Woman Crush(ing the Patriarchy) Wednesday: Juliana Pache

Woman Crush(ing the Patriarchy) Wednesday: Juliana Pache

It’s Black History Month, and this week’s #WCW Juliana Pache is ensuring that Afro-Latinxs are included in the discussions.

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The 24-year-old Afro-Dominican-cubana created the hashtag #BlackLatinxHistory earlier this month, where she’s been celebrating prominent Latinx people and events within the African diaspora. A womanist, Pache’s work around race and ethnicity is also intersectional, focusing on the various experiences and oppressions of Black mujeres specifically. 

The New Yorker’s objective is to create safe spaces by and for women of African descent, where intersectionality isn’t a cool badge to wear but something that is practiced, a space where patriarchy can be crushed alongside white supremacy, xenophobia and ableism.

Earlier this month, you started the #BlackLatinxHistory hashtag. Why?

I started the #BlackLatinxHistory hashtag on the first day of Black History Month because I wanted to see myself and my culture represented. I wanted Afro-Latinx stories to be part of the discussion. I wanted to highlight an often-overlooked part of the African diaspora. Although our struggles and achievements might look a little different, we, African descendants, are all part of the same diaspora, so adding our stories in a discussion about Black history is important.

I know that you were prompted to create this hashtag partly because of the lack of Black History Month coverage from Latinx media. In what ways does Latinx media, including Latina, fail you as an Afro-Latina?

I think Latinx media in general fails when it comes to Afro-Latinx visibility and representation. For the amount of African descendants in Latin America, the visibility is completely lacking. Granted, it has gotten better, but I shouldn't feel surprised or excited when I see Afro-Latinxs being represented fairly in the media. It should be so commonplace that I don't even bat an eye. There's so much content that could be aired, posted and shared, especially during Black History Month. That's the perfect time for Latinx media to highlight Afro-Latinxs.

So much of the Black struggle and experience is the Latinx one, too, because many of us are racially Black. How do you help people in the Latinx community understand this?

Ah, it depends. I do my best in explaining how these identities intersect, but how well this gets absorbed is on a case-by-case basis. Some folk haven't accepted the diaspora as part of our history, and others don't know how anyone could claim to be both Black and Latinx, so it really depends. I just try to explain that "Latinx" is not a race and discuss how that identity was formed. I've had family members tell me that I talk too much about "Black issues" and not enough about "Latinx issues." I try to keep it simple and state that a lot of Latinxs are Black, making these our issues, too.

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