Cabello Bonito Aguanta Jalones
(Pretty Hair Abides to Yanking)
"El Negro detras de la Oreja" is an ongoing series that examines the links between race, politics, and identity in the Caribbean, and focuses on issues of antihaitianismo in the Dominican Republic. In this work, I use hair as a metaphor to explore racial identity in the Latino culture. My Mother's family comes from West Africa, particularly from the Fula tribe, my father comes from the Middle East, of Jewish descent, and I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. " El Negro detras de la Oreja" is very familiar saying in the DR, meaning that our mixed race will always have the black race hidden "behind our ears." It also means that we are always looking for the most efficient way to hide our African heritage and whitewash ourselves as people of “Indian” and “Spaniard” descent, obliviating any kind of linage to black culture and perpetuating the myth of the "White Dominican." This ideology was fabricated by colonization, and built into a social system based on misconstructed historical facts. This work is an examination on the Dominican Collective Consciousness and the relevance of antihaitianismo as a dominant ideology by looking at the painful story that surrounds the two peoples of the Hispañola: a History that paints a picture in where Dominicans, regardless of their skin color, are never black, only Haitians are.