Cora talked about how, early on, it was difficult to accept both cultures. But as Cora grew older, she said, she saw the importance of being proud of who she is.
Students were facinated as Cora shared her experience of being an Afro-Latina.
By Edwin Santamaria
Black history extends far beyond the United States and is complicated sometimes by mixed identities. The connection between Afro and Latin American goes back centuries.
USC student Summer Cora is proud of her roots. Cora is an Afro-Latina. Her father is from Puerto Rico, her mother is half Cuban and half African-American.
Cora's story highlighted an Afro-Latin American event hosted by Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. and the Pan-African Student Association Monday. She talked about her experience as an Afro-Latin American.
Cora says as a young girl she would often get asked, "why don't you just pick one identity?" People had a hard time believing that she could be both Black and Latin-American. Cora looked back at the time when she told someone she is Latin and got a response that was surprising, to say the least.
"People forget that there are black Latinos," Cora says.
She wants to show that one can be Afro-Latin American. She talked about the struggle and beauty of being Afro-Latina.
It was not always easy for Cora to maintain both of her cultures. She often identified with just one culture or the other. Cora eventually saw how important it is to be accepting of both cultures.
"I didn't realize the disconnection and the self-hatred that I had until I started to realize how important to understand both my Latin and my Black culture," Cora says.
Her story brought awareness to the fact that Afro-Latino is an identity, and just because she is an Afro-Latina it does not mean she is less than one or the other.