Amara La Negra to speak at USF today, opening the fall lineup of the University Lecture Series

Amara La Negra brings attention to issues of race and color, as well as frequently speaking about her Afro-Latina heritage.

The outspoken hip-hop artist Amara La Negra, known for her signature Afro, dark-skinned complexion and curves, will speak in the Marshall Student Center (MSC) Oval Theatre on Tuesday at 8 p.m as the first guest speaker for the fall University Lecture Series (ULS).

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. on a first come, first-serve basis. The event is free for students and the public.

ULS flyers for the event described the Love & Hip Hop: Miami artist as a “multi-faceted entrepreneur and entertainer.” In conjunction with Hispanic Heritage month, ULS brought La Negra to USF because she was the highest-voted speaker on a student survey, according to graduate assistant Sabrina Alt.

La Negra is passionate about making other women feel empowered, positive about their bodies and encouraging people to embrace their heritage. She unapologetically speaks about her Afro-Latina culture by embracing her Dominican and African roots.

La Negra is not afraid to share her stories of racism and colorism she said she has endured since working in the entertainment industry.

In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, La Negra discusses how people view her as, “too black to be Latina (or) too Latina to be black.”

She turned down a soap opera because they described her as having a “special look,” which subtly referenced her African ethnicity.

La Negra is not a stranger to people scrutinizing her for her appearance and style.  

La Negra has been told to get rid of her Afro from people in the entertainment industry to blend in with Hollywood, according to Refinery29. She decided to embrace her hairstyle and make it her signature look instead. She also has been accused of using melanin injections to darken her skin and spray tan, but she quickly shut down the rumors.

In an interview with Bossip magazine, La Negra said, “I don’t know what it is that is making people question my skin color. It’s very annoying and aggravating because it’s not as if I haven’t had to fight all my life to be accepted. Now I have to fight against even more because people are doubting that my skin color is really mine.”

The Dominican show, Aquí Se Habla Español, did a black face impersonation of La Negra for a skit that went viral.

La Negra said she doesn’t let the prejudice discourage her, especially since her name embodies her identity.

Dana Danelys De Los Santos — La Negra’s birth name — invented her stage name because she likes the Spanish nickname that described her African culture — “La Negra,” which, in Spanish, means, “the black woman.”

La Negra said in an interview with Essence magazine, that she feels united and able to love and embrace her community because of her Afro-Latina culture.

Before the fame from Love and Hip Hop, La Negra grew up with her Dominican mother who migrated to the U.S. and lived in Miami.

At the age of 4, she had her first television appearance on Sábado Gigante — a Spanish-language television program broadcast by Univision.

She did performances and gigs until she landed her role on Love & Hip Hop: Miami at age 27.

After her breakthrough with Love & Hip Hop, La Negra worked with Rock City — a songwriting and record production duo from Saint Thomas — who helped her produce her song Insecure. Rock City has also written and produced Bow Down/I Been On by Beyoncé, We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus and Pour It Up by Rihanna.

Named one of Billboard's artists on the rise, La Negra is making her mark in the entertainment industry thus far by being on the cover of People Magazine, attending award show events — Latin Grammys and Premio Lo Nuestro Awards — and singing alongside Cuban-American singer, Celia Cruz.

La Negra told Refinery29 she loves her community because of the love and power that her Afro-Latina culture provides.

In her Rolling Stone interview, La Negra said, “there is still a lot of ignorance surrounding the Afro-Latino community, and it has given me all the reason to want to keep fighting for it.”