The Importance of Seeing People Like Me

I’ve worked within my Latino community for my entire life thus have been able to meet and see many people whom I really admire.   Last night, LUPE ONTIVEROS, beloved Latina actress, passed away.  She was one of the very first brown faces that I ever saw on TV and in movies…the very first movie I saw her in was “El Norte” when she played the hilarious Nacha … I remember thinking, ‘man, I wish I could speak Spanish/Spanglish like she does’ and she was always so funny.   Lupe Ontiveros is one of those actresses that, once you see her, you will know that you saw her in something…

I got to meet Lupe a couple of years ago at an event at the Mexican Heritage Plaza where she talked about her life and her work … such a positive lady and I remember her joking about how many times she played maids LOL  over 150 at least and the first thing she said when she came onto the stage was, “and NO, I did not kill Selena”!

It was always so important that there was a Latina who looked normal, someone I could relate to, someone who could make me laugh and cry at the same time, someone who I could look up to.  Lupe Ontiveros paved the way for many many Latino celebrities and I admire her for doing so without losing her sense of self, community, cultura, and uniqueness.  God Bless Lupe Ontiveros and her familia.  RIP.

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