Monday, March 12, 2018


Film Explores Identity Crisis Faced by Black Women of Latin Culture

The cast of LATINEGRAS: Love The Skin You're In with Director/Producer Omilani Alarcon (center-left)

by Dwight Casimere

Latinegras:Love The Skin You're In, a documentary film produced and
directed by poet, singer and filmmaker Omilani Alarcon, is a
heartfelt, poetic journey of self-discovery concerning the identity
crisis suffered by black women who are of Latin heritage. In lyrical
words, and stunningly in-your-face cinematography, Omilani acts as
both on-camera presenter and behind-the-scenes narrator, interweaving
the personal, revealing testimonies of about a dozen women from
various locations within the Latin and Afro-Latin diaspora: Puerto
Rico, Guatamala, the Dominican Republic, Peru,  Panama, and New York,
all expressing their continuing pain of identity. Broken down into
segments; Ghosts of Our Past, which charts the history of slavery from
the Middle Passage to the New World, The Politics of Blackness, which
recounts the establishment of the legal structuring of modern slavery
through the Louisiana Purchase and the Missouri Compromise, the One
Drop Rule, in which blackness is defined by the presence of one eighth
to one thirty-second of black blood in any person's genealogy,
Questions of Complexion and Skin Tone and the filmmakers own final
descent into self-confrontation in a final healing, almost Baptismal
journey to her own roots in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. The film is brought
to its conclusion amidst the catastrophe of Hurricane Maria, yet, the
filmmaker finds that even in this calamity, there is reason for hope
and the promise of a new beginning. Latinegras: Love The Skin You're In
is targeted at a very specific audience, yet its message of universal
acceptance and hope is a lesson that applies to us all.

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