'I Always Lead With Black': Curator Dr. Ariana A. Curtis Wants to Normalize Blackness in Latinidad

Dr. Ariana A. Curtis thinks that the world must know that Blackness exists within Latinidad.


The curator for Latinx studies at the National Museum of African American History and Culture is a proud Black Panamanian woman who describes herself as “Black mixed with Black.” Curtis has no qualms about referring to herself as AfroLatina. After all, the researcher doesn’t want to separate her work from Latinidad.

“I want to be clear that I am a Black person. The personhood that I bring to my profession is rooted in Blackness. Unequivocally,” Curtis told The Root.


After some years in “the game” (which includes a wildly popular TEDWomen Talk under her belt), Curtis refuses to engage with the BS of ignorant folks who don’t care to educate themselves upon the history of Blackness in Latin America.

“There’s certain things that I just don’t want to entertain. For example, ‘Why are there Black people in Latin America?’ You know, that’s just not a question that I’m willing to provide an answer to,” said Curtis. “For all of the same reasons that there are Black people in the United States, which is not something that we question, there are Black people in Latin America.”

See the entire conversation with Dr. Ariana A. Curtis above.

Afro-Cuban woman that was born and branded in New York. When León isn't actually creating cool videos, she's thinking of cool videos that she can create.


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