Put simply, she killed off all the black folks in my story. In her hands my black Colombian character Elizabeth becomes “a sizzling Colombian” (because we might as well employ cliched language in addition to de-Africanizing her); my mulatta Puerto Rican/Dominican character Usnavys becomes African American, non Latino, and ends up adhering to every stereotype of the fat-n-sassy oversexed negress “diva” that Hollywood has ever flung at the viewing public; and my Nigerian-British millionaire heartthrob, Andre Cartier, becomes Andre Carter, an East Indian by way of London. There is no discernible reason for these changes, other than anti-black racism.
Raul, it is very interesting to get another published Latino author's take on this. This issues speaks to so much, but mostly artistic control and what defines a stereotype.It's funny, when I read AMERICA LIBRE, I felt that the characters were real and they happened to be Latino, instead of just single-dimensional Latino characters.Nice post.
Regardless of ethnicity, Alisa's experience is every writer's nightmare who considers having their work adapted for film or TV. Thanks for all you are doing with your blog and social media skills to help that cause.
Dirty Girls is Alisa's creation. She has nurtured it and protected it like she does her own son. I am so happy she's fighting back!
Eileen, I'm grateful for the power of social media to help level the playing field and give Alisa and her supporters a voice.
I know Latino diversity well. In graduate school -- it was a very competitive program -- there was a flap because a woman of German descent whose family moved to Argentina in the 1940s admitted she claimed to be 'Hispanic,' when applying for the program.And, I'll admit, who am I to say she shouldn't qualify? She was a big Valkryrie looking woman, blond, blue eyes, quite Teutonic. But, just to mess with our little graduate student heads even more another woman, who was Jewish and whose family had lived in Latin America for many years said did not claim to be hispanic because she felt that would be betraying her Jewish identity, or some distinction sort of eludes my not-so-politically correct brain. So here we were, in a program that gave affirmative action to Germans but not to Jews. Oh well.
Now, to be fair, I have no idea if my Germanic colleague actually needed to check the 'hispanic' box to get in, but it mess with our minds a bit.
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