'Negrita' Documentary: Empowering a Community by Sharing the Stories of Afro-Latinas
Dominican Magdalena Albizu coined the term “Nubian Latina,” a phrase that actively celebrates her blackness and visibly addresses her Latino ethnicity. Accepted as a “light-skinned” person in the African American community and recognized as Dominican at home, Albizu decided to write and direct a documentary, entitled "Negrita," which investigates skin color and racial declaration and explores the often dichotomized “black” or “Hispanic” understandings.
Beyond being a decided “skin color,” blackness in America is an experience and an identity felt outside of the African American community by those with African ancestry. For Latinos who are racially Black, this can manifest in a number of ways: consciousness, awareness, recognition, dismissal, shame or pride.
Negrita, the Spanish term from which the documentary gains its title, means little black girl, and the word has both has positive and negative connotations. Numerous women featured in the preliminary footage stated that the word can be used offensively; but, generally, the word is used withcariño or affection. For example, “Oh,my black girl… my love.” This jollier sentiment was the one that led to the term being borrowed by Albizu, producer Ingrid Matias, and the director of photography Donovan Lambert.