HBO Def Jam Poetry alum Carlos Andrés Gómez is what some would call “fair-skinned” with piercing green eyes. Let him tell it—he’s Latino to the bone.
Like many writers whose personal is political, the Colombian author let his pen bleed and his voice resonate when he felt an urgency to respond to what a woman asked him a few years ago after one of his many performances.
“After the show she asked me: ‘Carlos Andrés Gómez is your stage name, right? I mean I’ve never met a Hispanic who looks like you, so, uh, what’s your real name?’” he opens at the famous Nuyorican Poets Café.
The poem has accumulated nearly 900,000 views on Facebook since Mitú shared it on May 13. “If your name is always mispronounced or people say you don’t ‘look like’ one of your identities,” Gómez tells us, “I wrote this poem for you.”
And while Gómez is certainly bringing into conversation the many layers and complexities that make up the fabric of Latinidad, “the piece is really for anyone who has ever been reduced to a dehumanizing stereotype by someone.”
Watch him brilliantly sound off: