As a child, Sacha Antonetty-Lebrón combed through the coveted copies of Essence and Ebony magazines her father brought across the ocean to bring his beautiful Afro-Latina daughter. As she grew older, she was inspired to shake things up.
Because the absence of darker-complexioned Black faces was starkly evident across television shows, beauty pageants, and even news broadcasts, Antonetty-Lebrón created Revista étnica (Ethnic Magazine) to fill a void.
Using a two-year NoVo Foundation grant, Antonetty-Lebrón launched the publication in December 2018. It’s designed to give Afro-Latinx Puerto Ricans space to celebrate their beauty, comment on Afrocentric traditions, and profile remarkable achievements from the once-disregarded community.
So far its very existence is causing quite a stir.
Some believe Revista étnica is divisive. But Puerto Rican professor Yvonne Denis is thankful the magazine covers social issues which she uses as an example for progress:
“It was a good moment to find the magazine was analyzing a situation that was happening in my own family,” Denis told The Oprah Magazine, after using an article on natural hair discrimination to stage an intervention against racist dress codes at her grandson’s school.
Revista étnica intentionally hires Afro-Latinx writers and photographers, which helps preserve and validate the importance of African heritage with every profile throughout its 60 pages.
“We are here. We count—and we are powerful,” is Antonetty-Lebrón rallying cry, and we second that emotion!