Jennifer Lopez slammed for calling herself a ‘Black girl from the Bronx’

The singer/actress from the Bronx took a hit on social media for calling herself 'Black' in song recorded in Spanish

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Jennifer Lopez has been accused of appropriating Black culture for years now, but this month a line from a new song “Lonely” with Colombian singer Maluma where she refers to herself as a Black woman has sparked outrage on social media.

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In recent years we’ve seen a surge of representation when it comes to Afro-Latin entertainers and public figures highlighting the intersectionalities of the Black and Brown experiences.

But as many pointed out, Lopez has never previously claimed to be Afro-Latin.

The line in question, “Siempre serás tu negrita del Bronx,” in English roughly translates to, “I’ll always be your little Black girl from the Bronx.”

Jennifer Lopez Afro-Latin social media thegrio.com
Shakira (L) and Jennifer Lopez perform onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

As soon as a clip from the track’s official video with Lopez singing the questionable lyrics made the rounds, fans and supporters alike started slamming her for appropriating Black womanhood.

“J-Lo’s “tu negrita del Bronx” lyric, it’s a literal slap in the face for every Black women, but especially for every Afro-Latinx and Afro-Descendant person whose Latinidad and beauty gets questioned every day due to her influence and “Latina” look,” wrote one Twitter user, summing up the sentiments of many Black people in and out of the Latin community who took offense to what they see as an ongoing blind spot when it comes to how Lopez positions herself culturally.

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This latest controversy comes years after the pop star was previously dragged for saying “n—” on the hit song “I’m Real” with Ja Rule back in 2001.

“For anyone to think or suggest that I’m racist is really absurd and hateful to me,” she said in response to the outrage she received at the time. “The use of the word in the song — it was actually written by Ja Rule — it was not meant to be hurtful to anybody.”

In 2016, the singer also drew ire for tweeting “All Lives Matter” after a string of police killings against Black people.

The song in the middle of this firestorm is featured in the soundtrack of the singers’ new romantic comedy Marry Me, set for release on Valentine’s Day 2021.

Lopez has not yet responded to the online controversy.

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