Celebrity Sightings In New York City - November 10, 2021
Controversy

J Balvin sparks intense debate after receiving the award as ‘Afro-Latino Artist of the Year’

The Colombian artist reacts to the honor

J Balvin is ending 2021 with an unexpected bang! The Colombian artist was awarded as “the Afro-Latino Artist of the Year,” and the honor has raised more than one pair of eyebrows. The African Entertainment Awards selected the star during the weekend even though he is not an Afro-Latino, but a white Latino.

Sech, Panamanian singer, poses for iHeart Radio Fiesta Latina Portrait Studio©Yanni De Melo / Getty Images
Sech and J Balvin

The controversy quickly spread on social media, and J Balvin became a trending topic on Twitter. Multiple centered on Balvin’s race and ethnicity, while others questioned if he received the award because of the Afro beats in his hits.

“Gonna need the African Entertainment Awards to gatekeep blackness a lil more coz how [the f###] they gave J Balvin white as s### ass [an Afro-Latino] Artist Of The Year award. Sech and Ozuna are right there??? And are actually Black????” a person tweeted, while another one said that “J Balvin, a white Latino, shouldn’t have accepted this award over actual [Afro-Latino] artists.

“J Balvin won an award on Blackness by using Black Caribbean music, dialect, rhythms, and wardrobe. While actual Black folx who have higher streaming numbers, better lyricism, better everything, and who are actually BLACK lost,” a third person chimed in.

Later, the star reacted to the award and shared an Instagram story thanking the honor and clarifying he is not an Afro-Latino. “I’m not an Afro-Latino, but thank you for highlighting my contributions to the afrobeat music and its community.”

J Balvin reacts to his award as ‘Afro-Latino Artist of the Year’©J Balvin
J Balvin reacts to his award as ‘Afro-Latino Artist of the Year’

According to the historical race concept, modern scientists agree that there’s only one human race. However, experts have divided humankind into Caucasian, Mongoloid, and Negroid for decades. While ethnicity is described as a social group that belongs to a common national or cultural tradition.

Many people tend to mix both terms and assume that being Latino is a race, when in fact is an ethnicity. The Hispanic and Latinx community is highly diverse, and it is common to find white and black Latinos and Latinas and people of Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry.

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