myself that it was very important to identify equally with both and to become educated on both those identities and what they mean to me.

E.Payne said...

Profound. The same complexities exists within the community of regular old black folk when it comes to complexion. And it's equally damaging.

Write on, brother. Blogging is therapy (free) unlike any other therapy I've ever heard of.


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