For many people, reality shows Basketball Wives, Miami and Real Housewives of Atlanta have metastasized in America’s psyche as a poisonous stereotype of African-American women.

Cloaked as entertainment, our marginalization as angry Sapphires and promiscuous Jezebels is encapsulated in each and every episode. At times, both juvenile and superficial — with a painfully obvious need for fame and external validity — these women have yet to realize that every cat-fight and backstabbing antic solidifies their pioneering role in a new Blackface era, where strong, successful women are reduced to mere caricatures of themselves.

Which is why it is so intriguing that the shiniest star in the BBW orbit is Evelyn Lozada.

You wouldn’t guess it by the petition spreading like wild-fire across the black wide web, but Lozada, a proud Puerto-Rican from the Bronx, is not African-American. Whether she considers herself to be black or not is a topic tackling race vs. ethnicity that is tangential to this article. Still, without fanfare or warning, she has become a symbol of many of the stereotypical depictions that have plagued African-American women since the dawn of time and all she needed to do was act like a damn fool.

How exactly did this happen? How was our distorted media image transferred so seamlessly to Lozada?

Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry, host of MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry and author of the book, Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, said in a discussion at the University of California, Santa Barbara, that many black women feel shamed by stereotypical images – many which have come to life in the contemporary narratives of Basketball Wives and RHOA – because we are still grappling with our identity in this country and asserting our right to shed the stigma of being black in America. With powerful honesty, she told the audience that seeing ourselves portrayed in a positive light instinctively “means something to us.” With this in mind, it would make sense that when we see these historical stereotypes weekly in high definition, the “color” of the person embodying them ceases to be important.

Not surprisingly, the topic of “race” is approached with extreme caution and vagueness on both shows. Leading many viewers, perhaps subconsciously, into believing that both Evelyn and Kim Zolciak of RHOA — the token white woman who tries so painfully hard be a stereotypical “sista”  — are anomalies in a world where they are not representatives of their respective cultures. Rather, they are viewed as “honorary members” of our own – at least the mischaracterization of it that is spoon-fed to the world. Unlike the inescapable “otherness” of black skin in this country, their racial identity is safely tucked between the folds of what is stereotypically considered an African-American woman’s existence. Simultaneously, a fun-house mirror reflection of Black culture is being broadcast all over the world, then boomeranging back to polarize our communities.

In a previous Clutch article, I hypothesized that to feel disrespect, one must feel that a characterization is abusive, and to experience that abuse on a visceral level, one must feel that even if it’s not true of them as individuals, it is often true of their kindred in the collective. This is amplified on BBW and RHOA, where critics continue to cast judgment on what blurs into an all-Black cast and many of us will continue to shoulder the “shame” of two small groups of women because how we are represented “means something to us.”

While this concern is admirable, and at times necessary, the idea that black women must always be perfectly well-behaved — or risk shaming the community-at-large – is both unrealistic and unfair. We are fighting a battle that is unique to women of color in this country, and that is the duality of asserting our individual identities separate from stereotypical imagery, while fighting for the elevation of our communities as a whole. This places us in the precarious position of not being able to ignore the pervasive effects of reality television, while still recognizing that every, single one of these women has the right to present themselves to the world as they choose – whether anyone agrees or not.

At some point, the debate must be expanded to encompass not only how our narrow representations in media are affecting our communities, but to also address the more nuanced ground of individual identity – something to which black women seem not to be entitled.

Dialogue is essential.

And a good place to begin would be to examine why black women have been elected as torch-bearers for the entire African-American community at-large – trapped in a cycle of stereotypes that refuse to disappear.

  • Blackness

    Umm..EVILyn is stereotyped as black simply because she “looks” black. Oddly enough, her project dwelling parents don’t look it though.

  • http://livefromthematrix.wordpress.com TAE

    Evelyn looks black? And just because she “appears” black that’s reason enough to stereotype her? No disrespect but I’m having a hard time following this one. Evelyn, to me, looks like your run of the mill Latina, which come in various complexions and phenotypes just like us. I believe that she is not stereotyped because of how she looks but how she acts, the fact that she is on a show with a majority black cast, and engaged to a black man might have something to do with it. Like Zoe Saldana, she may be a Latina of african descent, I’m not sure though.

  • Rochelle

    i DON’T WATCH THE SHOWS YOU MENTIONED BUT I THOUGHT THIS WOMAN WAS BLACK. COULD HAVE FOOLED ME. BESIDES PUERTO RICAN IS NOT A RACE. SHE IS EITHER BLACK, WHITE, OR ASIAN. SHE LOOKS MORE BLACK TO ME.

  • Toppin (Formerly Known As Just Sayin’)

    “How exactly did this happen? How was our distorted media image transferred so seamlessly to Lozada?”

    Could it be because this woman has clearly been around African American women (of the lower caliber) at some point in her life and she is on a show dominated by African American women.

    It ain’t rocket science.

    The reality is black women don’t have a monopoly on these stereotypes yet for some odd reason MANY of us feel we do and get defensive when non-black women start “stealing our thunder” with the same ghetto mess.

    SMH.

    “the debate must be expanded to encompass not only how our narrow representations in media are affecting our communities, but to also address the more nuanced ground of individual identity – something to which black women seem not to be entitled.”

    Very good point, but I personally could care less how our narrow representation in media is affecting our communities. Truthfully our community doesn’t do a thing for black women so why focus our attention there. I’m more concerned with the effects of this narrow representation on black women OUTSIDE of the black community.

    “And a good place to begin would be to examine why black women have been elected as torch-bearers for the entire African-American community at-large..”

    I think a large piece of the blame goes on black women. I’m so sick and tired of black women claiming to be the “Strong” backbone of this broken beyond repair mess it’s not even funny. It’s almost like claiming to be the mechanic of a broke down tore up car that blows out smoke, has one brake light, one windshield wiper, and one operating door. It makes no sense.

    Yeah…black women pretty much elected themselves as the torch-bearers and they were encouraged by the “disappearance” of black men.

    I personally don’t consider myself a torch-bearer for the community. I consider myself a torch-bearer for myself. My needs, health, money etc come first. And believe it or not I got into a bitter argument about this topic with an older black woman in my book club who couldn’t accept that I don’t feel the need to uphold the race/community like her generation likes to pride themselves on. SMH. No thanks…I’m good.

  • Yb

    The only thing black about this woman “and (I use that term loosely to describe her) is her nose.

  • squeen

    Evelyn is afro latino from the bronx. She is no different from black women, therefore she is subject to the same stereotypes as black women. Duh… blog postings like this are what seperates people of african decent. This post is devisive and insulting.

  • Yb

    The reason I see why the Evelyn’s and Kim’s are associated with black people, and particularly black women is because racists need to associate anything negative with blackness and being black. I can’t even begin to count the number of times a white person has been assumed to be black or that they must associate with black people because of something negative they done. Anytime a crime news report does not describe race or show a picture, it is guaranteed the criminal is assumed to be black.

    Even when we do something positive the achievement is distanced from us. I heard racists fools attempt to say the FLOTUS is not black, that she has Eurocentric features. WTF

    It’s like people want to believe the worst in us and will twist reality to suit their beliefs. As if every non black person (namely white) is without flaw and incorruptible. Kim is a WHITE woman. Evelyn is a MESTIZO latina women with faint black blood. Not caricatures of a black women.

  • Yb

    Evelyn is not a black woman. Do not push this woman upon my group. If you feel that this post creates a division between different black ethnicities than your have a warped definition of what it is to be black. If you referred to Evelyn as black you would be called everything BUT a child of God. Stop claiming people who want nothing to do with you.

  • chanela

    DAMN DAMN DAMN THIS IS SOO TRUE!

  • S.

    Omg

    I love you for saving me from having to type

  • S.

    IA with the last part of this article

    We need to change Black female culture.

    Instead of opening our mouths to complain to other Black women for wrongfully representing “US” we should be opening our mouths to profess our individuality and to defend each other’s freedom to do as we please w/o the burden of “representing” our race

  • Alexandra

    This is correct, I see it all the time; in subliminal hints of course. All that is negative is always disproportionately associated with Black people. But when the categorization boxes can’t close, excuses are made.

    Stereotypically, a Black person that is trash is typical (what they call TNB) or a representative of all Blacks. A Black person that isn’t, is an exception or a rarity. It’s a bit pathetic some people have to dig into themselves or hesitate to say something positive about a Black person. I used to watch the Bad Girls Club & despite the show casting most White or non-Black girls, viewers always attributed the Black girls to all the trash behavior, even though all the girls are trash. Obviously, a difference is made when Whites and Blacks act reckless. There is no room for individuality and Black women are definitely trapped in these boxes. I also believe Black women have just as much power to change it.

    I agree with your last comment as well; just wait till the ‘one-drop rule enforcers’ come after you.

    Great article/topic Kirsten!

  • Alexandra

    “I’m so sick and tired of black women claiming to be the “Strong” backbone of this broken beyond repair mess it’s not even funny. It’s almost like claiming to be the mechanic of a broke down tore up car that blows out smoke, has one brake light, one windshield wiper, and one operating door. It makes no sense. ”

    I’m glad to hear more women speak up about this detrimental motto. This excessive need to be strong does more damage to Black women, than good. When I look around at all these complaints some Black women have, I do agree to an extent it’s brought on by themselves. Black women are human like everyone else, stop putting impossible tasks at your responsibility, as well as putting others before you.

  • QoN

    @Blackness

    Evelyn does not look black. She looks like a mestizo mix of Carribean “Indian” and Caucasian. A bit like J.Lo.

  • Beautiful Mic

    To argue whether or not Evelyn Lozada is black because she’s ethnic Puerto Rican is like arguing whether or not Tina Knowles is black because she’s fully creole, or if Sheila E is black because one of her parents is Mexican-American and the other Creole.

    African ancestry varies among Creoles, Mexican-Americans and Puerto Ricans. Subsequently, racial identity varies, and is ambiguous, within these ethnic groups as well.

    Even though Evelyn Lozada has an Latino/Hispanic name and is middle phenotype, her African ancestry is quite obvious, and her social disposition, also, obviously makes her dubiously Black and Latina/Hispanic.

    It’s like arguing whether self proclaimed Afro-Latina Rosie Perez is black. Some people are dubiously CLAIM black and Latino (or Afro-Latino), like actress Gina Torres.

    On the contrary, there are Latinos, such as Jennifer Lopez, with obvious African ancestry who don’t readily claim and/or identify with cultural, social or genetic connection with black Africans. Yes Lopez is intricately tied to a music genre spawned among the black and Afro-Latino youths of her native city New York, New York – a black music genre. But that’s where her tie to African descended peoples ends; the same way it ends for someone like Christine Aguliera, or Gwan Stephani (Ska music is a black spawn music genre).

    Some like Jennifer Lopez simply identifies as Latino/Hispanic, with no specifically stated racial identity (passing for whatever is convenient). Many do this to retain the racial privileged that comes with being mestizo or mescla.

    Evelyn Lozada claims her black Latino roots and identity and is willing to procreate with a black person (I think her daughter’s father is black). Jennifer Lopez married and procreated with another racially ambiguous mestizo Latino (Mark Anthony), like herself, who doesn’t readily connect himself with black (Afro) Latinos.

    And another thing, the article states that Lozada is not African-American. Well, Puerto Rico is an American territory, so having direct parentage from the island would make Lozada as deeply rooted African-American as you are. She descends from the indigenous people of Puerto Rico and as well as African slave and white colonial bloodlines of a U.S. territory. If that’s not African-American enough, I don’t know what is.

  • Beautiful Mic

    “Your Black isn’t like mine” – Black people aren’t all the same”

    “Your Latino isn’t like mine” – Latino/Hispanics aren’t all the same”

    Latino/Hispanic is not a race, it’s a cultural identity. Puerto Rican is not a race, but an ethnic group, identity and former nationality…but, most importantly within the U.S. American landscape, it is an ethnicity.

    There are Latinos who more readily identify with whites. Some identify more readily with Indigenous American tribes. For example, many Mexican-Americans who are mostly or totally of Indigenous Mexican lineage tend to align themselves with one or more of the 5 U.S. American First Nations (Cherokee, especially). Some Latinos identify more with blacks. Others identify more with mixed people, in general. And then there are Latinos who, generally, identify with everyone – perhaps, partly due to being ‘everything’ (in ancestry and cultural/social heritage) that ‘everyone else’ is.

  • QoN

    @Beautiful Mic

    Most of the people you named dont have obvious African ancestry. Evelyn does not look black. She may have some admixture from back in the day but then so do many blacks but we are still black for all intents and purposes. Black women have a problem with appropriating this ambigous women and I believe they do because they want their beauty and attractive attributed to their blackness. Its futile.

  • http://livefromthematrix.wordpress.com TAE

    this whole race vs ethnicity thing really confuses the hell out of me. I am an african american/ black woman and I don’t even know what to call myself anymore. It kind of troubles me that it seems anybody can identify as black but black people can’t be anything other than black, if that makes any sense. And then there’s the whole question of what exactly it means to be black? My opinion is that now black really has nothing to do with race or ethnicity and everything to do with culture. Anybody can be black if you talk the part, walk the part, and dress the part, our whole culture is one big stereotype in which anyone can step into at any time. This is the work of popular culture. The asian man at the beauty supply store told me he was black. He held up his hand and said, “My skin not black, but i’m black” I really didn’t have anything to say. I’m not sure if that was supposed to make me feel closer to him or buy more products but I didn’t. I actually felt closer to him before he said anything, especially that. I just find it mildly disturbing how some non black people of color throw their “blackness” at me. It’s like hey I’m just like you girlfriend. And inside there is a tiny voice that says, no you’re not. I mean we are all one people, this is true, but we are definitely divided into tribes and more often than not those tribes are determined by ethnicty and culture. My “blackness” doesn’t just come from how I dress, what music I listen to, the way I talk. It’s how I was raised, it’s in my dna, I got if from my momma and my daddy, who got it from they momma and they daddy before them, who got it from they momma and daddy before them. So I have a difficult time looking at a woman like Evelyn Lozada and feeling like she is just as african american as I am. But at the end of the day I love all people, and people are gonna do and call themselves what they want.

  • chanela

    @alexandra YES!!!!

    go to the bad girls clubs’ youtube videos and you’ll see that when it’s white girls fighting and being immature then all you see is “well she shouldn’t have been talking shit!” or ” damn i love a tough sexy fiesty chick!” and ” shes a true bad bish. i love her ‘dont fuck with me attitude!’” but when you see a video with any of the black girls from the show everybody in the comment section is saying “why are people surprised? this is how black women always act” and ” look at the black chick being a bully” ” black people are always causing fights”

    the same damn youtube channel!! LOL

  • Qofn

    @Alexandra

    let us not pretend that being the socalled backbone of tge black community while it comes with responsibilty it comes with a lot of power. Black women are the head of the home. She doesnt have to be at anyones, not least a black mans, mercy. Other women have to play by a mans drum until the courts award her his resources thru divorce. This is a popular theory that explains black women “attitude” she doesnt have to play nice like other women because she makes her own money it she gets it from the government. Lastly the “strong” label is a conveiable one for black women. White women are supposed to be the most desireable asain the most feminine and latinas are supposed to be the traditional loyal family oriented woman.

  • Qofn

    @yb

    too true

  • Ms. Information

    When Hispanic or Latina women display “ghetto” behavior, they are seen as “fiery”…a black woman exibiting that same behaviour is seen as ghetto…

  • http://stillhiphopmom.blogspot.com Hiphopmommie

    I guess for me it is not about her race as much as it being more about the negative depiction of women in general. That goes for Evelyn, Kim, NeNe, Tami… whoever. If you look around you can see all ethnicities of women perpetuating this ghetto mentality divergent of their race. The United States has all sorts of people from varied races that are loud, obnoxious, sex kittens, and bullies. So for me in 2012 with these women having this kind of platform I wish that it was more authentic to who women really are and not this baboonery. We almost had a woman as our President for god sake!

  • http://museandwords.com NinaG

    Thank you, Beautiful Mic

  • Merci

    wow! really leads me to think. Thanks.

  • befree

    I know Evelyn is not black because Chad would not be with her if she was :).
    I had to.. I could not help it :P

  • Merci

    Great article. Great comments. How do we define Black? Most African Americans have white, black and native blood similar to latinos.

    Based on pics, never watching the show, I assumed she was black.

  • http://www.itsoftenbeensaid.wordpress.com Sasha

    Yeah my thoughts exactly. Black, White, Latina, Asian, if she acts like a racthet, no class hoodrat the she is a ratchet, no class hoodrat regardless of ethnicity or race. That’s really all that needs to be said.

  • Monique

    Minutes before I read this post I saw her in a photo gallery on Telemundo titled, “25 Most Beautiful AFRO-Latinas”. Now I’m confused. I thought the diaspora was represented heavily in Puerto Rico- hence the spectrum of complexions… Oh well, I guess it’s about how she self-identifies since everyone wants to put her in a different box. This is like the race drafts on the Chappelle Show all over again!

  • Yeahright2011

    that is total bull you know it. i guarantee she will never have the same social experience as black women who look like Royce, Jennifer, Kenya, and Meeka. she knows she is a non-black latina, what that means for her, what that means here and in pr, and the perks that go with it. your genealogical cliff-notes aren’t even in the scope of the discussion and if you don’t think there are distinctions made between what is black and what is not in puerto rico than i want what ever is in that pipe ya smokin.

  • Kami

    I can definitely see how Evelyn can be stereotyped as “black” by behavior alone because she is in a cast of women who identify as black, however she doesn’t. We all know that Puerto Ricans have that history of African descent and indigenous descent, so they come in all colors and sizes. You have some with the kinky/curly hair and others with wavy/straight hair. She could be looked at as a light-skinned black woman-and I’ve seen black women who resemble her but they’re not latina. However, she doesn’t claim to be holistically black, which makes sense because she’s Puerto Rican. But a lot Puerto Ricans do deny their black heritage completely. I don’t know if that’s the case but whatever if it is. It wouldn’t be any different than dark skin/light skin women bashing debate.

  • http://cupofjo-jo.blogspot.com bk chick

    If Evelyn was around a bunch of latina women and dated only latina men then I don’t think her behavior would be associated with blackness…It’s cuz BBW has a majority of black ppl on the show. period. Evelyn also culturally identifies with black people. There was a real housewives of Miami and all the women were latina…there was some fighting, etc, but none of it was deemed “black” because there were no blacks on the show.

  • http://cupofjo-jo.blogspot.com bk chick

    LOL…zing!

  • LN

    Girl PREACH! I made a decision earlier this year to stop listening to rap music. Why? Because as an educated, responsible black woman, 99% of popular rap is NOT designed for me. Every time I listen, my gender (and race!) is referred to as “bitch” and “ho”. Um, no thanks Rick Ross, Drake, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Kanye. I’m good. It’s crazy because when I mentioned this on Facebook the only people who “liked” the status were my white friends. My black friends felt a way about it, like I was defecting from the race or something because I was no longer sitting idly by while black men with POOR JUDGMENT in women and… honestly LIFE, take their NARROW experiences of females and apply it to every woman in the damn world.

    The older I get (I’m 26 now) is the more I realize that it doesn’t really make sense to be a torch bearer. Black culture has a HISTORY of torch bearers, and at this point, they’ve just become apologists for black MEN’S bad behavior. That’s right. The Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world are the first to jump up and holler when a black man is killed or treated unfairly, and they remain DEATHLY SILENT about the high rates of domestic abuse in black culture, or the inherently misogynistic nature of many black communities.

    As for me and my house, I will NOT be raising my children to be torch bearers of any kind. Yes, I remain aware of the issues that face us. And if there’s a worthy cause (like Trayvon Martin), I’ll jump into the debate and show support. Otherwise I’m more concerned with identifying progressive PEOPLE (black or non) and sharing life with them.

  • Talulah Belle

    These shows are a guilty pleasure for me. I can’t lie. I spend nearly all of my day engaged in pretty heavily intellectual and technical work, so it is nice to tune out and watch these programs, regardless of who is acting a fool. It is kind of a modern day minstrel show. The gals are minstrels. I do not watch these programs religiously, but when I run across them, I find myself transfixed.

    I cannot relate to any of the women in these programs and see them as almost a form of circus act, if you will. I honestly did not even know these kinds of women truly existed. The white one, Kim (I think) is a favorite of mine. She is like a Dolly Parton-ized, Christina Aguillera strip hooker. Her kids look nothing like her, oddly enough. She also looks quite a bit older than the other women, which is strange. I wonder if she is lying about her age. Consequently, I do not consider her the least bit Black as there are plenty of white women who display her behavior and affects. Again, though, she is a hoot. I know lots of white women who relate to her and can place her into a socio economic and cultural context, i.e. “trash” “climber” “trailer” “hick” etc… I do not think any Black woman sees her as a portrayal of Black cultural behaviors.

    In light of Evelyn Lozada, she is certainly more complex than Kim. The women in my family as well as myself, share her physical features to some extent and we are Black Americans. In fact, most of us may even look a bit more “mixed-ish” than she does, and we are all Black and we identify that way proudly. I say this to say that Evelyn is Black, regardless of her hesitance to identify as such, but she is culturally Latina. Puerto Ricans share Black people’s ethnic and racial ancestry, but many of them do not identify as Black Americans due to the complex racist layerings of their own culture. They try to shed their Blackness. And in doing so, the culture and the people have and continue to pay an enormous socio economic price — the island and the people remain mired in a terminal kind of poverty as this war against “self” saps the community’s energy on a broader scale. It is a display of a lack of power as these Latino communities often turn inward and battle a “phantom” — racial identification. This is nothing new and there is a great deal of academic work and primary research on the burden that many Latinos face in light of battling their own racial demons.

    I say all of this to emphasize that Evelyn is a sinister, lurking woman who leverages her mixed race features to attract self-loathing Black men who favor her look. Black women, American Black women, do this too and have been leveraging this little bit of power over men for years. The jury is out as to whether it really gets them anywhere as Evelyn is pretty miserable, indeed. Gals like Evelyn, are well aware of how they appear up against other more African-featured women to guys like Chad; men who struggle with feelings of insecurity, misogyny.

    Anyway, Evelyn is not unusual, nor is her resistance to being characterized as Black in the American sense of the word, particularly novel or even interesting. What is interesting, to me anyway, is how little real power any of these women actually have — even over the men in their lives, since all of these guys are huge cheaters. They all look the same to me, as well. I have a hard time telling them apart. Again, it is just a bunch of circus entertainment. None of these women are going to ever amount to anything. Best to just watch the show and keep it rolling.

  • KARMELLK

    The whole thing is ridiculous. If I was on a mostly white show, I’d still be the black girl on the white show. Evelyn is not black, nor does she claim to be in any way, shape or form. I don’t understand why she suddenly becomes black because of her behavior? no thanks, y’all can have her. If she wasn’t behaving so horrendously, I’m sure she would be proudly cast as latina.

    As for everyone going, ‘I can’t be responsible for the whole race’ you’re right, you can’t be. But be responsible for yourself and try to help others along the way. It seems to me this whole mess within our communities got much worse when everyone started looking out for only themselves.

  • Alexandria B

    I’m really confused by some of the comments. What exactly does it mean to “look black?”????????

    And the article was very specific to call these stereotypes African-American because that has more to do with nationality and race in this country than “blackness.”

    What the article does not address, and the point it seems many are missing, is that there are stereotypes for all women. They vary by race and citizenship. There are stereotypes for the “African American woman” and the “Black woman.” As a Puerto-Rican (who by DEFINITION) has African heritage as all Puerto Ricans do, she is type-cast as because in this country, Afro-Latina doesn’t really exist. You are usually Black, white, or other.

  • B.

    “Black” stereotype or not…her actions make her a ratchet Latina.
    Let her worry about how her behavior affects her own culture.

  • Alexandria B

    I was all prepared to give a diasporic high five to you squeen when I read the unfortunate reply to your post. As a Black woman born in the US, with a lineage of slavery in my history, who does not often identify as African American because I am family with all people of African descent around the world, it saddens me that many Black folks in this country think that we have the monopoly on “being Black” or that Black folk from other parts of the world do not suffer under similiar stuggles, stereotypes or racial aggression. TOTALLY UNTRUE!

  • Alexandria B

    I think you just became my new Clutch bestie….THANK YOU for adding more truth and texture to this conversation…..

    I think some people just need to deal with light-skin privilege and leave the conversation of heritage off the table because its getting conflated and that is really tragic

  • She looks like your run of the mill Puerto Rican to me. I can’t help but feel like the look of black is becoming more and more Europeanized in this country. Drop her in the middle of Africa and claim she’s black and see the reactions you get.

    I’m gonna be honest I feel some type of way when these highly ambiguous one-drop chicks who don’t even self-identify are classified as Black. As a chocolate sista I just feel more and more marginalized. For me, Black is not just an identity, it comes with a particular set of experiences of oppression in this country .. colorism politics, hair politics, black gender politics etc all come with that package so when we ascribe that identity to someone I feel like they can relate to similar experiences as well…and I really don’t think Evelyn can identify with that.

    Sorry, it might not be the most logical or PC feeling….but I still feel it.

  • Kim

    TAE, you have just expressed what so many of us older black woman feel. Thank you.

  • Whatever

    Maybe some of you are just not familiar with Puerto Ricans. Evelyn is your typical hood Puerto Rican from the Bronx. I don’t care what she identifies with but I have never heard her refer to herself as a black woman (doubt she ever will). With that said, for her to just instinctively be grouped with the other women and referred to as black is ridiculous. Every time there is an article complaining about the behavior of these “black women” on BBW I am quick to remind people that the ring leader of the cooning and buffooning is not a black woman…. but a typical hoodrat Puerto Rican from the Bronx.

    Evelyn is not taking on the stereotypical behavior of black women… she is portraying the typical stereotypical behavior of a loud, sh*t talking, hoodrat Puerto Rican from the South Bronx.

  • AJ

    If you drop lots of Black Americans in the middle of Africa, they wouldn’t get the reaction you’d expect. Sorry people, this is silly.

  • mgardner

    One of the preeminent Black female scholars Gloria Ladson Billings said it best. Race matters but blackness matters more.

    Both Kim and Evelyn are using blackness as a tool for exploitation and profit. For example, Evelyn chose to be a groupie and hook up with gullible black men who want a woman with black sensibilities without any physical trace of blackness. Blackness pays very well for this chick but not so much for your average sista…

  • Lady P

    I will try my best not to construct my comment into a short essay with an introduction chapter..haha! At first I was not going to participate within this dialogue due to yet another article spotlighting the particulars of the black woman’s dynamics. As mentioned in the article, we do need to discuss why black women have been elected as torch-bearers for the entire African-American community at-large – trapped in a cycle of stereotypes that refuse to disappear.

    The bigger picture here is not Evelyn’s racial ethnicity. The focal point of this dialogue should consist of what has transpired throughout history to bring AA women to the position of housing ALL negative imageries. If Evelyn’s race was of a Caucasian heritage, for sure she would be depicted as being like a “sista” ~ the token white woman who tries so painfully hard be a stereotypical “sista” — are anomalies in a world where they are not representatives of their respective cultures. Rather, they are viewed as “honorary members” of our own – at least the mischaracterization of it that is spoon-fed to the world. This statement is very true. In addition, it parallels with men dating white women. Some (SOME) brothers will state, “but she’s cool because she acts like a sista”. They will say this to justify their decision to date a white woman in that she isn’t passive (she’s strong) and I can’t run over her either. They will further state, “It is just like a dating a sista”. This brings me to my daunting fact that we all have played a role in “lighting the torch” for black women to carry negative stereotypes for society regardless of any woman’s ethnicity.

    Let’s begin with the timeline of the black woman’s journey. As we all know the perils of slavery weren’t a walk in the park. The end of result of this institution galvanized the black woman into “the stereotypical roles” only as domestic servant, cooks, or in existence to bare children. These stereotypes lasted well into the 1960’s. Next, we have the 70’s, the year of the blaxploitation film genre. I would venture out to say the best time in history for black women. These films nurtured the black woman through our beauty, style, strength, and culture. Foxy Brown, Cleopatra Jones, and even Diahann Carroll’s role in “Julie” (as a single mom) was still embraced and accepted with grace denouncing the accepted norm. Let’s not forget “Good Times” with the fabulous and beautiful Willona and Thelma. Through these depictions of black women in a positive light; from slavery throughout the late 1970’s early 80’s, we went from limitations to black women being phenomenal.

    Then here comes the “roller coaster drop” of the late 80’s and 90’s. The emergence of negative talk shows (Jerry Springer), musical lyrics, rap music and videos became more explicit and continues. I’m not blaming all of the ills of the negativity of black women on these genres; I am merely stating its depiction does have a reverse impact. It became okay to for us (African-Americans) not to accept ourselves as our true selves. When we began to allow “a society takeover” of devaluing black women, our communities at- large also began to believe that the majority of black women are loud, angry, bitter, and are the instigators of foolishness. Society, media, and our communities has brought into the belief that any type of misconduct stems from a black woman. This is why non-black women on the reality shows or any type of negativity are considered as the black woman’s composition.

    Our individual identity suffers because we struggle to accept or even like ourselves. Men don’t like certain black women because in their minds they fit the “normal” stereotypes, Then you have black women that must conduct themselves a certain way because of these “perceived” stereotypes. The idea that black women must always be perfectly well-behaved —is both unrealistic and unfair. If a group of black women are in a restaurant laughing or become just “a little too loud”, other black people (men and women) will become embarrassed as our counterparts are doing the same. I do believe black women will continue to carry the torch of negativity stereotypes simply because we have allowed society to engrave these thoughts within our belief system. Society feeds off of us as well as profit and with our community on that lifting ourselves up back to the status of royalty, why not continue?

    Surely, I’m not blaming our community, the media, society for the black woman’s disposition; we DO have room for improvement. However, each individual from all walks of life have room for improvement. The spotlight is on black women as always. In order to “somewhat” silence these negative stereotypes, we have to transition back to a point of self- respect, self-acceptance, class, and worthiness. We can do this by improving images in the media, accepting that EVERY black woman is phenomenon regardless of her present state (remember everyone needs room for improvement- even YOU), self-improvement and standing up for ourselves. No I’m not docile, but that does NOT mean I have to carry the torch for every negative stereotype or I have to remain well-behaved at all times.

  • tisme

    I believe that as black people go it was black men who started calling ambiguous women black first.I believe this was done after many of them were challenged by black women with issues for dating and marrying outside their race.

    I don’t do cultural and racial theft.Don’t need to. I know my own value as someone who actually is black.Having watched many black women called haters by black men for stating the fact that Jennifer Lopez,Evelyn Lozada,Tomika Skanes,Halle Berry,Pilar are not black, I think black women are just going along with what black men say so as to not seem jealous. I also think some of them are going along with what some light skinned black people who don’t want to feel less black than Seal are saying as well.

    I don’t do the one drop rule.My social achievements and accomplishments are mine.
    I have no desire to claim that which does not belong to me.

    I have no problem with white or other non black people but I don’t need to steal from them their beauty,accomplishments etc. to have something good to say about myself

  • Merci

    Nice

  • Lady P

    Should read: We can do this by improving images in the media, accepting that EVERY black woman is phenomenal.

  • anony.mous

    /thread

  • tisme

    I agree.I think the focus should remain on black women and not Evelyn’s race or ethnicity.But on how people’s perception of Evelyn has an affect on us and why people use her as an example for who we are when she isn’t black like us.

    I also agree with this “Rather, they are viewed as “honorary members” of our own – at least the mischaracterization of it that is spoon-fed to the world. This statement is very true. In addition, it parallels with men dating white women. Some (SOME) brothers will state, “but she’s cool because she acts like a sista”. They will say this to justify their decision to date a white woman in that she isn’t passive (she’s strong) and I can’t run over her either. They will further state, “It is just like a dating a sista”. This brings me to my daunting fact that we all have played a role in “lighting the torch” for black women to carry negative stereotypes for society regardless of any woman’s ethnicity. ”

    I think it is important to note that it’s not just outside society that are associating certain things with black women it’s coming from the inside as well and for some of the reasons you stated.Men who date or marry outside their race who don’t want to come under fire from black women and sometimes non black people and so now EVERY woman can be black, and essentially replace us, even when she clearly isn’t black.

  • edub

    “I’m so sick and tired of black women claiming to be the “Strong” backbone of this broken beyond repair mess it’s not even funny. It’s almost like claiming to be the mechanic of a broke down tore up car that blows out smoke, has one brake light, one windshield wiper, and one operating door. It makes no sense.”

    AMEN!

    Yes, because many black women revel in dysfunction. They seek it out, they procreate with it, they perpetuate it, and they use it to define their worth. Strong these days implies making a whole bunch of bad decisions and trying to stay afloat as a result. No thanks. I’ll pass on that. I don’t embrace dysfunction, the part of this that makes up the black race, I disown. My community, my identity is self, family, and like-minded individuals.

  • me

    Never in my life have I ever heard Evelyn referred to as Black. WE CAN ALL SEE THAT SHE IS A LATINA. Everyone from New York City knows a Latino/a and they do not consider themselves Black unless they are actually a Afro-Latino/a.

    Everyone calls Evelyn G-H-E-T-T-O, R-A-T-C-H-E-T, M-E-A-N and every other negative adjective. Shorty, is not Black, no one ever said she was. No one looked at her to represent US!! Hell no, Tami and Shaunie can ride that dumb ass wave on the show. TAMI & SHAUNIE are BLACK!! Shaunie is the pimp, and the rest of the cast are are silly minions doing whatever they can for a paycheck.

    What the hell was the point of this article?!?!?
    Who has ever considered Evelyn a Black woman? No one I’ve come across.
    Just because she is described as Ghetto, Ratchet, Mean, Hood doesn’t mean she is classified as black.

    I need the writer to understand the difference!

    BTW I’m sure if she classified herself as a Black woman, Chad would’ve left her alone!! hahahaha.

  • AJ

    “Let’s begin with the timeline of the black woman’s journey. As we all know the perils of slavery weren’t a walk in the park. ”

    I totally agree with everything you’re saying except that you have to realize that Black Latinos went through that same journey, those same struggles. You all are now saying that they are not “Black” because white people have told us so. But you wouldn’t say that about a Jamaican, who is not from the U.S. either, but is considered ‘Black” because of their darker skin (usually much darker than most Black Americans).

    The Blacks that made it to Latin America came the EXACT same way we did in North America, within the exact same time periods – through the TRiangular Slave Trade. They were enslaved, and put under the same psychological destruction that North American Blacks went through. In fact, we Black Americans in North America were the LAST to arrive on what is now U.S. shores – most of us are descended from enslaved Black people in the areas that we now call Latin America, Brazil and the Caribbean (like Haiti). The trade took the Blacks in Latin America and moved them to North America/U.S. colonies. Yes, each country of the Americas had their own unique forms of anti-Blackness and racism, but the gist was all the same.

    If we can understand that Alfonso Ribiero is “Black” (Cuban), or Laz Alonso is “Black” (Cuban), Gabourey Sidibe is Black (Senegalese), Idris Elba (Ghanaian) or Zoe Saldana (Dominicana), singer Estelle (Senegalese), Rihanna is ‘Black’ (from Barbados) then we can understand that Evelyn Lozada is just as Black. A Black Latino/Afro-Latino. Ratchet and ghetto as all get out, but still Black.

    Black Americans are very much on “high-horse” about this issue -when did being from the U.S. make us the expert on who is Black, and make us the decision makers on what qualifies as ‘truly” Black?

    If anything, as mixed ups as we are, we are the MOST similar to Latin Blacks – how can we say Evelyn Lozada doesn’t “look” black when we can claim thousands of people who are much lighter than her? Right in our own families? There is no “looking Black”.

    I agree that the acceptance of negative things makes American society willing to recognize her Blackness – Zoe Saldana,on the other hand, has suddenly become other-than-Black in the eyes of America because she is considered good looking and a good person – thus she can’t possibly be a Black woman (sarcasm and eyes rolling hard).

    Also, please understand that I am not by any means putting all of the blame on Black Americans for this intentional miseducation about African history in the Americas- Black Latinos are as much to blame as us. Due to the fact that they too went through as much racism and slavery brainwashing as Black Americans, that they will tell you in a heartbeat that they are in no way connected to Africa and are not of African descent (just like many Black Americans will say the same).

    The biggest problem is this acceptance of the idea that to be Black means to be negative in every way – ignorant, unhealthy, violent. That’s for Latin-descended Blacks and American Blacks – Evelyn Lozada, the Black Latino, has her sister in Chrissy Lampkin, the Black American – two violent, out-of-control Black women who need an intervention – or jail time, whatever works.

  • AJ

    The Blacks that made it to Latin America came the EXACT same way we did in North America, within the exact same time periods – through the TRiangular Slave Trade. They were enslaved, and put under the same psychological destruction that North American Blacks went through. In fact, we Black Americans in North America were the LAST to arrive on what is now U.S. shores – most of us are descended from enslaved Black people in the areas that we now call Latin America, Brazil and the Caribbean (like Haiti). The trade took the Blacks in Latin America and moved them to North America/U.S. colonies. Yes, each country of the Americas had their own unique forms of anti-Blackness and racism, but the gist was all the same.

    If we can understand that Alfonso Ribiero is “Black” (Cuban), or Laz Alonso is “Black” (Cuban), Gabourey Sidibe is Black (Senegalese), Idris Elba (Ghanaian) or Zoe Saldana (Dominicana), singer Estelle (Senegalese), Rihanna is ‘Black’ (from Barbados) then we can understand that Evelyn Lozada is just as Black. A Black Latino/Afro-Latino. Ratchet and ghetto as all get out, but still Black.

    Black Americans are very much on “high-horse” about this issue -when did being from the U.S. make us the expert on who is Black, and make us the decision makers on what qualifies as ‘truly” Black?

    If anything, as mixed ups as we are, we are the MOST similar to Latin Blacks – how can we say Evelyn Lozada doesn’t “look” black when we can claim thousands of people who are much lighter than her? Right in our own families? There is no “looking Black”.

    I agree that the acceptance of negative things makes American society willing to recognize her Blackness – Zoe Saldana,on the other hand, has suddenly become other-than-Black in the eyes of America because she is considered good looking and a good person – thus she can’t possibly be a Black woman (sarcasm and eyes rolling hard).

    Also, please understand that I am not by any means putting all of the blame on Black Americans for this intentional miseducation about African history in the Americas- Black Latinos are as much to blame as us. Due to the fact that they too went through as much racism and slavery brainwashing as Black Americans, that they will tell you in a heartbeat that they are in no way connected to Africa and are not of African descent (just like many Black Americans will say the same).

    The biggest problem is this acceptance of the idea that to be Black means to be negative in every way – ignorant, unhealthy, violent. That’s for Latin-descended Blacks and American Blacks – Evelyn Lozada, the Black Latino, has her sister in Chrissy Lampkin, the Black American – two violent, out-of-control Black women who need an intervention.

  • AJ

    “BTW I’m sure if she classified herself as a Black woman, Chad would’ve left her alone!!”

    I totally agree with you, and really, that’s the biggest joke on Chad Ochocinco – in his effort to escape a Black woman, all he did was go to another Black woman. A crazy one at that.

    Also, you have to recognize that Chad Ochocinco is a colorist – if Evelyn Lozada was a dark skinned Afro-Latina who wore her hair natural, not straightened, he would not be interested in her either.

  • AJ

    Evelyn is an Afro-Latino – she’s Black nuff said. Be her Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cubano, or anything else. Unfortunately, she’s an ignorant, violent fool just like everybody else on the Basketball Wives.

    Black men like Ochocinco have ethnic and color preferences for lighter skinned Black/Afro- Latina women (like Evelyn) and hate their own ethnicity (Black American) and hate women in their on skin shade range (dark of any country), but their preference and intraracial hatred doesn’t change the fact that the Afro-Latino women are still Black.

  • Renee Bledsol

    Well said! I am so sick of this, I encounter this with my children on a daily. Simply because they do not look black enough, or rather they are not as ethnic looking as I am. To the best of my knowledge Evelyn does acknowledge her blackness, I never assumed she ran from it and true be told she seems comfortable in her skin (she’s just a hood rat). Perhaps I have a different outlook on race as I am from South Louisiana, where black comes in all shades, from the palest blond/blue eyed to silky midnight. What I would like to suggest is that we stop worrying about what others think, and start educating young black and Hispanic girls about their history and gender.

  • Ebony

    I could’nt help it but as I read all the cooments but think to myself Evelyn regardless of her ethnicity is a Bully! Point blank end of story, Tami, bully, Shawny leader of the “mean girls club” pseudo-bully, Bad Girls Club a bunch of bully’s they rounded up a put in a cage( house) With the rise of bullying in this country it’s ridiculous how as grown 30+ year old women can sign up for this circus act get paid thousands of dollars and totally justify being a bully ( cue Tami verbally attacking Kesha every chance she gets) I admit I’ve watched these shows only to find that each time I notice the emotional and mental dysfunction of each (cue Tami’s anger managment class…scoff) Enough is enough…forget race and ethnicity grow the hell ip, stand for something other then being evil. These women all have children for God sske.

  • Yeahright2011

    @Alex

    right? i don’t know what it is about blacks but black people get shamed and the big-picture speech while the “technically” black people get The Diary of a Mad Red Bone. ain’t that privilege right there? let upper middle class and up blacks talk about not being accepted by working/poor class blacks, they’d get hammered. and they should for feeling so entitled. evelyn had no problem telling jen “u will never be a white girl”. translation: “you’re an uppity negro.”

  • Mrvardot
  • AJ

    @TAE: “My “blackness” doesn’t just come from how I dress, what music I listen to, the way I talk. It’s how I was raised, it’s in my dna, I got if from my momma and my daddy, who got it from they momma and they daddy before them, who got it from they momma and daddy before them. So I have a difficult time looking at a woman like Evelyn Lozada and feeling like she is just as african american as I am. ”

    Evelyn Lozada’s “Blackness” is in her DNA too! She is descended through the African slave trade to the Americas as much as me or you. She is as African-descended as anyof us. She is Black – just like a Jamaican, just like a Brazilian, just like an African-American,

    However. you are right – you should NOT Look at her as being as African-American as you- because she’s not. She’s NOT African American (meaning us long-term descended Blacks in the are now called the U.S.), but she is Black.

    Funny how everyone gets this if the person is from the English-speaking Caribbean countries – we get that a Jamaican is Black, but not African American. But as soon as the languages changes to spanish or portuguese, confusion seems to set in.

    Boy, miseducation is a beast! The colonizers did a great job on EVERYBODY in the Americas, whether English speaking or Spanish speaking.

  • AJ

    She is Black, but Chad just hates his own ETHNIC GROUP of women. The jokes on him. He ended up with a Black woman anyway, just by way of Latin America and the Caribbean.

    It’s the equivalent of hating Black U.S-descended women and preferring Haitian women. Preferential treatment of one group of African-descended women over another.

  • Lady P

    @AJ

    I agree with you whole-heartily.

    The biggest problem is this acceptance of the idea that to be Black means to be negative in every way – ignorant, unhealthy, violent. That’s for Latin-descended Blacks and American Blacks – Evelyn Lozada, the Black Latino, has her sister in Chrissy Lampkin, the Black American – two violent, out-of-control Black women who need an intervention.

    This is my entire point. We have transitioned over time to believe that all negativity relates to that of a black woman regardless of their ethnicity. In other words, if Evelyn was white, she still would be considered to act like she is a “sista” So this is our biggest problem.

    Not only black women, but anything that is negative is associated towards Black Americans in general. Remember when that old “watermelon racial slur” was made against Tiger Woods. This attack was targeted at his African-American heritage. Whether or not a person with an AA heritage background is good (by society standards) or NOT; the negativity or derogatory attacks are geared towards that side. In the end, it is fundamentally how we’re viewed.

    I believe if Zoe Saldana steps “outside the margins” of society expectations, she did will be more viewed as a black woman not because of being black, but by our perceived connotations.

  • Yb

    @Alexendria

    You overestimate the unison people have because they are the same race. Culture trumps race.

    And also understand that race is a social construct which veries from country to country. In America Evelyn is not black. I do not impose my view of race on others when I am outside of the states, and neither should you or squeen.

    Please don’t hesitate to give squeen that Disporiac high five that misguidingly believes that race unites a group of people.

  • Maggie

    Agreed!

  • TJ

    Drop any of us in the middle of the continent and see the reactions you get. Trust me, it has personally happened to me. We, like many in the “new World” have a blackness that we continue to define and redefine everyday.

    I see the point of this article but I also think if not for her telling us she was Puerto Rican, we would have assumed she, was African American. Just as (honestly) any of them could very well also be Latina. Some of the same stereotypes are prescribed to Latinas. Especially those with visible African ancestry.

    Side eye: Evelyn also says the n-word on more than one occasion (like a lot Puerto Ricans in NYC).

  • TJ

    Nice? No this is a racially charged, ignorant comment. How can you dare say that she is a typical PR hood rat? How racist is that? That is stereotypical. It doesn’t matter if you’ve met 100 Puerto Ricans like her you haven’t met them all.

    Find some help.

  • Mina

    I don’t understand how being a Afro-Latina makes you separate from being labeled African-American. She’s Latina, she’s Boricua, but she is still black or mixed. If Paula Patton was in Evelyn’s place, would this article be called: How a Biracial Became an African-American Stereotype? You make it sound like she’s a white Mexican perpetuating stereotypes of African Americans when in reality, she’s just as black and mixed up as majority of blacks in America. I identify as being multi-racial but I know that society will see me as an African-American, especially when I’m perpetuating negative stereotypes of African Americans.

  • Jaye

    Because she IS Afro-Latina! I have a few Puerto Rican and Dominican friends who all(except one who has no idea what race she is ) identifies racially as Black men and women. Culturally they are different but racially they aren’t. If some of the so called “real” Black people on this board want to separate themselves from Afro-Latinos because they speak Spanish, have tan skin, and looser coils of hair then let them knock themselves out. But all they continue to do is separate themselves. To me its no different then turning away a Black light skin person who is “culturally” American and telling them they aren’t Black enough. I’ve seen that happen quite often. It’s sad. Many Afro-Latinos are looked down upon in their native countries because they aren’t White enough, then we turn around and say they aren’t Black at all. Then you wonder why people have self-identification issues, or why many end up claiming no race. Can you blame them? I would just call myself Puerto Rican too if no race claimed me.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Great post Kristen.

    Rachael Roy is also grouped with Black women. When Rachael was interviewed in Vogue, she said that her mom is a blond Swedish woman and her dad is an Indian man. Until I read that interview, I really thought Rachael Roy was a light skinned Black woman.

    I wrote all of that to say that Evelyn does look like a light-skinned Black woman. You(or maybe just I) can look at her and see the African genes floating around. Not that I’m eager to claim such an evil person but the way racism works in America is … you are what you look like.

    Suzie doesn’t look blk, at all. I don’t think the media would group Suzie in with us, if she were a ratchet.

  • twee

    I’m thinking the same, how this isn’t different from any Puerto Rican female I grew up with so how is she an AA stereotype? And it’s kind of jacked that we’re claiming this even in referencing it as a stereotype how about she’s just ghetto.

  • gmarie

    THIS! Why are African American women the only women who should be pinned with these qualities as a stereotype? Ever watch mob wives?

  • MK

    ok, if Evelyn is not black, I want to know what is she? yes, she is Puerto Rican, but does that mean she is not black.
    That is like saying because I am Panamanian, I am not black. What kind of foolishness is this?
    People, nationality and race are two different things.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    “I’m so sick and tired of black women claiming to be the “Strong” backbone of this broken beyond repair mess it’s not even funny.

    *chic jumps jumps up so fast her chruch hat goes flying*

    Preach!

    I refuse to run myself down to fix people who don’t really want to be fixed. There is no mammy over here.

  • Whatever

    @TJ

    Actually my comment is not racist. I said Evelyn is a typical “Puerto Rican hoodrat” as in a hoodrat that happens to be Puerto Rican. Hoodrats come in all shapes, sizes, races and ethnicities.

    @twee and gmarie

    Exactly. I’m tired of unacceptable behavior being equated with black people in general. I hate then when this behavior is discussed “Mob Wives” and Bad Girls Club” never comes up.

  • Faiye

    Well said. Could not agree more.

  • Kirsten West Savali

    Wow, some of the comments to this article went entirely left of the central points. Which are:

    1.) African-American women are the ones boycotting the show. African-American women are the ones — not all, but many — saying that Evelyn is the worst one. African-American women say that this show is a negative portrayal of African-American women.

    2.) The historical stereotypes that I address (promiscuous Jezebel and angry Sapphires) are stereotypes used to label African-American women, more specifically, Black women in America who are descendants of African slaves.

    3.) Evelyn Lozada is not African-Amerian.

    4.) What is important is why many Black women, specifically African-American women, internalize the shame they feel by these stereotypical images as if they were cast-members — even when they are not embodied by other African-American women? What is within many of us that we recognize these stereotypes, even if subconsciously, and react? Why are African-American women coming out in droves to say that Evelyn is giving “us” a bad name?

    5.) More importantly, why should we feel insulted, angry or judged by the actions of other grown women?

    ******************************************************

    Now, one could argue, if they really had a great deal of time on their hands and a point to prove, that since Puerto Rico is America and African is mixed in with European and Indian, that she could be considered African-American. But to do so, one would be entirely missing the point. Afro-Latinas have not been contextualized within the stereotypes that I mentioned above. Further, I specifically said that whether she considers herself Black or not is another topic. Most people are aware that black Africans were shipped all over the globe, not just America, including Spain, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Cuba, etc… One would be remiss not to also acknowledge that their cultural experiences have been different). That is not divisive, that is fact. It doesn’t make them any less or more than, it is fact. They, as do all women, have their own set of stereotypes — which can not and should not be minimized but are not addressed here.

    Thanks to everyone for reading. You all make some valid points. As I stated, dialogue is essential.

    K

  • MK

    Thank you

  • khrish

    I agree with you 100% and I have hoped for months that someone do exactly what has been done…..SUE HER. That would calm her down a lot. She is the poster child for bullying.

  • khrish

    Oh please, don’t even mention the Kim thing. But remember it was that Nene who pushed Kim to the producers. However, I find myself more offended by Nene who is a part of that old stereotype that she gets invited on everyone’s show. She, to, to me is a total embarassment.

  • khrish

    Why would a Black female producer of this show decide to include Evelyn?

  • QofNewcastle

    @MK

    Evelyn is probably a mix between European and Taino Indian of the Carribean. In fact she looks all Taino.

  • That’s That

    LMAO!! @ Chappele Show’s Race Draft

    That is exactly what this is like.

  • Yeahright2011

    @AJ

    ” You all are now saying that they are not “Black” because white people have told us so.”
    We say mixed people are “black” because white people told up so. You supporting the ODR to make point know full well it wasn’t our idea. Didn’t Lights and Half Negros have their own group apart from blacks and whites anyway? And the skin is a factor. When you’re darker you don’t have luxury of picking “black” on tuesday morning and mixed for friday night. Naw people make assumptions, like the only “dark” black women try to measure blackness. Didn’t Tami, who looks like Evelyn’s second cousin btw, give Kesha a hard time for not looking and sounding “African American”? Or the light skin Naturals telling darker women to wear their hair in a way that embraces “blackness”- even though the skin is a dead give away? It goes both ways and maybe you should start addressing light and mixed people first because the darker people won’t be entertaining the big picture until they/you do.

  • binks

    Boom and there we have it! To me I don’t identify her as a black woman nor am I claiming her or anyone else foolishness be it black, white or other

  • H

    Puerto Rican is a nationality. Latino is an ethnicity. Black is a term to talk about race. In the US, the term is used by many people to talk about people who are of black ancestry but not necessarily 100% black. What is the difference in calling Barack Obama black and Evelyn Lozada black? Vanessa Williams considers herself black doesn’t she?

    Some Afro-Latinos might not like to be considered black, but by what we consider black, they are. As for her being an African American stereotype, I guess that comes from looking black and being in America. I mean she probably was around African Americans or embraced African American culture more than her Nuyorican culture.

    Also, she is not from Puerto Rico. She is American, and she is black. By many definitions of the term African American, she would be considered African American. Why would the American child of Nigerian immigrants be considered African American but not Evelyn?

  • Kinectic

    @AJ

    It depends on which country in Africa. Africa isn’t this one big country like America. Many African Americans look like most people from Nigeria and Ghana, which is where the majority of slaves came from. Of course if you dropped them in the middle of Uganda or Rwanda, you could tell a difference, just like if a Nigerian from the Igbo tribe was to go to those places. All africans don’t look like those people you see on the National Geographics channel.

  • Isis

    Aint nothing black about that chick except her man. If shes black what am i?? Tar??

  • Whatever

    That was hilarious.

  • tisme

    “There is no looking black”

    Come again?No one is confused about what white or Asian is.Not every person can be white or Asian.Hell some people are not even allowed to claim Hispanic when they actually are but black people are on a high horse?

    Evelyn is not black.Mixed people are just that.Mixed.And there is nothing wrong with people being mixed.

    I feel it is intrusive and even disrespectful for anybody to be able to claim being us when we DON’T have the same experiences based on skin color and other features.
    Black people can’t be white but Tina Marie and others can be black?That’s ridiculous

  • befree

    I have long abandoned the one drop rule because it treats black “blood” like a got damn containment. I am African American and contrary to what many folks believe there is an African American culture. There are cultural norms, values and traditions being reared by African American parents whose roots go back generations in Ameria. It seems when it come to AA people believe that’s it not and actual ethnicity. Strange.

  • http://livefromthematrix.wordpress.com TAE

    @AJ, first off, what up? All I can say is I guess that the colonizers did a good job, I’m not sure if that was just a mere observation or meant to be insulting but I’m secure in my pov so it’s all good.

    My main point was that “blackness” especially what it means to be a black american, which I have had to identify myself as on all my tests and such for the duration of my existence, confuses the hell out of me. Then there’s the whole black vs african american thing.

    Growing up puerto ricans was puerto ricans, they never called themselves black. They hung out with us, black folk, hard core but they made sure to differentiate themselves from us, black folk, in every way they could. They had “good hair” unlike us, “pretty complexions” unlike us, and made sure to pronounce every word like they just stepped off the boat. I remember my homegirl used to tell everyone that she was born in Puerto Rico, pronounced Pwereto Rriiiccooo she was tough with the dramatized accent lol, but confided in me one day that she was born right over here just like me. This was in middle school so I think it was mainly young kids trying to find their selves, but my point is there are differences between us which cannot be overlooked and I acknowledge and respect those differences. I have never met a Puerto Rican tell me they were black, well a few now that I’m older and live in a more racial conscious area but they will always let you know that they are both Puerto Rican and black, not exclusively black. So describing Evelyn Lozada as black will never be a correct assessment in my book, but as I said to each his own, she can call herself purple for all I care. My problem is not with her, or women like her, but the concept of blackness itself.

    I remember I was having a conversation with a gentleman I used to date and he was explaining to me how all people of color are essentially black since all people are descended from Africans, right? This same man just a few months prior told me that he broke up with his middle eastern gf after spending a lot of time wrestling with the fact that she wasn’t black. Black women are his preference and he was not comfortable carrying on a serious relationship with her. Now this is where things get sticky. He was sitting and trying to sell me on the fact that all people of color are black but he contradicted his own logic by breaking up with his ex who was Pakistani and Pakistan and North Africa damn near kiss. He wanted to tell me that there was essentially no difference between a woman of color like J.lo, which he used as an example, and myself yet his turmoil over his relationship with another woman of color tells a different story. I get it, we are all DESCENDED from Africans but I feel some of us got a little more Africa in us than others and from what I was made to understand growing up here on this continent, being black means that you got more Africa in you than anything else.

    I have mad native american ancestry, but can I call myself native american? No, people laugh it off and think I’m just another black girl trying to be exotic, trying to be something that I am not. But we all know, that black women are the epitome of exotic but I digress. The fact of the matter is that sure we are one people, but we are many tribes. Now I am not confused by the language barrier when it comes to the truth there are afro-latinos, just as you have pacific islanders and asian ethnic groups with heavy visible African ancestry. I would never call a Cambodian black, a Cambodian is a Cambodian. Or take the new singer Yuna, she’s a perfect example, I thought she was black straight up. Turns out, she’s Malaysian. I would never call her black and you can see the Africa all up in her face. To me it would be a disrespect to label her as something that clearly does not correctly define the totality of what or who she is. Much like what has been done to black people in america who have to deny or are ignorant of parts of their ethnic heritage because, we just black. All I’m saying is as a black woman in america the older i get the more it seems like everybody can jump into my box, my box is sooooo inlcusive, but I can’t jump nowhere but right where I stand. I am limited by my blackness, while others can slip in and out of it as they choose. This, in short, perplexes me, but I can say I am growing into a new understanding of race.

  • Jess

    “I have long abandoned the one drop rule because it treats black “blood” like a got damn containment. I am African American and contrary to what many folks believe there is an African American culture. There are cultural norms, values and traditions being reared by African American parents whose roots go back generations in Ameria. It seems when it come to AA people believe that’s it not and actual ethnicity.”

    It’s not about the one drop rule, it’s about ethnicity. You can’t change our ethnicity every time it’s PC to make someone either Black or biracial, or when whites say today it’s one drop but tomorrow its muticulturalism. Frederick Douglas and w.e.b. dubois are black americans and part of black history. If you decide being black means to be unmixed you just threw out 80% of Black Americans and Afro-latinos from the African race. There is no way you can do that in the Americas. All blacks of the Americas are mixed to varying degrees, some more or less than others simply because of our history.

    If you toss out the one drop rule, you just tossed out the whole race of Black Americans because our history in the U.S. FORCED us to be mixed – we’re all one-droppers, mainly not of our own fault. To be Black from most any part of the Americas, including Latin Black is to be African mixed with some form of European and Native Indigenous indian – to differing degrees.

    It does NOT mean you are not Black or African descent. But It can’t be changed when it’s convenient to others. You can not change who you really are to fit anyone’s agenda – be it white people who want to divide us by our admixture that THEY forced upon us, be it Africans that want us to only claim certain parts of Africa or deny any admixture with the native peoples of the Americas, or to deny the legacy of torture, rape, and slave breeding that forced us to be partially European as well, or multiculturalist who only want us to claim mixed heritage and deny or demote African heritage. Plus to deny that admixture is to take white people off of the hook about the system of slavery.

    and yes, I agree, black Americans/afro-americans are our own ethnic group separate from Africans who have immigrant backgrounds in America, and we are a separate ethnic group from Afro-Latinos, who have a similar history and experienc but cultural differences . We’re all still Black but of different ethnicities.

    It’s like a kenyan is not a ghanaian is not a nigerian is not an ethiopian. Same race, different ethnicities.

    An afro-american (U.S. based) is not an afro-latino is not a Carribeano – same race, similar ut varied racial admixtures, different ethnicities.

    It’s just what it is. we are who we are now.

  • befree

    AJ, sorry until Evelyn self identifies as black.. I ain’t buying it. If you saw the episode with Tami and Evelyn and Tami asked about black women and Breast cancer. After the advice on how of black women should get checked Evelyn said something to the affect YOU
    ( Tami) have to go once a year.. she didn’t say WE.

  • http://elegantblackwoman.blogspot.com Elegance

    “While this concern is admirable, and at times necessary, the idea that black women must always be perfectly well-behaved — or risk shaming the community-at-large – is both unrealistic and unfair. ”

    Good grief! Some people are so lazy and undisciplined! Why is it so hard to be on your best behaviour in public??? Other people are able to do that all the time with no problems but it seems impossible to this writer. PLENTY of people make sure to not get into fights, curse, or make fools of themselves in public because they have been taught not to, they have self-respect, are concerned about their reputations, discipline, and just the common sense to behave. Why does that seem so hard for Black people?

  • Kirsten West Savali

    You missed the entire boat on that statement, so let me row it on back in.

    Whether an African-American woman “behaves” in public (whatever that means to whomever set the standard) or not, should be a reflection of herself, not everyone who happens to look like her. And people who look like her shouldn’t internalize the “shame” they may feel about what others think of that particular woman.

    Make sense?

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    @ Kirsten,

    Hey girl…so I read this article in its entirety, and my comment was deemed not worthy of being posted, it was deleted. My question was….

    Why do you find the need to intellectualize hoodratitits behavior?! The way I see it, you are only feeding into her madness, and propagating the notion that there is some truth to the stereotype…..Would love to get a response.

  • Kirsten West Savali

    @African Mami:

    Hey, Sis *waves*

    If it’s one thing you should understand about me is that I don’t take any behavior at face value. Evelyn’s behavior is not what I’m addressing. It’s the fact that many African-American women feel the need to boycott her (and the show) because they feel that it glorifies stereotypical behavior and they feel embarrassed, insulted, shamed by it — even when not embodied by an African-American woman. She’s been contextualized to represent a stereotype that shouldn’t be “ours” to bear because this behavior can be exhibited at anytime, by any woman, anywhere.

    There are several shows on the air that feature non-Black casts and I haven’t seen a picket sign yet. Why? Because they don’t consider those few women to represent them collectively. For some reason, many of us do.

    I’m not trying to give power to the stereotypes; I’m trying to take it away.

    But I’m sure you’ll let me know if I’ve failed, you always do! :-)

    Thanks for checking in,

    K

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    ****waves crazily******* *screams and hollers @ your response*

    UUUUUUUUUUNDERSTOOOOOD!!!!! FINIIIIIIIITO.

    “There are several shows on the air that feature non-Black casts and I haven’t seen a picket sign yet. Why? Because they don’t consider those few women to represent them collectively. For some reason, many of us do. ”

    Thank you so much. To be quite honest the whole of yesterday and today, I’ve been slowly brewing over your post and wondering why, questioning what you wrote was a problem. All I wanted was insight-and you just gave me that. For that, I’m on my Dunkin Donuts iced coffee, energy inducer and natural high for life! :)

    By the way I LOVE your writing-and I’m not just saying that to say that. If I don’t like a particular article, you know how that goes.loooolll!!!

    Thanks sis!!! :)

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    hopefully what I posted back, at some point will show.

    I just want to say THANK YOU, for clarifying WHY!!!! Appreciate dat, and now I’m on board with this article!!! :)

    You ROOOOCK!

  • Kam

    I’ll be honest. While I am quite aware of the racist process of making one Black woman’s behavior the representative of all, I will continue to speak out against negative Black images. As I get older, and this is partly influenced by my studies in Marketing , more and more I see Black Woman as a brand I need to protect. Shows like Basketball Wives are harmful to the brand, to put it bluntly. As Black women become more and more successful, more and more dominant White society responds by churning out more negative images of Black women. Of course this is because the success of Whiteness depends on the failure of Blackness. My role is to continue to dismantle White supremacy by speaking out against the images of Blackness it needs to thrive (among my host of other methods to dismantle it).

  • booboo11

    Evelyn Lozado comes from two puerto-rican parents. How are you going to call her African-American? African American refers to the descendants of African slaves sent to the American mainland English colonies, which became the United States. You are talking about several centuries of American history from the 1600′s to present. Evelyn’s parents came from Puerto Rico. The fact that Puerto Rico became a U.S. protectorate and Puerto-Ricans became automatic American citizens with the right to migrate to the mainland U.S. does not all of a sudden make Puerto-Ricans of complete or mixed black racial background “African American”. Stop trying to co-opt people of a completely different culture with a separate history. Puerto Rico’s history is even longer than the U.S’s and there was immediate interbreeding between the natives and the Spaniards and then along with the African slaves that were brought. Neither of Evelyn Lozado’s parents look black. They both look taino/european mix. However, it is obvious that Evelyn must has black ancestry somewhere further in her parents bloodline. As to whether this makes her “black” that’s up to whatever ridiculous theory people want to put together to get to the answer they want. Evelyn is simply Puerto Rican to me. Although, I am sure Puerto Ricans are completely disavowing her. That girl is PURE GHETTO TRASH of any color any culture any race.

  • booboo11

    one drop rule is as ridiculous as the reverse one drop rule in Latin America that made people of any level of mix, white as long as they could prove they had one white ancester in the last 4 generations. Some African Americans will not be happy until a blue eyd blond woman is called “black” and represents black america. What about the actual black black women who are literally scorned for being a pure representation of their race” heart shaped faces, asiatic eyes, tight black short coils and deep black or brown unblemished skin? My non admixture black friends get the most hate from “chocolate” african americans who make fun of their darkness or short tight natural coils. So amusing when I see African American women hate on light bright damn near white yet they talk smack about african or carribbean non mixed black women as being unnattractive and dark, mean while petting their long “natural” straight black hair like a prize. Whatever. Enjoy calling Evelyn Lozado black, the rest of the world will not, and she will not be treated as such.

  • Kirsten West Savali

    @ Kam:

    I agree with you 100%. The nuanced issue (at least for me) is not with purpose, it is with procedure. How do we dismantle White supremacy? Do we tuck away those that we deem bad apples so they don’t shame “all of us”? Or do we address the imbalance of media representation for Black women? Is it “their” fault for churning them out (as they do other trash shows with women of other ethnicities)? Or is it our fault that Black women, by far, have made BBW and RHOA the most popular shows for their respective networks? Do we address the criminality (if you will) of the supply, or the illness that may or may not lurk in the demand?

    I think we can effectively do both, but ultimately we have to realize that a few women do not represent us all. Harming “our brand” with whom? White America? Who cares, then. Harming “our brand” within our own communities? Then we have a problem. White Supremacy flourished when we were well-behaved mammies with white infants at our breast. We were slaves, forcibly docile and well-behaved and they still didn’t feel comfortable with us being ourselves as individuals separate from the boxes they placed us in. We could be the the best and the brightest in the world, they would still point to the loud, heck-rolling antics of one woman and say “That’s how Black women are.”

    I think the best way to take away that power is not to buy into the stereotypes they’ve made it appear are exclusive to Black women.

    Again, I completely respect and agree with your point. As I said in the article:

    “While this concern is admirable, and at times necessary, the idea that black women must always be perfectly well-behaved — or risk shaming the community-at-large – is both unrealistic and unfair. We are fighting a battle that is unique to women of color in this country, and that is the duality of asserting our individual identities separate from stereotypical imagery, while fighting for the elevation of our communities as a whole. This places us in the precarious position of not being able to ignore the pervasive effects of reality television, while still recognizing that every, single one of these women has the right to present themselves to the world as they choose – whether anyone agrees or not.”

    I commend you. Sisters like you are necessary.

    K

  • Kirsten West Savali

    @ African Mami:

    Hey, now! *waves again*

    Thank you, Sis. :-) I’m glad that clarified things for you and for anyone else who may have had that same question.

    And yes, I know how it goes. Next week, you’ll probably be calling me all kinds of crazy for an article, so let’s enjoy the moment lol! But it’s all good, dialogue is what it’s all about. I always appreciate your feedback.

    K

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    @ Kirsten,

    oooooh llllllllawwwwd hammmmercy, can’t wait. If it’s about Africa, imma go all the way in, of course within boundaries of love respect and sisterhood.

    Have yourself a lovely weekend!!! :)

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    Dalili,

    If you happen to pass by. I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuweeeeee you girlfriend!!!

    Hope you have a great and blessed weekend.

    Please management, don’t erase this. I’m just passing my regards to my big sis!!! :)

  • kay

    Thank you for posting this article. Latina women like to play this little game where they are only black when it is convenient for them. But when it comes down to the hard knock part of being black they experience none of that. I do not culturally identify with evelyn as an african american woman because she does not have the same experiences that I do, regardless of whether her great great great grandfather somewhere down the line had a trace of African roots. End of story.

    And if you notice you don’t hear anyone lamenting the behavior of puerto ricans in general due to evelyns ghetto behavior on television.

  • H

    @booboo11 – Umm. No. Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth. On Wikipedia, she is listed as American not Puerto Rican. She was born in freaking Brooklyn not San Juan. She was raised in the Bronx. Ricky Martin however is listed as Puerto Rican because he was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She can’t claim to be Puerto Rican merely because her parents are from there. I had a roommate in college whose parents were from Mexico, but she is NOT because she was born and raised here and is an American. That’s like a person from New York saying that they are a Californian because their parents are from California.

    Immigrants’ children who are born here are American not Nigerian or Mexican or Chinese. Although Puerto Rico is not a country. It is the same idea. Maybe she is trying to claim Puerto Rican culture, but she and J.Lo and other Nuyoricans are American!

    She is not African American by your definition of African American, but the US considers African American to basically mean Americans who are of black ancestry even partial ancestry. So black African immigrants’ children are considered African Americans although they are not descendants of West African slaves in the US.

    Also we may use the term black incorrectly in the US. Black is meant to describe race. But Obama is not 100% of the black (negr0id) race and is more correctly described as mixed, but the term African American does apply to him and Halle Berry. We tend to use black and African American interchangeably, so that and the one drop rule is why so many mixed people say that they are black. But so many “black” people in the US are mixed. Should all of us find out our ancestry and start calling ourselves mixed? People wouldn’t know what to think because so many would fit outside their stereotypical view of a mixed person. Many dark skinned American black people with wide noses and full lips are mixed. People are expecting mixed people to look like Halle Berry. So if mixed people don’t want to call themselves black, that is fine with me. They are technically right. But to me, they are still African American.

  • Yb

    @H

    Booboo1′s definition is not her definition but the definition used all black ethnicities to identify African American’s. I’m not sure if you are a black immigrant or African American by proper definition but I do not appreciate you appropriating a term to describe MY people, as well as our culture, struggles, and history. The term was created to describe a group of people of African descent taken and enslaved in what we call the United States of America. That is a FACT. You cannot change the definition of a word.

    Yes Evelyn is a U.S. citizen, but her ethnicity is NOT the same as my, Michelle Obama, nor the author of this article. Her ethnicity is Puerto Rican. Do not group her under the complex label that is African American. It is a disservice to her group of people and to the beautiful differences and complexities of people of the African Diaspora.

    And NO, even by white America’s narrow view of race she is NOT African American, she is Hispanic/Latino. Brush up on the racial categories of the U.S. census.

  • booboo11

    Thank you YB –

    it blows my mind when I hear misinformed African Americans – or black americans refer to other ethnicities with black or mixed ancestry as “African American” because they live in the U.S. and are black or mixed. People do not understand the difference between “race”, ethnicity, nationality. African American refers to a specific people, with a specific history, with a specific cultural legacy. It is ridiculous. A dominican could be black but they will never be African American. A cuban could be black but they will never be African Americans, Once they cross that water, or get born here they are simply Cuban Americans or Dominican Americans and if you want to start designating by race, then black Latinos who are American. But they will NEVER be African American.

  • H

    @Yb – It is not a fact that that is the definition of African American. I guess you are saying you don’t like white America’s definition and that other black people don’t see it that way b/c the census equates Black American with African American and says it refers to a person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa. It includes people who indicated their race(s) as “Black, African Am., or Negro” or reported entries such as African American, Kenyan, Nigerian, or Haitian.
    http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-02.pdf

    African Americans[2] (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans, and formerly as American Negroes) are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa.[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_American

    African American – A black American of African ancestry.
    http://ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=african+american

    By your definition, Barack Obama is not African American, but he is listed as such. I am African American, and I understand what you are saying about us not sharing the same history and culture with other groups of blacks. But I know American people with African parents who do see themselves as African Americans. Also, Barack Obama may not have had ancestors who were slaves here, but he has definitely had an African American experience in this country. What should he and these people call themselves? A black American? A Kenyan American?

    African American is indeed a complex label, but many people don’t see it in the same way. And Lozada is still not Puerto Rican. She may be of Hispanic/Latino descent, but she is not from Puerto Rico. Italian Americans are not Italian. The Jersey Shore cast is not Italian. Irish Americans are not Irish. They are American. She is American.

    I don’t think simply b/c someone lives here they are African American. Rihanna is not African American. But that is your definition of African American. There are lots of black people who agree with you, and there are many that don’t.

  • Dalili

    LOL!

    Heeeyyyyyy Sis! *reaching to give a hug*

    & I love you too! I hope all is well in your corner of the world!

    Have a great, great weekend!

  • Jess

    @booboo11: “Some African Americans will not be happy until a blue eyed blond woman is called “black” ”

    Sorry, Booboo, you know nothing about black America. There are plenty of blue-eyed people that are black american.

  • Anon

    Urm, I’m with AJ on this. I’ve “been to Africa” several times, and have had family members travel there since the 80′s on the regular. Western hemisphere black people really DO look different than a lot of native Afrian peoples, and this we’re talking Africa, the largest continent on the planet. You kind of can tell who’s American, Carribean, etc… for the majority of us. Will Smith doesn’t look like the average actor in Africa, ya know.

  • Salesha

    I call bullshit on this article. There are a lot of Latinas who consider Lozada Afro-Latina. Still, I don’t see what that has to do solely with the stereotypes of African American women or how Lozada is necessary to make the point about how we are portrayed negatively by the media. Latinas are stereotyped as well. I think bringing up Lozada is merely a divisive measure between African American women and Latina women. This article was messy.

  • Anon

    I am ROLLING with these Evelyn doesn’t look black comments!!! Is every black person you know the color of tar? Trust, in the south, chicks like Evelyn are a DIME a dozen. I’m from the south and I can tell you straight up if she moved around the border, she wouldn’t get so much as an “Hola” in a Fiesta grocery store. #Truth.

  • Anon

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU for putting down rap/rape music!!! And as a hat tip, you should start to distance yourself from women who do. I PROMISE you the types of changes that you’ll be making from now on are not going to vibe with how they conduct themselves and whether it be fast or slow, your lifestyles will diverge.

  • Yb

    @H

    Once again you have failed to understand the differences of race, ethnicity, nationality, and culture as well as utilize unreliable sources such as Wikipedia. I am done arguing with you.

    You have a great mothers day.

  • Anon

    Ya’ll are killin(!) me with this mess. Have any of you been to the south? I mean based on this nonsense, T.I. isn’t black based on your observations! WOOOOOOOOOOOoooo chile, I didn’t know that the paper bag test was going in the opposite direction these days.

  • H

    @Anon – Thank you. In the South, there are lots of light skinned people. People are letting her light hair color (dye probably) and the texture of her hair throw them off. If her hair was black or she were wearing a weave, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

    It all depends on what you consider black. Does black mean 100% black to you? That would throw a lot of American black people out of the black population. It sounds like people think black means having dark skin, a wide nose, full lips, and kinky hair even if you are not 100% black.

    Hispanic/Latino is not a race. There are white Hispanics (Shakira, Sofia Vergara). There are black Hispanics. There are mixed black/white, black/indigenous, and white/indigenous Hispanics. Lozada is one of those mixtures.

    Evelyn is mixed just like Halle Berry, Vanessa Williams, and all these other light skinned people, but to say she is Puerto Rican doesn’t mean anything. That’s like me saying I’m American. That says nothing about race. She is considered Afro-Latina which means she has black ancestry. So if Halle Berry and Mariah Carey are considered black in your book, then so is Lozada. Technically they are mixed and not black. Many Afro-Latinos don’t share our view of black and don’t want to be seen as black. They would rather say that they are Puerto Rican or Latino which still has nothing to do with race.

  • AustralianGirl

    Many african americans resemble coloured’ south africans, so drop this ‘blacker than thou’ bullsh.it.

  • H

    @Yb – I have no problem understanding the difference between race, ethnicity, and nationality. You are the one that thinks that an American born in New York is a Puerto Rican simply b/c her parents are Puerto Rican. They themselves and others call these Americans Puerto Ricans b/c they don’t understand the difference between race,ethnicity, and nationality, and now it has become accepted. It is wrong. Puerto Rico is not a nation, but Puerto Rican is used just like other nationalities to describe people from Puerto Rico. George Lopez is NOT Mexican, and that is why Lozada is not Puerto Rican.

    I am black just like a Nigerian black person is black. We are the same race. I am American, so we are not the same nationality. My ethnicity is African American. I understand that people of an ethnic group share a heritage and culture. That doesn’t change the fact that US government does not use African American to specifically talk about African slave descendants which is what I said.

    Yes I included a link from Wikipedia because Wikipedia has links to its reliable sources right at the bottom of its pages for anyone who is interested enough to scroll down or simply click on the inline citation and check it out. The citations to the reliable sources are on the page. I also included links from other reliable sources in my comment.

    Barack Obama might not be an African slave descendant. The US government sees him and other people like him as African American, and that is a fact! I never said that she had the same culture as African slave descendants. I said that black people who aren’t African slave descendants are considered to be African American by the US government.

    We will just have to agree to disagree. I will enjoy my Mother’s Day, and I hope you will as well.

  • Lattelicious

    Good point Kirsten! I think the reason black women are “up in arms” over these women on those shows is because historically and even today, blacks are judged by the worst of their race. Even though there are brilliant black people like Vernon Jordan, Thurgood Marshall, Barack Obama, etc., we still get judged by the homeless guy they see on their way to work everyday or the one person they see who uses an EBT card in front of them in line at the supermarket. That is why black women hate these shows and any characterization that depicts us in such a negative manner. We are constantly being judged by the worst of our race rather than the best, as others are. And you all now that.

    Toni Morrison is a brilliant writer, so much better than Faulkner or Fitzgerald, but when it comes to literature, no one gives us credit for being good writers. Do you see where I am going with this?

  • Kinectic

    @Anon

    Have you been to every country in “Africa”. Many African Americans wouldn’t look exactly like native Africans because the majority of you all have been mixing for hundreds of years. But for those that aren’t as “mixed”, you most likely resemble someone from west africa, not necesarily from central or east.

    @AustralianGirl

    Actually most black americans resemble people from the igbo tribe of nigeria. The only reason you think you resemble people from south africa is because there are white people there and you all love whites so much. Majority of black slaves didn’t even come from south africa. Lol such a delusional group.

  • simonemom

    I agree

  • JessicaMercedes

    I’ve read alot of comments, so my comment is more of a reply to them, than to the article.

    There is a difference between African-American and Black. For some reason the terms are used interchangeably. AA is an American of African ancestry, even if they have no idea how long ago their ancestors were in Africa. Black is sometimes a skin color, and also sometimes means that someone in the ancestry comes from Africa. I don’t understand why certain black people think that you can only be black if you come from a certain country. As if Puerto Ricans can’t be black.

    I’ve dealt with this problem growing up. My dad is from Barbados, and my mom is from Panama. They are not African American, but they are both black. Their ancestors are African. If there are any white people in our family, we can’t trace them. However, I constantly had to argue with other black people about whether I was black. Alot of them would argue that we didn’t have to deal with slavery, which is a load of crock. Africans were actually taken to Barbados to be trained and further broken, before they were brought to the US. And of course, Barbados being a British colony (until recent history) slaves were kept there as well. I haven’t researched the history of black Panamanians because my Panamanian family immigrated from Barbados during the building of the Panama canal. But I do know (like every other country in the world) that there are black people and white people there (as well as asian, indian, etc). And there is racial inequality there as well. Black people are discriminated against there, maybe even more than they are here.

    I know I could never pass for white, even though my skin is light. I live in Miami, people have walked up to me speaking Spanish, Creole, Patwa. I guess my appearance makes me culturally ambiguous, but I’ve never EVER been mistaken for white (by a white person). Yet for some reason black people ask if I’m white all the time. Black people trip me out.

  • RashidaStarry

    I consider Evelyn a “Spanish speaking Caribbean person”. i find that most people from the Caribbean island share a commonality in culture whether they speak spanish, french or creole. As an African American, raised on the West Coast I find the Puerto Rican or Jamaican culture equally foreign and feel like a Jamaican person’s culture is much similar to a Puerto Rican or Cuban than it is to my African American culture. I mean if Tina Knowles is considered Black how in the world could someone like Evelyn,Rosie Perez, or Irene Cara not be considered black?

  • my_reply

    Loazada is black by most African Americans’ view of black. If her hair were black and her last name was Johnson, people wouldn’t even think to ask if she is black. They are the same ones that say Beyonce is trying to be white when she showed her ethnic background on that Loreal commercial, but they don’t consider Lozada black. Beyonce has all that blonde hair and is pretty bright, but we consider her black. Americans get thrown off by a Spanish last name. Just about all Hispanics are black, white, indigenous people of the Americas, or a mixture of any of those groups. She is simply mixed. To some African Americans, a black/white mixed person is black.

  • Pema

    I’m from the Bronx and there are plenty of Puerto Ricans there who act just like Evelyn. How she became a negative stereotype of black female behavior is beyond me. Are we so self-hating that we actually believe only our people behave crassly?

  • AustralianGirl

    @Kinectic…..

    I AM from South Africa, you obnoxious, presumptuous loser. lol

    One last point – you contradict yourself. First you say
    ‘many AA would’nt look exactly like native Africans because the majority…. have been mixing for hundreds of years’, but then you take offense at me saying they resemble mixed-race South Africans. I never said AA have South African roots, I said -some- RESEMBLE coloureds.

    Obnoxious, presumptuous AND illiterate. …..

  • soulfullyreal

    I’m from Compton, a city that is now mostly Hispanic (about 65% I believe) and black. I’ve lived in the BX, which is largely Black/ Latino mix, and I now live in Spanish Harlem, same thing. Maybe in places where Blacks/ Latinos are more divided ppl feel differently, but as far as I’ve observed, we are socially and ethnically in very similar spaces. Yes, there are cultural differences, but to literally grow up next door to each other in the “hood,” there are those that will have similar rachet qualities. It’s a matter of how an individual was raised. Jennifer Williams and that Kesha girl are on the show and are the most bougie, “I don’t wanna fight nobody” chicks ever. Evelyn is one of literally thousands of ghetto Spanish girls from the BX that hasn’t grown out of that mentality yet.

    Now, is this article saying that Evelyn and Kim from RHOA can act as stupid as they want b/c they don’t represent their race, but black women can’t b/c we do in the media’s eyes? I can agree with that in Kim’s case b/c there are so many contrary depictions of white women to Kim that ppl feel she isn’t representing any large # of white folks. As for Evelyn, young Latinas are often characterized as having an attitude, hypersexualized, many sterotypes that we often slap on black women as well.

    I agree with some points that the author is making but i also feels she’s reaching.

  • Sparkle

    Anyone who is silly enough to believe that these reality shows are a representation of African American or Latina women have probably had those beliefs already and needed something to “confirm” it. With or without a reality show they will always believe what they want to believe, sadly.

  • AJ

    totally agree soulfullyreal

  • For Real

    @ Sasha. Agreed. This article is a little ridiculous. I agree that black women, as well as many women of color, are often portrayed in a poor light in television and film.

    But the idea that Evelyn Lozada is an African-American stereotype is stupid. Why are talking about this non-black woman being an African-American stereotype? That fact that she acts the way she does, ought to show that is NOT just a stereotype that can be assigned to Black women.

    Honestly, regardless of her race, she presents a terrible image of WOMEN, not just black or Puerto Rican women.

    If she were colorless, she still is a trash-talking, fist-flying, trouble-starting hot-ass mess on TV.

    Is the point that she’s being viewed as a black woman? If so, why? Because of her foolishness? What? Only black women can act classes, uncivilized and like they are in desperate need of anger management? Then, that speaks to our ignorance as viewers.

    Stop identifying people as “black” just because they fit some silly stereotype. They act that way because that’s WHO THEY ARE AS A PERSON.

  • Kirsten West Savali

    It’s amazing that you can’t see that’s exactly the point of this article. Evelyn Lozada is NOT an African-American stereotype. The question on the table for discussion is why many African-American women who are boycotting her show are doing so because “she’s a bad representation of African-American women.” Why do many of us internalize these images and react to them as if they belong exclusively to us. More importantly, even if she were African-American, why do many people feel she “represents us” when she’s really only responsible for representing herself? Why aren’t African-American women able to have the autonomy that many other ethnicities enjoy? And what can we do about it?

    I really don’t think the question is that difficult to grasp.

  • MissMaryMack

    Kay….you summed it up quite well. As a Black American person from the BX I find Lozada and her kind of Hispanic the worse.

  • MissMaryMack

    Evelyn chose to be a groupie and hook up with gullible black men who want a woman with black sensibilities without any physical trace of blackness. Blackness pays very well for this chick but not so much for your average sista…

    ^^^^ This is everything.

  • Jane

    Depends on who you’re talking about. An African-American is black, but someone who is black isn’t always African-American.

  • Queen

    Excellent article. I think it’s a good point. We are constantly stuck between a build up of fear, judgement, and ridicule when it comes to sterotypes. The don’t make a fool of me outcry…but why let them have power over us in the first place.

  • LeBraun

    You are who you hang out with. The saying you are who your friends are. If you hang out with winners then most likely you are a winner and if you hang out with losers then most likely you are a loser. Lozada hangs out with African Americans and is an Afro Latino and has African descent. She is not the stereotypical Latina like Sofia Vergara, Thalia, Ricky Martina who are ethnically white. Latino/Latina and Hispanic are just generic terms that do not mention race. If you take an African Zebra to Canada it is not a Canadian zebra it is still an African Zebra. African Slaves were brought to the island of Puerto Rico and in the Caribbean Africans outnumbered the Spanish whites and the Taino. The Taino basically died off in masses due to small pox disease and other European diseases they had not immunity against.

  • existentia

    This has little to do with this article and more to do with the sociology in the comments.

    Having studied the history of Latin America, I completely understand the comments about the complexity of African ancestry/nationality/ethnicity/race. But what YOU ALL have to get is that identity is a combination of two things: SELF-identification and affirmation by society (either conscious (like legislation) or unconscious). It is immensely difficult to assume an identity that is not accepted (i.e. a dark-skinned African American with no immediate white ancestry claiming to be white with no African ancestry). Try it and see the result. It is why transgender persons still have to fight for rights as more research is revealed about their biology. For more on this, there is TONS of literature about identity politics.

    That being said and the above-mentioned being understood…regardless of what you THINK Evelyn is, if she hasn’t claimed being “black”, you can’t give her that label. It is not your place. Just like President Obama rejects the “biracial” title, every single person gets to decide for themselves and they can fulfill this identity (outwardly) when society says, “okay, you can be that”. Right or wrong, this is how the world works. This is why you are debating at all…you, like everyone, are a part of how “society” affirms identity and something has given you the impression that you have that authority. Evelyn has never said that she is black, unlike Zoe Saldana or Lala V. or Laz Alonso (who, to my understanding, is half Afro-American). So until she says that, she is a Latina of Puerto Rican descent. Unlike nationality or ethnicity, racial classifications have a tumultuous history is the hispanophone Caribbean, so until people speak for themselves…lets just lay off the labels.

  • Nomar

    Sisters. Hispanic and Latino are labels to spanish-speaking people in the americas that were invented by white people recently.There are not a racial definitions. There is no Latino, Hispanic or even Puertorican race. We are either of African, Asian,Aboriginal or European descent. More African slaves where sold in whats known as Latin America than in United States. In fact we outnumber the aboriginals and the whites in most countries. My two grandfathers were black. While I have never seen Lozada’s antics (the only reality show I enjoy is the Ultimate Fighter) sadly she is of African descent by virtue of his Puertorican ancestry. Most of my people in Puerto Rico or in the States have black relatives. Most “latinos” even without known it have afican ancestry. We are your brothers is just that we speak another languague.

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  • http://sungyak.tumblr.com Sungyak

    Great article. Been thinking along similar lines in this post. http://sungyak.tumblr.com/post/23501197560/my-wife-you-are-like-a-female-horse

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