ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Message to Americans: Hispanic/Latino Is Not a Race

Updated on May 15, 2019
SeviMichelleMoreno profile image

Sevon Michelle Moreno is an Afro Latina/Carribean. she writes to raise awareness about social justice issues regarding people of color.


"Your Black Not Hispanic"

"You don't look Hispanic", "You're black, not Latina", "Your African American", "you're too dark to be Hispanic", “You're Hispanic, not black”. Growing up, these were phrases I often heard. To non-black Hispanics, I wasn't Latina. To non-Hispanic black folks, I wasn't black enough. To non-Hispanic whites, I wasn't Hispanic cause I looked black. I always felt the need to prove my racial identity to my fellow black folks and the need to prove my ethnic identity to my fellow Hispanic folks.

My mother is of Cuban and Haitian descent and my father is of Jamaican, Native American and Puerto Rican descent but racially they are black. My ethnicity is Hispanic and my race is black. No, I am not African American, I am Caribbean American and yes I am a black Latina. We exist but for some reason, Americans can't seem to understand the concept of being an Afro-Latino.

Latin America and Americans tend to only popularize light-skinned Latinos or Latinos who tend to look Italian. They star in telenovelas, American tv shows, music videos and other sources of media, we don't see a variety of different Latinos. Mestizo Latinos are the only kind of Latinos that seem to exist to the media. Afro-Latinos, darker skinned Latinos and Asian-Latinos aren't widely known in America because to Americans we don't exist. To Americans, Hispanic/Latino is a race and if you are visibly white, Asian, or black then there is no way your Latino. So this article is a message to those who are convinced that Latino or Hispanic is a race.

Ethnicity vs Race

For the people who are confused or don't understand what I'm saying, I will define what race and ethnicity are. “Race is associated with biology, whereas ethnicity is associated with culture”( Race often refers to a person's physical traits, such as bone structure and skin while ethnicity refers to culture, that includes nationality, ancestry, and language. Nationality refers to the country you come from. Meaning Mexican, Cuban, Haitian and etc are not races but they are nationalities because they describe the country that you or your ancestors come from. “The world population can be divided into 4 races, namely white/Caucasian, Mongoloid/Asian, Negroid/Black, and Australoid” ( Caucasoids are people of Caucasian descent, Mongoloids are people of Asian, Indian, and middle eastern decent. Negroids are people of black descent and Australoid are people of aboriginal descent.

Now that I have defined the difference between race, nationality, and ethnicity, there should be a better understanding of why Hispanic/Latino isn't a race. “Federal policy defines “Hispanic” not as a race, but as an ethnicity. And it prescribes that Hispanics can, in fact, be of any race. But these census findings suggest that standard U.S. racial categories might either be confusing or not provide relevant options for Hispanics to describe their racial identity”(www.Pew

So if Hispanic/Latino isn't a race… then what is it?

“According to official U.S. policy, Latinx and Hispanic are ethnicities and not races”( So what race are Hispanics and Latinos then? “Many Latinx and Hispanic people are of mixed ancestry. Often, when people incorrectly refer to Latinx and Hispanic as a race, they’re referring to “mestizos,” or mixed-race people of both indigenous and European ancestry. However, you can be of any background and be Latinx or Hispanic. Afro-Latinx people are of African descent and are from Latin America, such as Cardi B (Dominican) or Tyson Beckford (Panamanian). Some have Middle Eastern heritage, like Salma Hayek and Shakira (both part Lebanese). Peru even had a president of Japanese ancestry: Alberto Fujimori. It’s safe to assume there isn’t one way to “be” or “look” Latinx or Hispanic” ( “The U.S. Census Bureau defines the ethnonym Hispanic or Latino to refer to "a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race" and states that Hispanics or Latinos can be of any race, any ancestry, any ethnicity” (

Mestizo Latina


White Latina (Cameron Diaz)


Black Latina (Juju Castaneda)


Asian Latina


Final note

Hispanic/Latino is not a race but is an ethnicity. Ethnicity is exclusive to all and any race, meaning you can identify as a white Hispanic, Asian Hispanic, and black Hispanic. Hispanics and Latinos on average are of mixed ancestry, made up of Spaniard, Native American and African and sometimes Asian, French and Portugal ancestry. Some Latinos have more European in them, which makes them a white Latino. Some Latinos have more Native American in them, which makes them an indigenous Latino. Some Latinos have more African in them, which makes them a black Latino. Some Latinos have a lot of Asian in them, which makes them an Asian Latino. And some Latinos are heavily mixed with Native American and Spaniard, which makes them a mestizo Latino.

The typical image of Latinos that we see everywhere needs to change. ALL Latinos and Hispanics need to be represented because a lot of us are hidden and people don't know we exist because many people think mestizo Hispanics/Latinos are the only kind of Hispanic/Latino that exist. Our schools need to teach the difference between race, ethnicity, and nationality and us Americans need to educate ourselves.

Latino does not have a specific skin color


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Sevon Michelle Moreno


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)