For decades Afro-Spaniards have lived as second class citizens in their country or so it seems due the colour of their skin.
According to lasmorenasdeespana.com, to assume that Spain, being a Western European country, is 100% white is not only incorrect, but also doing a disservice the generations of Afro-Spaniards who have contributed to this country’s history, present, and future.
Most people forget that Spain had not one, but two colonies in Africa: Equatorial Guinea until 1968 and Western Sahara until 1975. There are generations of Afro-Spanish people living all over the country and others, born to immigrant parents, who are just as Spanish as any other José or María.
Many Afro-Spaniards have expressed their frustration at being “othered” in their home country. They’re often asked why they speak Spanish so well or where they’re really from, or even told to — wait for the irony— go back to their country.
According to an article in El País, Spain’s most popular newspaper, the estimate is around 1 million Afro-Spaniards living in the country. This number doesn’t include other expats of color like myself.
So really, are there Black people in Spain?
Now, we all know, Black people, we are resilient, creative, dynamic, adaptable and frankly, we stay changing the game.
Why would these dope Afro-Spaniards be any different? Obviously, this list is an introduction to a few Afro-Spanish people that have been on our radar for a while now.
There are so many more creatives, entrepreneurs, artists, and activists to support!
Rita Bosaho – Politician : She’s the first Black member of Spanish parliament. Of course, she’s on our list of Afro-Spaniards to know!
Lucía Mbomio – Journalist & Collaborator Afroféminas: Lucía is, and has been, a constant figure in the scene here.
She’s a Black Spanish TV host and personality. She’s an accomplished journalist having written for and collaborated with the main Spanish newspaper El País When she’s not on TV conducting interviews on Aquí la Tierra on TVE , you can find her speaking at conferences, or collaborating with the platform Afroféminas.
Moha Gerehou – Journalist & Activist: Moha is a force. That’s all we can say. He’s a staff writer at El Diario, one of Spain’s more liberal publications.
He’s also the president of SOS Racismo. He is from Huesca, Spain with Gambian roots. Peep his Twitter, and join the other 50k followers he has!
Rubén H. Bermúdez – Writer & Artist: Rubén has a remarkable story. He is Spanish, born to two White-Spanish parents, but alas, he is Black! He has a regal afro, and dons an Extremadura accent. Buy his book, “Y tú, ¿por qué tú eres negro?” You can catch Rubén speaking on panels around the country and championing the rights of fellow POCs.
Sol Bela – Photographer & Creative: Sol, where do we even start? She’s about that life. She uses her medium to be an activist, not just a creative. She’s a Black photographer in Barcelona. She’s vocal about paying artists what they deserve, and about supporting your up-and-coming creatives. She’s been featured in The New York Times and Paper Magazine.
El Chojín – Rapper & Activist: Not only is El Chojín handsome, charismatic, and brilliant, he’s also a very nice person. We’ve had the pleasure of meeting him on a couple of occasion and he’s always so humble and approachable.
Want to learn more about one of the world’s fastest rappers? Keep reading to find out 4 interesting things about him! El Chojín is Spain’s fastest rapper.
Desirée Bela-Lobedde – Author, Blogger & Activist: Want to hear someone tell it like it is? Meet Desirée. In her own words, Desirée says she: ” Mi intención con el activismo estético es doble: por un lado, ofrezco recursos a las personas africanas y afrodescendientes como una forma más de trabajar su identidad.”
Her mission is to normalize Black beauty, and Black beauty standards. Let the church say!
That, my friends, it Black People Magic if I’ve ever seen it! I feel inspired, how about you? This list, it doesn’t have to stop here.