United Nations of Melanin


By Yokary Cruz-Garcia — Growing up in the Dominican Republic, people told me how lucky I was that my light-skinned father is a fourth generation Spaniard. I was the “piel morena ” with good hair, blessed because I didn’t need a “desrizado ” to straighten my hair. People made comments about my dark-skinned mother’s good fortune to “refinar la raza.” She made our family “proud” by giving birth to two children with Spaniard features.

Hearing people use terms like “advancing the race” upset me so much . Why is being black so bad? Dominicans have a hard time accepting their origins. They don’t want to admit their closeness to Haitians or accept that most of us have more African blood than Taino blood . Why is my mother’s black skin not beautiful? I had so many questions, and not many answers.

yokaryMy family has a mix of color from white to…

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