- Analía Llorente
- BBC World News
For the past few months, he has kept many obsessed with his moves on the chessboard.
And it aroused great curiosity to learn this complex game, which was reflected in the increase in sales of boards and in the increase in the number of people who signed up for classes to learn it.
We refer to Anya Taylor-Joy, the 24-year-old actress who just won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of chess player Beth Harmon on the hit Netflix series “Lady’s Gambit.”
As a result of this victory, numerous articles were written about Taylor-Joy, but there was one in particular that caused controversy.
It was published on February 28 in the American magazine Variety and in it the young actress was described as a “woman color” (woman of color, in English).
“Argentina’s Taylor Joy is the first woman of color to win this category since Queen Latifah in 2008 and only the fifth woman of color to win since 1982,” the article read.
This description of the protagonist of “Lady’s Gambit” caused a great stir on social networks, to the point that Variety modified the article and clarified that Anya Taylor-Joy “identifies herself as a white Latina.”
So why do some in the US consider Anya Taylor-Joy a “person of color”? What does this description mean?
“I come from many places”
Anya Taylor-Joy She was born in Miami, United States, but when she was very young she moved with her parents to Argentina, where he lived until he was 6 years old.
The young woman is the daughter of an Argentine father with Scottish roots and a Zambian-born mother whose ancestors are English and Spanish.
“I come from many places, but my quality and my attitude towards life is from Argentina. I appreciate that part of my story very much. I feel very proud to come from Argentina,” said Taylor-Joy in perfect Spanish with an Argentine accent in a interview last October.
The actress is proud of her varied roots and of her Argentine origin, which can confuse many Americans, who do not consider that someone of Latin origin can be considered white.
Belonging to minorities
The concept of “person of color” is unique to the US and may not have the same connotations in other parts of the world.
Whites began using it in the 18th and 19th centuries to refer to people of black or mixed race, and it was not until the late 20th century that African-Americans themselves and members of other minorities made it their own, using it to assert themselves as a group.
“The category itself is a way of identifying a community of individuals. Perhaps it is seen as something artificial, but what makes ‘a person of color’ in the United States is that they belong to a racial or ethnic minority “, explains Efrén Pérez, professor at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA ).
“As regards this actress, of course her appearance is more European than that of other Latinos who may be of Mexican origin or a Puerto Rican. She does not resemble that standard,” Pérez tells BBC Mundo.
The professor explains that the category of “person of color” is not only related to the physical characteristics of a person, but also to their ethnic origin and the way one sees oneself.
In terms of ethnicity, it is common that in the US to anyone who comes from Latin America or Spain he is classified as a “person of color” because he speaks Spanish, regardless of whether his ancestors are of European origin.
That is what probably happened in the case of Anya Taylor-Joy, whom in Variety they considered “colored” because of their Argentine roots.
Efrén Pérez also explains that many minority members in the US call themselves “people of color.”
“Is about a basically psychological category, something that formed over time. When people came to the United States from Mexico, Argentina or Cuba, they were forged here as Latinos or as Hispanics. Those categories didn’t exist before. And this is very similar to the question of ‘people of color’, “says Pérez, who is of Mexican origin.
“I identify myself as a person of color because of the experience I had as someone with Mexican roots in the United States, because I was treated as a minority, as someone who is outside the force majeure,” he acknowledges.
“The evidence we see is that the concept includes African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, and also people from other minorities who are not Anglo-Saxon, such as Native Americans and Muslims,” says Pérez.
While outside it may sound strange to be described as a “person of color,” Pérez explains that giving many in the US a sense of belonging can lead to well-being.
“On a psychological level, we like to belong to certain groups or categories to increase our self-esteem. It is an instrument that helps us feel good. Many times our self-esteem rises because we belong to groups to the that others cannot belong“, dice.
The African-American community began to use the terms “person of color” and “people of color” more frequently in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
But before, there was already talk of the idea it represented.
This was reflected by Martin Luther King Jr. in his famous speech “I have a dream” (“I have a dream) in Washington in 1963 when referring to” citizens of color. “
“Today it is obvious that the United States has defaulted on this promissory note with respect to its ‘citizens of color’. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, the United States has given Black people a bad check, a check that has been returned marked as ‘insufficient funds.’
This category, given the demographic growth of other communities, was expanded to include more groups emphasizing the similarities and leaving aside the differences.
“You can be more persuasive if you say, ‘People of color suffer such discrimination’ and you’re not just referring to African-Americans, but to Latinos, Asians, etc. That’s more shocking,” says Pérez.
Asked whether the United States should abandon classifying people by race or ethnicity as a way to end discrimination, the political scientist says that “removing the categories will only make the groups have a different name.”
“Ignoring the identities, interests and aspirations of various racial or ethnic groups affects those people who can end up feeling isolated,” he concludes.
In any case, the use of the concept of “person of color” or “people of color” is not without controversy and there are those who advocate that it cease to be used due to the racial connotations it has.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.