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Alt.Latino Extra: Being Unapologetic, Being Afro-Latina

As an Afro-Latina, Celia Cruz has impacted the music industry and world.
Scott Gries
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As an Afro-Latina, Celia Cruz has impacted the music industry and world.

We can't talk about Afro-Latinidad without talking about Afro-Latinas.

Living at the intersection of multiple identities, Afro-Latinas in the U.S. navigate issues of race, gender and immigration. For some, identity is everything.

On this Alt.Latino Extra, we speak with Janel Martinez, founder of the blog Ain't I Latina. Martinez says that growing up, she would read magazines like Ebony and watch novelas from around Latin America — but none of the characters or stories ever matched her reality, that of an Afro-Latina. This motivated her to create her blog as a space to highlight and celebrate Afro-Latinas.

Martinez not only talks with us about belonging, empowerment and unapologetic tumbao, but she also brought in some fly tracks. From classics like Celia Cruz to up-and-coming artists like Latasha Alcindor, tune in as we celebrate Afro-Latinas this Black History Month.

--Jessica Diaz-Hurtado

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Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.
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