Filmmaker Dash Harris (pictured on the left) is the brainchild behind the ‘Negro’ docu-series which examines, through a series of interviews, what it means to be black and Latino within the Americas. Dash Harris is blurring the color lines and shedding a much needed light on the experiences of peoples of African descent around the world. Her docu-series Negro explores the interplay between race, color, and self-identification among Latinos in the Americas. By delving into the history of Afro-Latinos and giving them a platform to share their stories, Harris questions the structures that are in place to label people and attempts to shatter them.
Negro exposes the racism present in Latin American, challenges the lack of information that many people posses about blackness, as it pertains to countries outside of the United States, and directly challenges the idea that “beauty” and “white” are interchangeable concepts. Ultimately, by interviewing people of African descent in many different countries, including Panama and the Dominican Republic, Harris is able to get a large view of the identity crisis that Afro-Latinos deal with.
Our society has made it easy to categorize people broadly without understanding the history and roots of different ancestries. It’s become common to assume that how “black” you are is directly related to the amount of melanin in your skin. Instead of educating ourselves about our history and how complex and beautiful it is, we group people together and assume that we all have the same backgrounds.
Conversely, while our differences have separated us and created a color complex between us, our similarities have commonly been forgotten. Most, if not all, of us are of African descent, whether we know it or not. As it was beautifully stated in Negro, if we get to a place where we see ourselves in each other, some of the hate will be dismissed.