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A street vendor on Dominican Republic

Our Biggest Challenge: Fighting Negative Depictions From Others and Ourselves


The first ones that underestimate Dominicans are Dominicans ourselves. That’s what the society teaches us since we are born until the end of our days, but we also grow up in a country with an ingrained and complicated idea of itself that can become an enormous challenge when it comes to advancing and progressing as a nation.


Realizing the impact of those negative depictions of ourselves made me want to do something. It made me want to help with the only weapons I know how to handle: speaking and writing, with an online character to promote the Dominican popular culture, and our afro-descendant origins, under the moniker of Negrita Come Coco. It also made me reflect on the depictions that others have of us, as well as where we are now in terms of our self-perception and where we are capable of moving towards.


Do we know who we are?


Not understanding our origins is the first stigma that haunts Dominicans during all of our lives.


In schools, we are taught to love and honor the “Madre Patria,” Spain, and to embrace the Taíno society, one that disappeared a long time ago. We are taught: the whiter, the better; the softer your hair, the better; the thinner your nose and your lips the more perfect you are.

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The Statue of Liberty on Times Square

Livin in Yunaire

To be far away from my country —for the first time in my entire life— has made me see its virtues and faults. Now I understand all the friends who constantly told me “You have to get out of your country and see how people live in other nations.”

Desde que estoy en Estados Unidos algunos días me levanto a sabiendas de que desde la mañana hasta la noche lo único que escucharan mis oídos será el inglés y que lo único que saldrá de mi boca durante toda la jornada será el inglés (con acento dominicano). Y, honestamente, eso me baja los ánimos y me hace pensar ¿en qué rayos me metí?

Certainly, life in the United States is very different to the one in the Dominican Republic. It’s not the same and it will never be the same, and the desire that almost every Dominican has for that to change reminds me of the battle of David and Goliath. (With no intent to compare the two countries).

En esos momentos me hace falta un “¿Cómo tu ta’?” acompañado de frases que solo el que se ha criado comiendo mangú y salami desde chiquitico podría comprender. Pero me doy cuenta que no puedo vocear desde mi ventana un gran ¡HOLA! porque los americanos pensarían que perdí el juicio y, es muy probable, que reciba una visita del 911. View more

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