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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Shared a Heartfelt Message About Her Relationship to Her Hair As A Latina Of Afro-Latinx Descent

Newly elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has never been one to shy away from talking about hot-button topics. In the past, she has spoken out against everything from sexism to socioeconomic inequality. Now, Ocasio-Cortez can add “hair activist” to her list of accomplishments.

In a post shared to her Instagram story, Ocasio-Cortez shared her latest hairstyle: a single corn-rowed braid on the left side of her head.

Ocasio-Cortez described her decision to wear the braid as a way for her to “honor the African and Indigenous heritage that is part of being Puerto Rican.”

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Own your power. . For so many, it’s radical to feel comfortable in your own skin – and to know that you are more than enough, just as you are. . One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” . So take up space. Speak up. Hold the door open and take others with you. Accept that you will be criticized no matter what – that is the price of fighting for change and innovation. I consider constructive criticism a blueprint for improvement and a medicine for ego. . Ultimately, the people who get down, stay focused in adversity, and do the thankless work of change are the ones who transform society. We can all be a part of that, if we so choose. We can all knock a door, register our cousin to vote, or educate ourselves on an issue we’re curious about. . We are all capable of awakening and commitment. And because of that, we can all be great. . ????: @gigilaub

A post shared by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@ocasio2018) on

Needless to say, the House of Representatives is hardly a place where braids are commonly seen on the heads of its members. Obviously aware of the precedent, Ocasio-Cortez explained why she felt it was necessary to wear her hair in a braid as a Congresswoman.

In her post, Ocasio-Cortez wrote, “My family is Afro-Latina. When my niece was very little, it upset me to see how early she started to feel that her big, curly, beautiful, natural hair was anything other than gorgeous. I don’t want my little nieces to ever be told that their hair or their braids are “unprofessional”. That’s why I chose to wear one today–to MAKE it normal and celebrated, with respect and honor to our ancestors, and to let every little girl out there know that they can bring her braids to congress too”.

Ocasio-Cortez’s words rang true for many Latinas on Twitter who have gone through their own personal natural hair journeys.

Sometimes it’s hard for marginalized communities to even know what they’re missing in terms of representation until someone shows it to them.

Afro-Latinas responded to the heartfelt message with ones of their own.

As trivial as it may sound to some, something as simple as wearing a braided hairstyle in a space that has historically been dominated by white men is enough to make a profound impact.

This fellow Baricua gave a shout-out to Ocasio-Cortez for using her platform as a woman of color to uplift other WOC who leave their hair natural.

In the past, women of color who have worn their hair curly or in traditionally black hairstyles like cornrows or braids, have been lambasted by employers for looking “unprofessional”. As we know, the standard for “professional” hair is socially constructed, with straight hair (i.e., white hair) being upheld as the ideal.

And of course, others decided to celebrate the fact that Ocasio-Cortez recognized her Afro-Latina heritage, which can be difficult for some Afro-Latinas.

As many of us know, many Latinas are hesitant to embrace the mixed black ancestry of their background because of Latinidad’s unfortunate inheritance of structural racism against Black people.

It would be an understatement to say that a politician talking about the ubiquity of Euro-Centric beauty standards is new territory. The fact that Ocasio-Cortez understands and speaks about the complex identity of being an Afro-Latina is groundbreaking in politics. Furthermore, her speaking out against the widespread idea that natural hair and braids are “unprofessional” is also groundbreaking. Again, this just proves that Ocasio-Cortez is exactly the type of phenomenal Latina our country needs in its government to truly make a difference.


Read: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Breaks Down Why The Holocaust Has Lessons To Offer Sen. Lindsey Graham In Twitter Spar

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Delivered an Impassioned Speech After the ‘Green New Deal’ Failed to Pass in the House

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Delivered an Impassioned Speech After the ‘Green New Deal’ Failed to Pass in the House

Those of you who have been following Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s career closely know that the “Green New Deal” has been a cornerstone of her platform since taking office in January. The “Green New Deal” is, according to the Sierra Club, a piece of legislation that aims to “mobilize vast public resources to help [the US] transition from an economy built on exploitation and fossil fuels to one driven by dignified work and clean energy.” On Tuesday, the Senate voted against passing the legislation by a margin of 0-57–an outcome that was largely expected.

What was unexpected, however, was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s reaction to a fellow House member who dismissed the trailblazing bill as one that would only benefit “rich liberals.”

“If you are a rich liberal from maybe New York or California [the Green New Deal] sounds great,” Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin (R) stated. “Because you can afford to retrofit your home or build a new home that has a zero emissions, that is energy efficient, affordable and safe.”

Needless to say, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez did not view the goal of reducing carbon emissions as a liberal fantasy in the same way Rep. Duffy did.

When it was her turn to speak at the committee hearing, Ocasio-Cortez didn’t mince words in her rebuttal.

“When we talk about the concern for the environment as an elitist concern, one year ago I was waitressing in a taco shop in downtown Manhattan,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “This is not an elitist issue. This is a quality of life issue. You want to tell people that their concern and their desire for clean air and clean water is elitist? Tell that to the kids in the South Bronx which are suffering from the highest rates of childhood asthma in the country. Tell that to the families in Flint…Call them elitist…People are dying!”

After the journalist and liberal media personality Brian Tyler Cohen Tweeted out the video to his 43,000 followers, the video quickly went viral–garnering more than 8 million views and 64,000 retweets in less than 24 hours.

Latinas, as usual, took to Twitter to support Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez…

The reaction on Twitter proves that combating climate change is not an issue that only effects elite liberals.

In fact, many Latinas view climate change as one of the most pressing issues in politics today.

@AOC Thank you for being a voice of reason. Your words come from the heart of many Americans who believe in helping our fellow man; who believe that clean water and air for ALL is top of the list of Congressional concerns. We MUST save the planet.— Janet (@SurruscoJanet) March 27, 2019

According to environmental scientists, the clock is ticking when it comes to both reducing and preventing humanity’s negative environmental impact.

Many Latinas experience first hand that negative consequences of the climate change crisis.

We, the people of communities like the Bronx where @AOC represents and the 7th where @AyannaPressley represents and the 5th Suffolk, where I represent are the original EJ warriors. We have been poisoned 4 generations w/ bad air, water & land. It’s not elitist, its righteous.— Rep. Liz Miranda (@lizforma) March 27, 2019

In fact, the affects of climate change disproportionately impact low-income Americans who are often displaced due to the destruction of unusual environmental occurrences.

Of course, there were those Latinas who were just ecstatic that they finally felt truly represented by a Representative.

All. Of. This! #AOC is my voice! @AOC represents my voice and my concerns for this country!!!! https://t.co/Ek8q3O36Q6— Alicia Figliuolo / adotfig on ig (@AliciaFigliuolo) March 27, 2019

It’s not every day that Latinas feel that their voices are being heard by politicians.

Some Twitter users reminded everyone that the devastating effects of climate change should not tainted by partisan politics.

The real question should be how ignorant are those old white men who don’t understand that #climatechange is real and will destroy humanity. #ScienceisReal We know the answer, they are driven by #Greed #GreenNewDeal— Michele Garron (@bassm67) March 27, 2019

Facts should not be made into a Republican vs. Democratic issue. The negative impacts of climate change are widely accepted by the scientific community.

Although the Green New Deal didn’t pass in the Senate, we’re very sure that this isn’t the end of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s fight against climate change.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Graces The Cover Of Time Magazine

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Graces The Cover Of Time Magazine

Whether they like it or not, Republicans’ most-loathed Democrat and the left’s most-terrifying congressional freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is a phenom, at least that’s what Time magazine has called her in their cover story of the New York representative.

Ocasio-Cortez will have her first Time cover for the magazIne’s April 1 issue, demonstrating, as its national correspondent Charlotte Alter notes in the story, that she’s the “second most talked-about politician in America, after the President of the United States.”

While critics have alleged she’s obsessed with the spotlight, Ocasio-Cortez, who shot to fame after beating 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary to represent New York’s 14th District last June, says she misses not being the center of attention.

“I miss being able to go outside in sweats,” she told the magazine. “I can’t go anywhere in public and just be a person without a lot of people watching everything I do.”

But her ability to capture national attention allows the political newcomer, who views herself as an activist who is more interested in “moral imperatives than on incremental policy wins,” to accomplish her biggest objective: winning hearts and minds. This, she believes, is how you transform a nation.

While detractors on both sides of the political aisle write her policies, like her Green New Deal proposal, off as fanciful, Ocasio-Cortez contends she’s thinking ahead and is more concerned with defining the Democratic Party’s agenda for the decades that follow.

“By the time legislation actually gets through, it is five years from now,” she says. “So everything we introduce needs to have 2025 or our kids in mind.”

Referring to the congresswoman, who represents parts of the Bronx and Queens, as the “Wonder Woman of the left, Wicked Witch of the right,” the Time feature shares Ocasio-Cortez’s story as a nerdy Bronx-born, Westchester County-raised child of Puerto Rican parents to a struggling Boston University alum who worked as an organizer and bartender while trying to keep her and her family afloat following the death of her father, the 2008 financial crisis and her own mounting school debt to Brand New Congress recruiting the political novice to run for office after receiving a letter from her brother about his sister’s might.

This month, Ocasio-Cortez also scored a spot on the cover of Rolling Stone, appearing alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and fellow freshman Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.) as the four Democratic “Women Shaping the Future.”

Read: Fox News Host Mocks Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Spanish Pronunciation Of Her Name As “Latina Thing”

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