Last November, sports fans were surprised to see one of their favorite former Major Leaguers with a considerably lighter skin tone. Slugger Sammy Sosa, a black Latino from the Dominican Republic, appeared to have bleached his skin to have a lighter complexion. People accused him of self-hate and denying his African roots. Sosa denied all the allegations and said that a skin rejuvenation cream, which he was considering sponsoring, changed his epidermis.
There's a long and troubling history in Caribbean islands, such as the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Cuba, in which Latinos of African descent deny their African roots. In the 2000 census, more than 80 percent of the population in Puerto Rico identified themselves as white.
It's no secret that in a lot of Latin American countries, the lighter you are, the more you are respected in society. That type of mentality causes many to be ashamed of their dark skin. There's also the discontent of Afro-Latinos, who aren't interested in being grouped in with American blacks. The best way to do that then is to lighten your skin, right?
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