Since the inception of time (or at least it appears so), people of color have had to deal with the age-old issues of racism and colorism. These two first cousins seem to tirelessly rear their ugly heads, constantly being an unnecessary road block to Black people worldwide realizing their dreams, trying to enjoy the same type of privileges as whites do. Amara La Negra of Love and Hip Hop: Miami is a prime example of how these issues effect everyday lives.
Being in the spotlight, artistes such as Amara La Negra have become vocal on the issues, of racism and colorism. She currently uses the reality TV show Love and Hip Hop: Miami as a platform to voice her opinions and experiences, both as a Latina and African-American woman. Amara also explains how colorism and racism affect people who look and sound like herself.
Amara La Negra: Growing Up Black-tina
Having roots in the Caribbean Island of the Dominican Republic, the LHHM star was born in Miami, Florida. In her interview with NBC News, La Negra explains how racial slurs such as “la negra esta” (this black woman) are used, even in her own Dominican community.
Despite this strong presence of racism, Amara La Nagra, whose real name is Dana Danelys De Los Santos, wears her skin color with pride, so much so that she defiantly adopted the stage name Amara La Negra. If you don’t know, this translates to: “immortal” (Amara – Latin) and “the black woman” (la negra – Spanish).
Amara also recounted her life growing up, as she would be referred to in school as a “monkey” because of her skin color. She, however, credited her strength and confidence to her mother, Ana Maria Oleaga. Her motivating words would encourage her to love herself to love her skin:
“You’re beautiful, you’re strong, you’re a queen, don’t let anybody make you feel like you are less.”
Racism and Colorism: How Black is Portrayed in Media
The Love and Hip Hop: Miami Afro-Latina also expressed shock and disappointment over the portrayal of Blackness in the media. According to Amara La Negra, African Americans are usually painted in a negative image such as being gangsters and prostitutes.
She attributes this stereotype to having a lack of positive representation of African Americans in the media. Amara speaks of a certain news station had a Caucasian-dominated presence, with only one person of color, who she describes as being “not too dark.”
The Afro-Latina artist feels that this tactic is used to ensure that the public does not perceive them to be racist. Yet, technically this is a form of racism and colorism Black people have dealt with throughout history.
Amara La Negra: Going Forward
In spite of the challenges she faces as a result of her race and skin color, Amara La Negra is determined to crossover from the Latin American music market, where she has successfully made a name for herself, to the US Hip Hop scene.
Confident and resilient, Amara hopes to become a huge Hip Hop success as she ventures into new waters – without conforming to European beauty standards.