Why Encanto's Representation of Afro-Latinx is so important
Written By: Sabrina Cabrera Rivera
The Madrigals from Disney's 'Encanto' Courtesy of DISNEY
I know that we aren’t allowed to discuss a certain Bruno but we can still talk about Encanto. Now, this new Disney movie has been everywhere on social media since its debut on Nov.26 and has only grown in popularity surpassing Frozen, and is currently #1 on the Billboard Top 100 with ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’. It is also my new favorite Disney movie of all time. Not only because of their bomb soundtrack created by our favorite Puerto Rican, Lin-Manuel Miranda, but because of the lively colors that painted our culture so beautifully.
We got to witness our small childhood superstitions play out on film, like when Bruno avoided the cracks on the ground while saying ‘Sana Sana’, to grand moments such as the discussion of generational trauma that hits close to home for many people within our community. My personal favorite detail was actually how many shades of skin tones were represented within the family. How their family reminded me of my own.
As we celebrate Black History Month, we want to remind you to celebrate Our Afro-Latinx friends and family. We can see that with the movie, how important representation is within the young generation. If you were to go on Tiktok right now, you would find Encanto sounds being used on all sorts of TikTok content. And within those TikToks, you will find thousands of Afro-Latinx and Black creators cosplaying these characters with complete accuracy. Joy at being able to see themselves easily with these characters. Other videos with small children pointing at the screen with the brightest smiles on their faces as they tell their parents, “Look that's me! They look like me!”
The representation matters. It affects us deeply within our youth when we are able to find that small piece of representation. Please remember that the people within the community come in all different shapes, sizes, shades, and hair textures. Everyone deserves to find themselves in these beautiful stores.
We at Yas Mija would love to see which characters or stories resonate with you this Black History Month! Share in the comments your favorite actors, characters, or stories.