South Florida Access: Afro-Latinos must join Black Lives Matter (includes video story)

During the peak of COVID-19, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has taken the world by storm as people have continued protesting police brutality and systematic racism for weeks.

Afro-Latinos are among those most affected by systemic racism. They have been underrepresented in history books, corporate board rooms, and media for years. According to the 2017 U.S. census, there were more than 3 million Afro-Latinos living in the United States.

Over the years the community has increased its visibility by sparking conversation about what it means to be Afro-Latino. A Pew Research Center study has shown that Afro-Latinos make up a quarter of the Hispanic population, yet not all are convinced that BLM concerns them.

South Florida Access reporter Paola Marcano-Bolívar talked to Orlando J. Addison, an Afro-Latino leader and founder of the Ernesto Gamboa Project and the Afro-Latino Excellence Summit. He works on increasing the representation of his community. People who think Black Lives Matter doesn’t affect them are “living in a bubble.”  Many constantly feel the pain of discrimination.

The Afro-Latino Excellence Summit recently cited Univision journalist Tony Dandrades. He expressed excitement about being the first Afro-Latino awarded at the summit. This has allowed him to inspire younger members of his community. Dandradres said he constantly advocates for more Afro-Latino inclusion in the Hispanic television and film industry.

Addison and Dandrades agreed that education is vital if society is to move forward on this issue.


Brea Jones, rising FIU senior, has experience writing, videography/photography, interviewing, using Adobe Software and currently works as  Promotion and Recruitment Director for FIU Student Media. She has worked with several publications and published over 30 articles; to see her profile click

Cristina Feliciano is a broadcast media major at Florida International University. She is passionate about delivering the news and creating professional digital media content. She is experienced in field reporting on camera and editing news packages, but also loves to write.

Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, Monica is working on her broadcast journalism bachelor's degree. She loves to write and is passionate about sports, the art of interviewing and strives to become an on-air sports talent. She produces digital content and is a social media manager.

From Caracas, Venezuela Paola Marcano Bolívar is pursuing her degree in Public Relations, Advertising and Applied Communications at FIU. She hopes to work for the entertainment and music industry, sharing impactful stories through different mediums. She loves to be creative, sing, dance and do graphic design.