Latinx Education

Point All Dominicans Who Deny Their Blackness Here

Dare to encourage unity

Ariel Zorrilla
5 min readJun 5, 2020
SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC — MARCH 1946: A view as local women and children sit on the grass with plates in Santo Domingo, (then known as Ciudad Trujillo). Image courtesy of Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty Images.

Denial of your African ancestry is racist, unconscionable, and unethical. The cancerous, dogmatic self-desecration ends in our generation.

As a native Spanish speaking Dominican-American man born and raised in Brownsville, Brooklyn, I’ve spent a lifetime disappointed in the racism fostered in the Dominican community.

I was too Black for the Dominican students throughout my upbringing, yet too Latino for my Black neighbors who occupied our neighborhood with majority. Variations of this rigid dichotomy transcend ethnicities and can be observed ad nauseam through literature, anecdotes, documentaries, art, social media, etc.

“I’m Not Black, I’m Dominican”

The goal here is simple.

To address and build a written point of reference to enrich the tangled Dominican diaspora through education of our mixed racial identity. A domain to revisit and share as often as needed to boost the ascending living room debate-turned-argument-turned social media thread.

Continue to denounce the brilliance of any family, friend, acquaintance, coworker or stranger who thinks as if their mind lacks technicolor.

We are African. We are Spaniard/French. We are Taíno.

We are a beautiful mix of cultures.

Others are of Haitian descent. Others are of Japanese descent. Other are of Chinese descent. Others are of Jewish descent. There are many others.

In fact, according to recent studies approximately 90 percent of the modern Dominican population are of African descent.

Although the vast majority of us are Black (whether you like it or not), in reality some aren’t (about 10 percent). You have the freedom to affirm an identity of your choice based…



Ariel Zorrilla

Dominican-American artist, athlete, and artisanal perfumer from Brooklyn, NY. Ariel’s writing explores life.