Lisa, your piece rings so true with my Hispanic family.

My adopted daughter is Honduran and one of her best friends is an Honduran who married an Irish-American. I’ve noticed a strong prejudice against both indigenous and African bloodlines in their families.

My daughter’s birth family doesn’t appear to have African bloodlines but definitely indigenous ones. She and her brother were considered to be blessed and lucky because they are lighter-skinned and have no prominent indigenous features, especially since their father was from an indigenous tribe.

My daughter married a Puerto Rican with some African features. She worried their children would be darker-skinned and have kinky hair like their father. She was thrilled when they didn’t and, in fact, look more like me, their adopted grandmother, with lighter skin, though not as light as mine, and lighter-brown, straight hair, much like mine — go figure!

Her Honduran friend has definite African bloodlines, resulting in very dark, curly hair and darker skin. Her mother longed for her daughter to have children with the very Irish-American husband but they divorced before having kids. Instead, the daughter later had two children with an African-American man. Her mother was angry and disappointed because she wanted her bloodline to become more white and less African.

It’s interesting that I don’t see social prejudices against indigenous and African people among the Hispanics I know, at least not to the extent as seen in American society, but there is definitely a physical bias in favor of lighter-skinned children with European-White-American features and straight, lighter hair.

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