Representation Matters

While the country grapples with racial injustices, Afro-Latinos are often overlooked in media and politics. Ilia Calderón, author and Univision anchor, talks about the Black Lives Matter movement, and the need for visibility and representation.

AIRED: October 06, 2020 | 0:02:15

I'm Latina and I am Black. That's my race.

At one point in my life, when I came to the United States,

sometimes, I struggled to identify myself.

Sometimes we are too Black to be Hispanic

or too Hispanic to be Black.

And there was a struggle, I think

everybody has to go through here in the United States.

It's like we are a minority within a minority,

and our issues fade away

within the issues of the Hispanic community.

We just started having more visibility

thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement.

We struggle to visualize the stories of the Afro-Latinos

because, to tell you the truth,

the non-Black Hispanics grew up thinking

that we are just a group of abandoned people,

they are not used to listening to our stories.

So, it is hard work to try to put those stories out

and raise awareness of the issues that we go through.

I think having Black people on TV matters.

Representation matters.

When Kamala Harris was announced

as the pick for Joe Biden's ticket,

we worked a little late that day.

And my daughter said, "Why are you late?"

I said, "Well, it's Kamala Harris,

she wants to be the vice-president of the United States."

She said, "Who's Kamala Harris, the one that looks like us?"

And then, I realized how important--

not I realized, but it confirmed

how important the screen is, and what your kids see

and what your kids watch.

So, it is amazing that I am here,

but my job is not done until I have more people

working in the Hispanic media,

and more Afro-Latinos working in the Hispanic media.