People are always surprised when they hear me speak Spanish, especially Mexicans (mexicanos). It never crosses their mind that I could speak their language. Once I was at a tejano mexicano club in Austin waiting for a girl I was going out with. When I went to the bathroom, some Mexicans were inside talking about me. They said, “What’s this mayate [in this usage, a racially pejorative term for an African American] doing here anyway? They have their own clubs.” I didn’t say anything, but the next time I went to the bathroom, they were there again. They were saying, “Yeah, we’re going to kick the mayate’s ass! He shouldn’t be here!” It seemed to me like things were getting a little bit difficult. I said, “Hey guys, I’m raza.” They looked surprised, but said, “Oh, we thought that you were African American.” I said, “No, I’m Cuban; Latino just like you.” They seemed to calm down after that, and we all went back to our tables. I didn’t hear them say anything else or have any more problems with them for the rest of the night.

An AfroCuban respondent about his experience in Austin, TX

Source: Black and Hispanic: The Racial Identification of Afro-Cuban Immigrants in the Southwest

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