We take pride in sharing stories about women around the world who are making a difference in their communities, and being an inspiration to others. I am so excited to feature the founders of Boriqua Chicks, as I have been following them for years!
Boriqua Chicks originally started out solely as a gossip blog site but has developed into a website highlighting lifestyle stories, entertainment news, and celebrating the lives of Latino/a & Afro-Latino/a communities and celebrities around the world.
I caught up with the sisters/founders Rebecca and Raquel to talk more about the vision behind Boriqua Chicks and what they have in store for the future.
MGS: Who are Rebecca and Raquel?
Boriqua Chicks (Raquel): Rebecca and I are sisters and we grew up together. We are Afro-Latinas of Puerto Rican descent. We grew up on the South Side of Chicago and spent our summers in Carolina, Puerto Rico. We are entrepreneurs and bloggers. My background is in education and my sister’s background is in communications.
MGS: What was the original vision/goal behind creating Boriqua Chicks? Did you know that it would develop a mass following around the world, especially inspiring the Afro-Latino/a community?
Boriqua Chicks (Raquel): I launched the blog, BoriquaChicks.com, 5 years ago for fun. I began blogging to share more of the entertainment stories we wanted to read. The blog initially published gossip stories about celebrities of color, with a strong emphasis on Afro-Latinos/as and over time it evolved into so much more. Rebecca later joined to assist in growing and developing the brand.
MGS: Why did you think it was important to create a blog/website that caters to (specifically self-identity) in the Afro-Latino/a, Afro-Caribbean and African American community?
Boriqua Chicks: (Rebecca): Six years ago, there were very few urban media platforms highlighting celebrities from the Black Diaspora and making them a focus of the conversation. Our goal has been to spark conversation within the African-American, Latino/a, and Caribbean communities around Black identity. It has been important to wake people up to the fact that Blackness is deeper than people realize and it is not something we should be ashamed of. Our blog allows people—especially Latinos/as—the opportunity to be unapologetically Black.
We had very few images of positive Afro-Latina women in mainstream entertainment outlets (Spanish-language or English-language media) while growing up. We now know what was lacking when we were growing up, but never imagined we would be two of the pioneers in this current movement of celebrating Afro-Latino/a identity.
MGS: What do you think are the misunderstandings or misconceptions about one who self-identifies as Afro-Latino/a?
Boriqua Chicks: (Rebecca): Sometimes people think Afro-Latino/a means that you must be African-American, which is the case for some. But there is a lot of ignorance around the fact that 1) descendants of Africa have migrated around the world and 2) as it specifically relates to slavery, this horrific experience was not limited to the United States but there were more slaves shipped to Latin America and the Caribbean. This often means that the contribution of African descendants to the history and culture of Latin America and the Caribbean is often not acknowledged.
Another misconception is that using the term Afro-Latino/a means that you are denying who you are vs. the reality that one is celebrating, embracing, and acknowledging their African roots.
MGS: What’s in store in the near future for Boriqua Chicks?
Boriqua Chicks: We currently have an online store, AfroLatinasRock.com, where we sell the official “Afro-Latinas Rock®” t-shirts. Stay tuned for more products!
We also share our story via speaking engagements around the country; we plan to continue to spread our message through speaking events.
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Written by: Evita Giron, Staff Writer, #mygirlsquad