In 2014, a survey by the Pew Research Center found that “one-quarter of all U.S. Latinos self-identify as Afro-Latino, Afro-Caribbean or of African descent with roots in Latin America.” It was the first time any survey had offered the option of acknowledging both African and Latin American heritage. The emergence of the term “Afro-Latinx” allowed even more creatives to become trailblazers for Afro-Latinidad, incorporating their entire heritage into their work.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage month, we’re excited to celebrate the beautiful and talented Afro-Latinas who are paving the way in television, fashion, music, and beyond.
Yaya DaCosta first hit the scene as a contestant on America’s Next Top Model. Since, she has continued to break barriers and make her mark in Hollywood as a versatile actress and talent. Her actress debut on All My Children in 2008 spurred consistent roles and she later graduated to hit shows like Ugly Betty and Chicago Med. In 2021, she left the NBC medical drama to lead the multi-talented cast of Fox’s Our Kind Of People as the driven main character, Angela Vaughn.
Laura Guzman is the star in HBO Max’s RIZO. The short film brings viewers into the perspective of an up-and-coming Afro-Latina actress navigating her identity while trying to make it in Hollywood. Guzman captivates audience with her charisma and brings life to the issues that many Afro-Latina Americans go through.
Bianca Kea is the founder of Afro-Latinx apparel brand Yo Soy AfroLatina. Her company honors the cultural traditions of the Afro-Latin experience for everyone to enjoy. From hats to mugs and colorful graphic tees, her brand is moving waves while educating the world about the cultural layers of being Hispanic and Black. According to the brand’s website, the Detroit native didn’t grow up seeing herself represented in media and was compelled to change that. Since its creation, the brand continues to drive meaningful conversations about diversity and inclusion.
Jay-Ann Lopez’s progressive platform Black Girl Gamers™ (BGG), blurs the lines between gaming and beauty. In 2015 after struggling to find community in the online gaming world, Lopez created the Black Girl Gamers Facebook group, as a space for community and support. The CEO hosts events like the industry-shaking Gamer Girls Night In™ (GGNI), which brings awareness to diversity and inclusion.
These days, Black Girl Gamers has over 7K members in its Facebook group and over 30K Twitch followers from around the world. No longer limited to strictly online, the group has grown into a full-blown establishment, offering workshops, events, and even a talent agency that represents up and coming streamers.
Additionally, alongside co-founder Stephanie Ijoma, the two created Curlture, a natural hair, beauty, and travel platform.
Monica Veloz is known by her tribe as MonicaStyle Muse. The Brooklyn, New York-native hones a digital prowess and social authority with more than 350K followers on Instagram for her candid fashion aesthetic and unapologetic confidence. Not only does she bring her viewers with her along her career journey, but she shares her cultures’ music, traditions and challenges along the way. From discussing series issues like breast health to encouraging her listeners to define their own standards of beauty, she has become a reigning digital queen.