Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Mad Loose Black Latina

I never claimed that racism doesn't exist in the Latino community. On the contrary, I stated that such a belief is a misconception. This perspective is in part because of the fact that race is not discussed in a meaningful way within the mainstream Latino community and media outlets that claim to represent.

Pop culture is probably one of the best ways to gauge where the community is at. El Principe Azul, is the latest Spanish language reality show on Telemundo (owned by NBC which is owned by General Electric). El Principe is like the Bachelor except the bachelor is Leonardo Garcia, the son of telenovela actor Andres Garcia. Latina women from various countries parade in thongs and play truth or dare with Leonardo. The filmed exploits are then shown to the ladies of Leonardo's family, including his mother, grandmother and sister.

A lot of attention has been given to one contestant, Evelyn, an Afro-Latina. What could have been an exploration of racism/colorism within the Latino community as exhibited by Leonardo's mother, instead has turned into minstrel show , with Evelyn used to play out stereotypes of swarthy Latina existence.

Evelyn has been mentally eliminated by Leonardo's mother because of her skin color. She couldn't accept a black grandchild, the Principe's mother states after first meeting Evelyn. Oh but Mami dearest isn't completely racist. On another episode she says she wouldn't have a problem if her son married an Asian woman (Japanese specifically), just not a black woman.

In following episodes (El Principe Azul is shown five days a week), Evelyn has been cast as the most sexually aggressive, earning her the first make out session with Leonardo. She has also been cast as the most confrontational. One scene of Evelyn throwing a chair at another fairer skinned contestant is replayed over and over throughout the show.

This doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of issues surrounding El Principe Azul. The show can be deconstructed on a number of levels. The blatant manipulation of the wanna be princesas , especially the lone Afro-Latina, remains one of the most relevant.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Paul said...

Racism exists in every culture to some degree or other. However, love overcomes it.

8/27/2005 06:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're watching too much TV.

8/27/2005 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I would have saw that show mami. but your right,from the start of slavery in Latin america until now afro-latinos have not been accepted because of the mestizos desire to be more like there european half. But the culture, especially the music that the afro-latinos create are used to promote shows like principe azul, and often clamed by the blancos who have no connection to la rumba ni la bomba in any way. Soy afro-mexicano, y mexico es on of the most racist places against afro-latinos, but they like there cumbia, boleros, salasa, merengue, y reggaeton que viene del negro. So I know exactly what you mean mama,

2/10/2006 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger Ms.Maegan said...

I mean the show was pretty useless unless you were deconstructing the way different stereotypes about race and sexuality were used. So you didn't miss much. ja ja.

2/11/2006 02:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, is the Afromexican population mostly %1-5% of the population. I asked this, because I think the African American community was undercounted at times before the Civil Rights Movement. I know that alot of Afro-Mexicans have blended in with the Mestizo, Spanish, and full-blood Native Population but I would like to know from somebody that is Afro-Mexican. I also asked since you stated you are Afro-Mexican, just curious-if the question offends, sorry.

8/03/2008 03:46:00 AM  

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