La La Anthony is a proud Boricua and she is quick to tell you so. While Hollywood has struggled to see Anthony as a Latina, she has been pushing Hollywood to rethink their notion of what a Latina looks like for years. Recently, Anthony spoke with Latina Magazine and talked about her journey thus far as an Afro-Latina in the entertainment industry. Here are some of the things Anthony has said throughout the years about being an Afro-Latina in Hollywood.
Hollywood still thinks that Latinas are all one color and that color is not black.
“I definitely don’t feel like I’m what Hollywood thinks of when they think of a Latina actress at all. They are imagining a different look, a different vibe,” Anthony told Latina Magazine this year. “People still tell me, ‘You speak Spanish? You’re Spanish? You’re Puerto Rican?’ They can’t wrap their minds around it. I actually speak Spanish fluently. The industry just hasn’t been thinking outside the box when it comes to Latina women. We come in all colors.”
But Hollywood’s closed-mindedness hasn’t stopped her from auditioning for Latina roles, even if it just to change their perception.
“There are so many different shades, and I think Hollywood has yet to realize that,” Anthony told Latina Magazine. It is challenging, but all I can continue to do is try out for the roles and show them, ‘Hey, we come in all shades and with all hair textures and all colors and all everything.'”
La La is unapologetic and proud AF of her Puerto Rican heritage.
“I am incredibly proud of my Puerto Rican heritage. A lot of people don’t realize that I’m Puerto Rican or when they do, they think that means I can’t be black,” Anthony wrote for PopSugar in 2016. “I identify as an Afro-Puerto Rican woman, and my Puerto Rican culture is in my blood and ingrained into my life.”
She’s also not going to be bullied by people into choosing between being black or Latina because 👏🏼she 👏🏼 is 👏🏼 both 👏🏼
“Not me, I embrace being a black-Puerto Rican and think we are plentiful and do exist,” Anthony told Bossip in 2010 when they asked her why she was being so open about being Afro-Latina. “I am more ‘black’ than people think. I would never shun that part of me and my marriage and the way I conduct myself in public should speak volumes for what I stand for. I speak fluent Spanish as well, so why deny that intricacy of my makeup?”
While Anthony isn’t mad at people who don’t understand how someone can be black and Latino, she also doesn’t want to have to educate people all the time.
“I’m not angry with anyone who doesn’t understand the complexities of race and culture,” Anthony wrote for Latina Magazine in 2010. “And I’m also not interested in having long, drawn out conversations about how it’s possible for me to look like this and speak Spanish.”
To keep their roots present in their family, she and husband Carmelo are making sure that their son knows about his Puerto Rican heritage.
“My husband Carmelo’s father is also Puerto Rican, so the Latino culture is really important to us and a big part of our lives,” Anthony wrote for PopSugar in 2016. “We are raising our son with a strong understanding of the importance of heritage and family, and while where you or your ancestors come from doesn’t have to define who you are, it’s important for us to embrace our family’s cultural background and show pride in it. I feel really blessed to have such a diverse family history.”
And most importantly, she is doing it to make sure that her son doesn’t let other people define him.
“I’m raising my son to understand who he is, and it’s my hope that he’ll never let others define him,” Anthony wrote for Latina Magazine in 2010. “It reflects poorly on us when we don’t educate ourselves about the rest of the world and what it looks like. I encourage people who are interested to learn more, do research and ask informed questions. If you’re lucky enough to visit various countries in Latin America, you’ll be baffled to see the blackest of the black and the lightest of the light living together. And I dare you to ask one of them to prove their latinidad.”