“A lot of people like to box me in because of my look or because I’m dark skinned, but that doesn’t make me less Latina. I am 100% Latina and proud…. I am extremely proud of my brown skin, I’m proud of my colour, the way that my hair curls. I am proud of who I am, and no one is going to take that away from me.” – Amara La Negra.
Stereotypes have ridiculed the existence of races, especially races derived from minority descent that have experienced hindrance from history until modern day. Since the recent change of the century, these minority ethnicities and races have found strength and support in changing the narrative with campaigns and advocates who don’t back down. One such advocate is Amara La Negra.
I choose to be unstoppable. I am bigger than my concerns and worries. The strength of others inspires me daily. I focus on my goal. I trust my intuition and live a courageous life. I am Amara La Negra” –Amara La Negra.
From her confidence to her lush hair to her unique music, Amara La Negra has been trending over the past weeks since the airing of the popular reality show, VH1’s Love and Hip Hop Miami. During the debut of the first episode, Amara took leave from the studio session with producer Young Hollywood, formerly known as Elijah Sarraga. La Negra became riled up because Serraga suggested that she ‘switched up her image’ and look a ‘certain way’ (less Macy Gray and more Beyoncé) amongst other slanders. She has been smashing stereotypes for years while broadening the mindset that Latinas are of many shapes, sizes, and colors and they are 100% authentic.
“It’s unfortunate [that the] Latin community amongst themselves discriminate [against] each other so much that I am upset. Why aren’t people like myself not on Latin networks, current in novellas, moving some magazines? What is the problem with us? Am I not pretty? What is wrong with my color?… I will do anything and everything in my power to break that stereotype and also to open doors for girls that look like myself.” – Amara La Negra.
The starlet has already secured a successful career in the music industry on the Latin American scene with lyrics promoting female empowerment and sexuality. She has found her distinctive musical style, fusing genres of Brazilian funk, dembow, and afrobeat. She has performed with Trina, Pitbull, Kent Jones, Jason Derulo, Mr. Vegas and Sean Paul, among others.
Amara has definitely seen her stardom rise drastically over the past years; she was twenty-two when she launched her hit Ayy, which went viral in 2013 and dubbed her ‘Queen of Twerk’.
The reggaeton and pop singer is now crossing over into the mainstream after landing herself a multi-album record deal with Fast Life Entertainment Worldwide and BMG Records; she is set to work with producers Rock City who backs hits by Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus and others.
“It is a feeling of a different level of hunger because I have prayed for this so much that it feels unreal! I’m still in shock! At times, I am caught pinching myself because there is a part of me that still is in awe of being signed to a franchise that will heighten my success … I am thankful for my team at Fast Life Ent. Worldwide and BMG for this opportunity as an artist. And I cannot wait for my fans to hear my new music”–Amara.
The twenty-seven-year-old, however, has been receiving backlash for her beautiful skin colour, lavish hair and ‘voluminous’ curves, since she does not look like the typical Latina – Jennifer Lopez (JLo) or Shakira – despite sounding like them.
“Afro-Latinos have existed forever. We’re not a new thing. It just happens to be that we really haven’t had anybody put lights on us. Nobody ever really speaks of us…. I’m tired of feeling like I’m being ignored like I don’t exist.”–Amara La Negra.
Amidst her supporters, she had been getting some critics for a while since she became famous. In 2016 Geisha Montes de Oca, Aquí Se Habla Español hostess and former Nuestra Belleza Latina, imitated the singer wearing butt pads, blackface and an afro wig. She has even been branded as wearing blackface and wearing a wig; she has been accused of being fake because she is unique.
“I don’t know who started this rumour, but I never knew that I had a different type of black. I never knew that my color was a different type of brown. I just thought that I was black, and then that was it… I don’t know what it is that is making people question my skin color. It’s very annoying and aggravating because it’s not as if I haven’t had to fight all my life to be accepted. Now I have to fight against even more because people are doubting that my skin color is really mine.”–Amara La Negra.
As a result of this, the Dominican singer frequently questions where are the women who can represent her? This has pushed her to be that advocate for herself and others who fit her profile. It is quite evident that the Miami native knows her worth as she has been defending her ethnicity and does not easily back down from a challenge. Racism and colorism have been one of the biggest challenges faced by the Latin community. While she makes a name for herself in mainstream music, she intends to continue being an advocate for Afro-Latin individuals who experience the same struggles as herself. Amara will definitely rise to new heights on her journey through the music industry with her spunk and talent, not to mention the backing of her loyal supporters.
“Don’t ever feel as if you need to change who you are in order to succeed. Don’t ever feel as if you’re not beautiful because of the standards of society.” –Amara La Negra.
By Alexandra Daley