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15 Celebs You Probably Didn’t Realize Are Afro Latine

While promoting her movie Bolden back in 2019, Yaya DaCosta told theGrio how important it is that mainstream media is finally recognizing the fact that Black Latine people exist. "It’s nice that people are actually realizing what Latin America actually looks like and that there’s diversity," she said. "That yes, we speak Portuguese and Spanish… It’s nice that there is more inclusion, but it’s just the beginning."

1. Jharrel Jerome

close up of Jerome

Jerome made his feature film debut in Barry Jenkins's Moonlight, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The Dominican actor and rapper is also known for his role in the crime drama, Mr. Mercedes, and for portraying Korey Wise in Ava DuVernay's miniseries, When They See Us, on Netflix. In 2019 — at just 21 — he won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his role.

jerome sitting on the ground with another actor in scene

2. Amirah Vann

close up of Vann on the red carpet

The How To Get Away with Murder star, who played attorney Tegan Price, got her breakout role in the series Underground, which earned her a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series at the 2017 NAACP Image Awards. She's also had TV roles in Law & Order, Unsolved, Queen Sugar, Star Trek: Picard, and others — and soon, we'll see her in Tyler Perry's A Jazzman’s Blues, which will debut this month on Netflix. Vann, who identifies as Afro-Puerto Rican, has spoken out against colorism and the importance of diverse representation in Latino media.

Vann in the courtroom during a scene

3. Zoe Saldaña

close up of Saldana

Saldaña is no stranger to sci-fi projects, as the Dominican and Puerto Rican actor has played Nyota Uhura in the Star Trek film series and Neytiri in the Avatar film series — and, of course, she's played Gamora of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. Despite her talent and success in Hollywood, she's also faced negative experiences in the industry. In a 2018 interview with Porter, she shared how challenging it was to land a lead role as an Afro-Latine actor.

Saldana painted green for Guardians of the Galaxy

4. Emayatzy Corinealdi

closeup of Emayatzy Corinealdi

The Afro-Panamanian actor made her film debut starring in Ava DuVernay's Middle of Nowhere, which earned her the Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Actor as well as an African-American Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress. After the movie's premiere, Corinealdi spoke about her journey in Hollywood and overcoming challenges as a Black actor — and spending years turning down parts that often "lacked substance" or stereotyped Black women.

close up of Corinealdi in a scene

5. Y’lan Noel

closeup of Noel

Before portraying Daniel King in Insecure, Noel played the lead role in the Purge franchise's fourth movie, The First Purge. Since then, the actor, who is of Panamanian descent, has also been in the comedy, The Weekend, and the romantic drama, The Photograph.

close up of Noel

6. Michaela Antonia Jaé Rodriguez

close up of Rodriguez standing by a stack of money

Before her breakout role in Pose, the Afro-Puerto-Rican actor and singer got her start on TV in small roles on shows like Nurse Jackie, The Carrie Diaries, and Luke Cage. Since the premiere of Pose in 2018, Rodriguez has been nominated for and won numerous awards for her performances — including winning a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV drama this year. In an interview with Latina, Rodriguez spoke about her connection to and celebration of her Black and Latine culture, especially as she navigates her accomplishments in Hollywood.

Rodriguez holding hands with a costar on a couch

7. Tristan Wilds

closeup of Wilds

You probably recognize Wilds from his teen roles in The Secret Life of Bees (where he costarred with Dakota Fanning), The Wire, and 90210. The Afro-Dominican actor also starred in Adele's music video for "Hello" and has pursued his own music career.

Wilds on the beach with a costar for a scene

8. Yaya DaCosta

closeup of DaCosta

Back in the mid-'00s, DaCosta was runner-up in Cycle 3 of America's Next Top Model, and since then, her career has flourished. The Afro-Brazilian actor and model has had several roles in movies and TV shows, including being part of the main cast on Chicago Med and starring in the Fox drama, Our Kind of People. While promoting her movie Bolden back in 2019, DaCosta told theGrio how important it is that mainstream media is finally recognizing the fact that Black Latine people exist.

closeup of DaCosta

9. Tessa Thompson

closeup of Thompson

Thompson has been all over the TV and film world in the past few years, but the actor, who is of Afro-Panamanian and Mexican descent, got her start in theater. She's been nominated for and won awards for her roles, like winning the Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Actor for Dear White People and winning the Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actress for Creed.

closeup of Thompson

10. Colman Domingo

Domingo holding an award

The actor has an extensive acting resume — which includes highlights like receiving a Tony Award nomination for his performance in The Scottsboro Boys on Broadway and winning a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series this year for his portrayal of Ali in Euphoria.

closeup of Domingo in Euphoria

11. Melissa De Sousa

De Sousa at an event

The Afro-Panamanian actor starred as Shelby in the '90s comedy-drama The Best Man and The Best Man Holiday, which earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for her performance. She's also known for her role in BET's sitcom Reed Between the Lines and for portraying Ana Lopez in The CW's superhero series Black Lightning. De Sousa, who's from NYC, has been transparent about her journey in Hollywood and staying motivated — even during times of rejection and being unemployed for two or three years.

De Sousa holding a phone to show a video

12. Jorge Lendeborg Jr.

Lendeborg

The Dominican actor has been landing roles in some of the most popular titles in the past few years. He's appeared in Marvel's Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home as Jason Ionello.

Lendeborg as Jason

13. Rosie Perez

Perez at an event

The Puerto Rican actor, who identifies as Afro-Latino, had breakthrough roles in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing and the '90s sports comedy White Men Can't Jump. Over the years, she's done it all from co-hosting on The View to playing superhero Renee Montoya/Question in the DC Extended Universe movie, Birds of Prey, to voice acting in shows like Human Resources.

close up of Perez

14. Laz Alonso

closeup of Alonso

Alonso is known for his role in Avatar and for playing Fenix Calderon in Fast & Furious. The Afro-Cuban actor's other roles include Detroit — where he played Congressman John Conyers among an ensemble cast that included Will Poulter, Algee Smith, and John Boyega — and playing opposite Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba in L.A.'s Finest. While speaking to BuzzFeed News about his role in The Mysteries of Laura, he spoke about playing an Afro-Latine detective and the importance of representing the diversity of Latine people on screen.

Alonso painted blue for Avatar

15. And Gina Torres

closeup of Torres

Torres is known for portraying Zoë Washburne in the sci-fi series Firefly and playing Jessica Pearson in the legal drama Suits — and she's also played supporting roles in several TV shows, like Gossip Girl, Hannibal, and Westworld. In 2019, Torres, who is Cuban-American, was the first Afro-Latine actor to create, produce, and star in her own show, Pearson, a spin-off of Suits.

Torres in a medical uniform for a scene

We love to see it! This list featured just a few of so many talented Afro-Latine actors in Hollywood who deserve wayyy more recognition. Who would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!

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