Can I just be me?

    A friend of mine asked me “Why are you referring to yourself as a Black Latina when you are not Black?”  

    Well when I look in the mirror I see a girl with brown complexion:  although I completely understand what he is referring to. He is referring to my cultural background, my language, the foods that I eat and the music I listen too. He is right to an extent. I'm Dominican and additionally I am proud to be an Afro-Dominicana. 


    My response to him is that my whole life I've been referred to as "La Morena or La Negra" .  In the Dominican culture these phrases are used as words of endearment and I have embraced it as such. So why can't I translate the meaning to English? I am a Black Latina una Negra Bella. I am still Dominican Dania who cooks my Dominican meals all the time and listens to my salsa and merengue music. Just because I have embraced my obvious African lineage it does not mean I have changed as a person.  Can I Just Be Me?