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"An Ode To Being Blaxican" Shines A Light On An Erased Identity

"You are both, and you don't let nobody tell you different."

"My thing was, be proud of who you are. black, brown—it don't matter. You are both, and you don't let nobody tell you different."

In a video posted by mitú, Dolores Morado, a brown abuelita, tells the story of raising biracial children born of black and Mexican ancestry. Morado seeks to instill a strong sense of cultural identity in her family, blending the two cultures together in her household.

"We went through a lot with my family. They heard that I was pregnant from a black man, and she came over [her aunt]," she explains in the video below, "and she said that I was going to have to be strong in order to be able to raise them, but people were going to talk about them. And then I said to her, 'And they can kiss my ass, then.'"

Morado's grandson has this to say in addition: "The hardest part is knowing where to fit in. Can I really identify with these two groups of people by race? Coming up Black and Mexican, most times people want to tell you, you know, cause they look at you one way, they want you to be easily identified."

Black Latinx people face hyper invisibility and pervasive anti-blackness within their communities. While Latinx people are a rising population in the United States, they are less likely to identify as black according to a 2014 article, as proximity to whiteness means access.

The erasure of black-Mexican identity is particularly troubling. While Afro-Mexican president Vicente Guerrero signed a decree in 1829 banning slavery in Mexico, and escaped slave runaways found refuge across the border, the recognition of such history became blurred centuries later.

Last year, Mexico took a historic step in acknowledging the existence of Afro-Mexicans, in which some 1.38 million people would finally be recognized as being Afro-descendant by the government. The national identity, which was mestizo, ignored the descendants of African enslavement in the country. Afro-Mexicans still face invisibility because of the legacy of Spanish dominance and colonial anti-blackness while fighting for recognition for nearly 15 years. States in Mexico with heavy Afro-descendant populations are Veracruz, Guerrero and Oaxaca.

Profiled in the Los Angeles Times, artist Walter Thompson-Hernandez, who initiated a research project about Blaxican identity, documented those with multicultural identities in 2015. "Blaxicans are dual minorities," he told Ebony Bailey. "We represent two of the largest ethnic minority groups. And I think because Blaxicans represent two of the most aggrieved groups in Los Angeles, it's important to understand that certain sets of issues and challenges that have been traditionally labeled as African American or Latino, ultimately, do not exist for people who self-identify as Blaxicans."

Morado's grandson remains vigilant to keep her family proud of their simultaneous heritages, and challenging anti-blackness, praising his grandmother. "Her pride and resistance, her strength and resilience," he  professes. "The tree that fell in the woods, let out a mighty roar, the world was sure to hear."

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El Chapo's Reportedly Deceived Suppliers To Buy Meth Ingredients

More tea is being spilled in the trial of pseudo-famous Mexican drug lord  Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera. On Monday (Dec. 17), it was revealed in court that El Chapo went to the sister of a Colombian drug trafficker to cop methamphetamine for his Sinaloa drug cartel.

According to the New York Daily News, Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa was one of the witnesses called to the stand during the 61-year-old's criminal preceding in the States. Chapo is being hit with a laundry list of charges including money laundering, conspiracy, firearms and international distribution of cocaine, meth, heroin, and marijuana.

Cifuentes confessed Chapo went behind his back and made a deal with his siblings who are also involved in their illegal activities to be a source for methamphetamine so that he can turn a profit in his business.

Cifuentes said that Chapo neglected the fact that meth is extremely addictive and can damage the physical and mental state of young people who consume it and purchased from his sister and brother, the drug's precursor ephedrine.

“Don Joaquín knows I (didn’t) like to f**k around with ephedrine,” Cifuentes said in the courtroom.

It wasn't until after a plane that carried Colombian-imported cocaine crashed on it's trip to Mexican that Cifuentes' siblings came clean and admitted they took a deal with Chapo as it the ephedrine was also in the cargo of the aircraft.

Cifuentes escaped to Venezuela in 2010 around the time these incidents were going down and changed his mind regarding meth out of desperation for money, saying that “Hunger made me change my mind."

Chapo faces life in prison if convicted of all charges.

READ MORE: A Man Claiming To Be El Chapo's Nephew Threatens To Have Tekashi Mother Deported

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Angela Ponce makes history as the first trans woman to compete for Miss Universe.
Miss Universe

Miss Spain Angela Ponce Becomes First Trans Miss Universe Contestant

Angela Ponce didn’t walk away with the crown during last night’s Miss Universe pageant (Dec. 16), but she did end up being a winner in her own right. Ponce, who represented her country of Spain, is the first transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.

“This is for you, for those who have no visibility, no voice, because we all deserve a world of respect, inclusion and freedom,” the model wrote on Instagram Friday (Dec. 14). “And today I am here, proudly representing my nation, all women and human rights.” Catriona Gray, the 24-year-old Miss Philippines, walked away with the crown over models from South Africa and Venezuela, who came in second and third.

Ponce, 27, was crowned Miss Spain back in June, beating out 22 contestants for the win. At the time of that win, she told The Associated Press, “If my going through all this contributes to the world moving a little step forward, then that’s a personal crown that will always accompany me.”

The pageant, formerly owned by Donald Trump, lifted its ban on transgender contestants in 2012. This is the same year that Jenna Talackova of Canada threatened legal action against the organization, who was rejected because she was not a “naturally born” female.

Congrats on making history, Miss Spain.

 

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Que honor y orgullo poder ser parte de la historia de @missuniverse. Esto es por ustedes, por aquellos que no tienen visibilidad, ni voz, porque todos merecemos un mundo de respeto, inclusión y libertad. Y hoy estoy aquí, representando con orgullo a mi nación, a todas las mujeres y a los derechos humanos. • #missuniverse #missuniverso #confidentlybeautiful #thailand #bangkok #roadtomissuniverse #67thmissuniverse #angelaponce #spain #preliminar

A post shared by ANGELA PONCE (@angelaponceofficial) on Dec 14, 2018 at 5:27am PST

READ MORE: Discrimination, Violence & Death: The Reality For Transgender Women Of Color In 2015

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VIBE/ Nick Rice

18 Best Latinx Albums Of 2018

A number of artists from the scope of latinidad contributed to making 2018 another rich year in music. If hip-hop is the world's most consumed genre, latin pop, reggaeton, latin trap, flamenco and more of the subgenres of Latinx music rested in between.

This includes J Balvin being one of the most streamed artists on Spotify, Cardi B's Invasion of Privacy scoring stellar Grammy nominations, the rising appeal of Harlem rapper Melii, the return of Wisin Y Yandel and Bad Bunny sprinkling the gift that is Latin trap on your getting ready playlists.

But there were also artists who took big risks like Kali Uchis' coy yet forward voice in R&B, Jessie Reyez's dynamic voice and collaborations with the likes of Eminem and many more.

Check out our favorite albums from the best and brightest Latinx artists of the year below.

READ MORE: 25 Hip-Hop Albums By Bomb Womxn Of 2018

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