Our founder Janel Martinez had the pleasure of speaking with Amigapreneur founder Jacqueline Diaz earlier this month. In the two-part interview, Martinez touched on the inspiration for starting Ain’t I Latina?, diversity in media and tech, and why it’s better to create genuine relationships versus networking.
Here’s a snippet from the interview:
“YOU’RE BLACK, BUT YOU HAVE A SPANISH LAST NAME. SO WHAT ARE YOU?”
“You’re black, but you have a Spanish last name. So what are you?” Imagine always being questioned about your race and identity. To make matters worse having to feel like you had to choose one over the other. Media seemed to only make matters worse “Growing up I never saw girls like me on television” says Janel Martinez. She recalls watching Spanish televisions and seeing women that spoke her language but didn’t share her complexion. English television wasn’t any different. The women may have shared her skin tone but they certainly weren’t speaking Spanish.
Fast forward to today and the landscape, although more diverse, still doesn’t show a large representation of Afro Latinas. Janel says she tried to remained both optimistic and patient for a while. Hoping that magazines that feature women of color would soon put more focus on Afro Latinas. Janel soon realized that if she wanted things to change she’d needed more than patients and optimism. She needed to create the platform herself and that’s when ‘Ain’t I Latina?’ was born.