Kendall Martinez-Wright, the Afro-Latina fighting to be the first Black transgender woman in Missouri’s House
Kendall Martinez-Wright posing in front of an office building wearing a navy blue blazer and a red skit while posing with arms crossed and a smile

By Brittany Valentine, Aldia News

After lobbying and making her voice heard behind the scenes of Missouri politics over the last few years, Kendall Martinez-Wright is making a bid for the state’s fifth House district seat in 2022.

Just two days after Missouri’s House of Representatives passed a bill banning transgender athletes from participating in sports, Martinez-Wright announced her bid to be the first Black transgender woman in the chamber.

On Wednesday, April 14, she participated as a speaker at PROMO Missouri’s “Let Kids Play” virtual lobby day.

“We as a community need to ensure that trans folks deserve to freely participate with their classmates. I take a bold stance in supporting our trans and GNC (gender non-conforming) siblings,” Martinez-Wright wrote on Twitter.

Martinez-Wright, who grew up in Palmyra, Missouri, told The Missouri Times that she’s observed that rural communities like hers can often be overshadowed.

“With me being a very blunt minority — African-American as well as Puerto Rican and trans — I want to show individuals that no matter how you identify or where you are, your voice should always be heard, and I feel like at the end of the day there are voices that aren’t,” she said.

Martinez-Wright, who has worked for Empower Missouri and the Mid-Missouri Young Democrats, said that in the state House, she would prioritize education, infrastructure, agriculture and accessibility for her community.

When the pandemic hit and communities and schools transitioned from in-person to remote learning, Martinez-Wright noticed a “real cry for help and to be heard.”

“We need to address underperforming schools, ensure businesses and agriculture are operating and sustainable, and provide reliable internet infrastructure so students and families can be successful not only now during the pandemic but in the future,” she said.

The Afro-Latina candidate hopes that her campaign will serve to encourage others to involve themselves in the democratic process, either through grassroots work or from the state House.

Click here to read the full article on Aldia News.

Cardi B says she will launch haircare line to teach people about ‘Afro-Latina’ hair
Cardi B performing onstage during the Grammy Awards ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center

Cardi B has said she will launch her own range of haircare products, in an attempt to teach people about “Afro-Latina” hair.

The rapper said she was inspired to work on the products after receiving offensive comments about a video she posted about her natural hair.

“This year I will be coming out with a haircare line,” Cardi B wrote on Instagram. “I think [it is] time for people to educate themselves on nationality, race and ethnicity.”

She added: “People [are] thinking every Hispanic is Mexican or something and must have the same hair texture, colour and features.

“Being Hispanic/Latina don’t make your hair long, don’t make your skin light [and] don’t make your face features slim especially [if you come from] Latin countries from the Caribbean islands … DNA has something to do with your hair not your nationality.”

In another tweet, Cardi B wrote: “Hair texture [doesn’t] make you a race, however I am Afro-Latina.”

Cardi B said the haircare line was something she had been working on for herself and for her daughter’s hair. It is not known if the line will contain a hair mask product, a recipe for which she shared online last year. The mask included avocado, argan oil, mayonnaise, black castor oil, olive oil, two eggs, honey and banana.

In 2020, Latino consumers under 35 spent $663m on beauty products, with hair care, hair colour and nails dominating, according to Nielsen.

Juvan José Amaya, a partner at Juve consulting, said the Latin beauty market was in transition.

“We are slowly shifting the idea that Latinas have nice hazel or green eyes, or look ‘exotic’,” he told WWD. “As a generation we hate the word exotic, that’s a big ‘no’… [beauty is] starting to become a little more … inclusive and accepting of natural features, such as curly hair.”

Click here to read the full article on the Guardian.

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