Entertainer and current star of Love & Hip Hop: Miami Amara La Negra has used her platform not only to share her musical talents, but to break down the misrepresentations in the Afro-Latin community. The singer faced several hiccups during her recent visit to The Breakfast Club when she opened up on her struggles in the industry over the color of her skin.
On Monday (Jan. 22), the singer was met with debate by co-hosts Charlamagne Tha God and DJ Envy about colorism in America and the Latin community. “If you’re Latina, you have to look like J.Lo, Sofia Vergara, Shakira, etc., but when you look like me it’s, ‘You don’t look Latina enough,'” she explained. “Why aren’t we on magazines? Why aren’t we on movies? It bothers me. I don’t think you should change the way you look to succeed. It’s my place to let people know, ‘Hey, you are beautiful.'”
La Negra may seem like a newcomer to viewers, but the singer has been working in the music industry since the age of 4. Despite awing fans with her music, she’s also been the target of mockery. Just last year, the host of TV series Aquí Se Habla Español wore blackface, an afro wig and butt pads in order to imitate La Negra. There’s also the current gripe she has with a producer on LHHMIA who believed her natural looks needed to be changed so she can achieve commercial stardom.
Nonetheless, La Negra’s stories seemed to be discredited by Envy and Charlamagne because they weren’t visible to them (despite Charlamagne having conversations around the topic last year). “I don’t even see that in Hollywood,” Charlamagne said. “I think times have changed a lot. Are you sure it’s not in your mind?” Keeping her composure, La Negra shared how important representation is for women of color after the hosts tried to use Cardi B and Issa Rae as examples of successful women who were either Latin or of a deeper shade.
“I popped up in the Dominican Republic and the music traveled but it took a long time for that to happen,” La Negra explained. “The concept is not the same. Even looking at social media, and reading the comments, I know I’m not the only one. Others have said, ‘We felt it, we just didn’t want to say anything, we felt comfortable staying in the shadows.’ I don’t. You have to take the good with the bad and I’ve been hit with backlash, but I’ll take it.”
Social media reaction was also swift to the interview.
Its soo Hard! I have so much pressure over my shoulders but at the end of the day talking about my own experiences, Struggle ect. Can Help and Inspire other people!
— A M A R A (@AmaraLaNegraALN) January 22, 2018
I don't know much about Amara La Negra, but she definitely deserved more respect than she received on The Breakfast Club. Everything she said was basically shot down by DJ Envy and Charlamagne. Disrespectful.
— ᴅᴏʟʟᴀʀ (@callmedollar) January 22, 2018
Unfortunately, many Black people are unaware of the colorism Amara La Negra faces from both her community and MSM. Love & Hip-Hop aside, her and Cardi B’s journeys are very different. I don’t appreciate Charlamagne and Envy’s willful ignorance. https://t.co/1paE5p3Opm
— lion goodman (@rawrandthelike) January 22, 2018
when is lightskint afrolatinos talmbout negritude & the sttruggle, we don't know what we talmbout. when its amara LA NEGRA saying the same, she making things up in her head. yall aint shxt.
— marjua (@_MsEstevez) January 22, 2018
Watch the interview up top.