Meet Claudia Angel as HCCAU Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

HerCampus CAU had the unique opportunity to sit down with students to highlight and help celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month! Meet Claudia Angel a Sophomore Theatre Arts Major at CAU and hear about her personal experiences and remarkable heritage as an Afro-Latina Women. 

HC:  Hey Girl! HerCampus is Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and we wanted to highlight your story and Afro-Latina heritage.  Where did you grow up? Did you always know you were of a mixed decent?

CA: I grew up in The Bronx, New York. I knew all of my life what I was. There was no avoiding it; my culture surrounded me at home. My mom always made sure we knew where we come from.

HC: What do you say to people who don’t know what exactly Afro-Latinx means?  

CA: I let them know where my family is from and what we look like on the island. Many people when hearing Latino think of JLo and I try to explain that we come in many different shades. Then I begin to tell them that Afro-Latinx means that we are black people that have Hispanic roots/speak Spanish. We look black and our culture is heavily influenced by our African ancestors.

HC: How does it feel to be Afro-Latina? What are you the proudest of about your heritage?

CA: Being Afro-Latina is like having the best of both worlds. I love being black and I love being Dominican & Puerto Rican. Both have so much culture separately but together there is such a rich culture and tradition that creates who I am. I’m most proud of how family oriented we are. Family means a lot to us and it shows in how I treat others, also in how close my bond is with my family.

HC: Do you consider yourself black and engined in the black community or a subset? Why or why not? 

CA: I am definitely black, no question about it. When you see me you see a black woman. I believe that I am apart of the African diaspora which includes many different types of black people from all over the world. I will say that black American culture is definitely different from mine. But, that doesn’t make me any less black or feel as though I shouldn’t identify as such.

 

HC:  What do the AUC Vybz mean to you? What does it mean to be represented in the AUC as a big part of the culture? 

CA: AUC Vybz is truly my home away from home. They have become my family here and such a big part of my college years. When first entering the AUC as a Caribbean person you are aware that you are different from other people. We all look for a place of comfort and community and that's exactly what AUC Vybz provided. People who understand you in a way everyone else may not. To be represented is essential especially here since many people from the south do not know a lot about Caribbean culture besides maybe “Fever” and that Jamaica is an island there. We allow people of all backgrounds to learn about all of us and what makes us unique while also showing that we love to give back to the community.

HC: I know that some Afro- Latinx people may feel like they aren't black as well.  Where do you see yourself in the black spectrum? 

CA: I lie where the rest of black people are. I’m just apart of a culture that is filled with black people that speak Spanish. I’m just as black as anyone else but as my mom would say we have a little “Sazón” thrown in there. 

HC:  I know that our HC Readers and my self need some more music to listen to.  What some songs that remind you of your heritage? 

CA:

Hombre No Muere de Pena by Teodoro Reyes

Tu Sonrisa by Elivis Crespo 

Kiliki Taka Ti by Toño Rosario 

Me Enamoré by Antony Santos 

Aguanile by Héctor Lavoe

Honestly, I can go on forever with songs that remind me of my culture.

Follow Claudia on Instagram! 

@claudia.tapler