Stories of Resilience:

Understanding My Race And Colorism

Her Story:

Name: Kiara Hidalgo⠀⠀
Born: Bronx, NY⠀
Lives: Brooklyn, NY⠀
Handle: @kountesskiara

I grew up in the Bronx and went to school in Dyckman, a predominantly Hispanic/Latinx neighborhood. Therefore almost all of the kids in my school were from Latinx countries. 

We all grew up not really discussing race because we didn’t necessarily have to. We looked like some form of our family members, all shades of skin tones and different types of hair textures. I mean an ARRAY of people. 

At home it was the same thing, we had our bi-racial Dominican parents so my sister and I had different complexions. I never questioned this though, my mom was my mom and my dad was my dad. 

I went to a school that my sister had also attended and so we had a lot of the same teachers. 

In 7th grade, my teacher asked if my sister and I had the same dad. At that time, it struck me that she merely asked because our skin tones were different and it bothered me so much because it was ignorant of her to make that type of assumption. 

I’ve come a long way in understanding race and even colorism in my own Dominican community and family. It’s generational, ignorance and a lot stem from most denying their African roots. 

My grandmother was a Black woman and that’s in my DNA. 

In this country, my dad will forever be a Black man first, then a Black Hispanic man when they realize he doesn’t speak English. I will forever be a Black man’s daughter, with some privilege because my skin is lighter.

Now as an adult, I work in advertising which is a predominately white industry, I’m constantly faced with conversations regarding race; this is where things can get so uncomfortable. 

I want to be a part of the change that doesn’t stereotype ethnicities/backgrounds especially in media but those in the industry need to also put in the work and educate themselves. 

The change has to be a conscious effort.

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