By Jenay Wright– I look into the mirror and see what reflects is my mocha brown skin. As I run my fingers through my hair it tangles to the ends. I move closer to the mirror and gaze into my dark brown eyes. Then I gently play through my brown medium length hair. I am brown everywhere. I am okay with that but is everybody else.
The India Arie song Brown skin slowly plays through my ears, as I closely listen to the lyrics.
You know I love your brown skin
I can’t tell where yours begins
I can’t tell where mine ends
Brown skin, up against my brown skin
Need some every now and then
I have brown skin and I embrace my shade and my face. So why can’t you? Get it out of your head that all Latina’s are lighter skin and ancestors originate from Spain. I can tell you now that is not 100 percent true. My ancestors came from Jamaica, India and parts of Africa and I am amazed by that. It’s so important for me to embrace being of Panamanian decent and being an Afro-Latina in America.
I encourage everyone to get to know their culture and their background it is incredible what you will find out. My blood and my genes run through so many places. I think we could just call that diversity.
When I think of what a Latina really looks like I can’t even give you one clear description or even tell you what she looks like. There are so many colors that we could probably make our own Crayola box dedicated to the multiplicity of Latinas.
I do love my brown skin. I love being a brown woman; I embrace my brown beauty. I love being a brown woman in America. I love being a brown Black woman. If that makes sense. I would love being a brown Latina woman. I use the word “would” because sometimes I question if there are other women like me who are okay with being a brown Latina. I believe when people hear Latina, they almost never attach the shade of brown to it.
They never acknowledge it or you find yourself as a brown Latina woman having to break it down. There are brown Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Costa Ricans, Brazilians, Mexicans, Panamanians and Columbians shall I really continue. We all come with different shades complexions hair textures, colors and sizes. We can’t all possibly look the same. Where is the fun in that? I think Latina speaks and reflects for a broader audience. No matter if you have brown skin or cream skin or dark skin, or if you’re all in one there is more to a Latina then just the color of her skin.
We have our culture, our music, our traditions and our languages and even that it is all represented differently. So stop asking yourself over and over if you are Latina enough. You are enough whether you’re a Latina, African American, Middle Eastern, Native American, Indian, Asian the list can go on. Just say it with me one time, “I am enough.”