Published: June 29, 2007Reaction
Readers react
Email responses about the series

Thank you - Miami Herald

I want to Thank the Miami Herald for taking time to invest and notifying all latino races that even today in this modern world some people of color are still treated like second class citizens. We at times are still looked down because our hair is not the same, our nose is not slim enough, sadly enough is people who come from the same culture background as mine.

I was born in the US and my background is from Colombia and Cuba, I had a few drawbacks when I was teenager but it only made me the strong and powerful woman that I am today. I can't write everything that I need to express because it would take all night, but again I would like to extend my gratitude in making these articles possible.

Esther M. Frometa

My experience in Ecuador

Keep up the good work on the series!

I´m an African American ESL (English as a Second language) professor in Quito, Ecuador. I came across the Miami Heralds´´Afro- Latin Americans´´ article in the teachers´ lounge a few days ago. I´m really looking forward to the next part. My experiences here have been quite shocking to say the least. In a country so Ethnically diverse, I´ve never seen soooo much Ethnic conflict. (between the indigenous, the sierra, the coast, Quito, Guayaquil, Elsmeraldas, Blacks, and those who call themselves white, but are actually Mestizo, etc..) The comments I´ve received have been incredible. Very similar to the comments of the young lady who was doing research in the Dominican Republic (part 2).

People have had the audacity to tell me as a ´´compliment´´ ….. ¨You know, your not Black … your facial features are fine or delicate.. and your skin is the same color as mine¨. Just last week a Caucasian professor from the Sates told me during a conversation in class a student (from the sierra i.e.Mestizo yet claims to only have Spaniard blood) told her… ¨ I don´t consider the African Americans Americans, but the white skinned and blued Americans are¨. How do you respond to such a comment? Fortunately, the Afro-Ecuadorians are extremely kind and generous. I don´t think I would have made it here a year and a half if not.

Sick of the ignorance

Absolutely beautiful

Initially I intended to send somthing to the editor about this series (and I still will). It takes my breath away. My father is Black Puerto Rican and the struggle for identity has been tough for me. This series is the first time I have seen the Afro-Latino experience showcased in mainstream media so positively and brilliantly.

THANK YOU so much for this series.

Maria Miranda
Cleveland, OH

Comparing Brazil to US

It is absolutely absurd say there is a racism problem in Brazil. Compared to the US? Or what other country? I lived there for 11 years and was associated with all types of people for all classes and backgrounds. In Brazil the problem is economic segregation not racial. Obviously there are people who are racist as mentioned in your article, but the overall majority is not. Brazil is the brownest country on the planet with the most mixed population in the world. In the US you consider a mulatto as black (someone like Collin Powell) but in Brazil they are many different grades of color. It is like a rainbow of coffee and milk. The fact that 30% of Brazilians come from mixed racial families goes to tell you that mixed marriage, at least, it is widely accepted.

There is a serious education problem in the country, which your article did make a reference. In Brazil all people speak Portuguese, you can't tell over a telephone what color a person is, unlike many Afro-Americans who were born and educated in the US. Your article has some basis for thought, but does not really hit the main issue which is economic and not color. There have always been references to the fact that Brazilian politicians are mostly white. I believe that the politicians, regardless of color, are the culprits for not educating the population and fomenting poverty in the slums of the large metropolitan areas as a vote casting populace, which is obligated to vote by law (also not mentioned in your article).

There is a great divide of whom you know in Brazil. If you are not in you are out!!!

If you don't know what this means spend some time there and you will find out.

Marc Diamond

My respond to your article

As journalism student I feel very offended with the PR piece, “BLACK DENIAL,” that you had publish today as an article. As far as I know a good reporter always need to seek for the truth in both sides and unfortunately you didn’t. I am Dominican with bad hair, as you mentioned, and I don’t straight my hair to look less black. I am a fruit of a mix of cultures and I’m very PROUD of that. I am very disappointed with the route you took on your story. You showed to the other cultures in South Florida that we, Dominicans, are a bunch of ignorant, but we are not. You had the unfortunate luck to face a bunch of the Dominicans who are ignorant and then write what they said on your “story.” Now, I am very concerned about my boyfriend and his family, Haitian, and my friends, who are mostly black. What do you think they will think about my people? I had posted a bulletin on myspace requesting all the Dominicans in South Florida to avoid buying the Miami Herald. I think that your editors, if they can be call that should have known better about a good story, and the component that a good story should have. I remember when I was a writer for the Falcon Times I wrote a piece about the Atkins Diet and my advisor called me to his office and told me that what I wrote was more of a PR piece because I only had one side of the story. I only interviewed the ones who were happy about the diet and didn’t include the ones who weren’t too happy about it. This is exactly what you did with yours. Yes you might have gone to the Dominican Republic, yes you did interview the people, yes that’s what they said, but couldn’t you find other people in the island who had a different point of view. Please, don’t tell me that out of 9 million habitat you couldn’t find one soul to tell you that people regardless of their color are just people. And please don’t get me wrong, I know that there are many Dominicans who think the same way as the not too normal ones that you interviewed, but I know that not everyone thinks that way. Do you understand how bad I felt with two of my coworkers came to my desk and asked me if I had read the article? I felt horrible. I didn’t know where to put my face. I couldn’t find more words to apologized my people with them and to make clear that not every Dominican is like that.

Anyways, I hope that for your future stories you at least consider that you need to have the two sides of the stories before you have it published and that as journalist the society expects you to seek for the truth all the time.

Elsa Reinoso

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