Everybody wants to see themselves in movies and TV shows. It’s only natural. And since I knew the people behind the In The Heights movie—what they look and sound like, I mean—I already knew what the people in the movie would look and sound like. It would’ve come as a pleasant surprise, a great shock even, had the main characters been plum black. But, in the end, that light-skinned Latinos sing and dance in a movie produced by light-skinned Latinos, shouldn’t be news to anyone.
So if we negritos wish to see ourselves represented in movies and shows, then, clearly, we will have to be the ones to do it.
Moviemaking is notoriously difficult, of course, and damn-near impossible for white people already. Harder still for white Latinos. But when you consider the many additional obstacles placed before Black Latinos—systemic racism, conjoined with capitalism, plus the shadism—the prospect of Black Latinos producing a decent film makes Hercules’ cleaning out those stables and pinning that bull seem like light work by comparison. Such is the world, and a Black Latino’s lot in life.
Create, or die trying. There is no other way.