Even in the darkest moments of 2016, Latinos offered us a ray of hope.
Latinos shone bright this year and accomplished historic feats along the way. Lin-Manuel Miranda dazzled his way to a Pulitzer on the Broadway stage, tennis player Monica Puig won Puerto Rico’s first gold medal and “Orange is the New Black” star Dascha Polanco became a body positive role model on the red carpet.
Here are 13 times (to name only a few) that Latinos filled us with pride in 2016.
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“Bear Story,” an 11-minute film from Chilean filmmakers Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala, won theOscar for Best Animated Short. Itwas the first Chilean filmto even be nominated in the category, reports the LA Times
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Puerto Ricans on the island and throughout the diaspora lost their mind
s this summer when tennis player Monica Puig won
the islands first ever Olympic gold medal at the Rio Olympics.
I think I united a nation, Puig said in an emotional interview following her amazing performance. And I just love where I come from.
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Former Nevada attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) made history in November when she became the first Latina elected to the U.S. Senate
I’m proud to be Nevada’s 1st female and our nation’s 1st Latina senator, Masto, who is of Mexican descent, tweeted in the wee hours of Nov. 9. Its about time our government mirrors the diversity of our nation.
We couldnt agree more.
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Colombia’s Bomba Estreo released the music video for their hit song Soy Yo, and garnered an outpouring of love from fans.The unapologetically quirky performance from the videos star, Sarai Gonzalezs, has been lauded as an ode to little brown girls everywhere
The message of this video is just to be yourself and not care what anyone else thinks no matter what, 11-year-old Gonzalez told NBC in September. Im proud to be a part of this video because Ive overcome bullying.
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Lin-Manuel Miranda has had an incredibly busy and successful year. Not only did his Broadway sensation Hamilton: An American Musical win a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album
in February, but it also won 11 Tony awards in June
and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize
And with one of thesongs he composed for Disneys 2016 animated film Moana garnering pre-Oscar buzz, the 36-year-old New York native could beon track to become the youngest person to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and a Tony — a coveted combination otherwise known as an EGOT.
Miranda also used his platform this year to talk about issues he truly cares about, like Puerto Ricos debt crisis.
I have a lot of family who are struggling in Puerto Rico, thats not an abstract issue to me, that is a life or death issue occurring with my family, he shared in June.
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During her high school graduation in June, Yale-bound valedictorian Larissa Martinez revealed she was undocumented
. I am one of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the shadows, she shared. I decided to stand before you today and reveal these unexpected realities because this might be my only chance to convey the truth to all of you that undocumented immigrants are people too.
Martinez’s speech followed a similar statement from fellow Texan Mayte Lara Ibarra. The week prior, Ibarra tweeted photos from her high school graduation, in which she shared her GPA, the fact that shed been awarded a full ride to the University of Texas Austin and is undocumented.
Author Gabby Rivera represented queer Latinxs in a major way in 2016. She debuted Juliet Takes A Breath, a YA novel about a Puerto Rican lesbian from the Bronx in January. And in November, it was announced that Rivera had been tapped towrite
the story for Marvels first queer Latina superhero, America.
The first issue of the comic will be released in March 2017. We cant wait!
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In the wake of Julys fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling
and Philando Castile
, NBA star Carmelo Anthony used his platform to speak out against police brutality and social injustice.
He, along with LeBron James, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade, opened the 2016 ESPY Awards with a powerful message urging athletes to speak out against police brutality and social injustice.
We cannot ignore the realities of the current state of America, Anthony, whose late father,Carmelo Iriarte,was a member of the Young Lords, said. The events of the past week have put a spotlight on the injustice, distrust and anger that plague so many of us. The system is broken. The problems are not new, the violence is not new and the racial divide definitely is not new. But the urgency to create change is at an all-time high.
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