Afro-Latinx Poet Explores Race, Colorism in New Collection, ‘Sana Sana’

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Mar 06, 2020

Poet Ariana Brown is a queer Black and Mexican artist from San Antonio, Texas, who recently released the 16-poem chapbook “Sana Sana,” which means "heal, heal" —words she heard from her family and community when young children were hurt, she tells HipLatina in a March 4 profile. Brown writes poems about Blackness, class, gender, spirituality, and colorism in the books’ 36 pages. 

The website reports that because of colorism, Mexicans don’t speak to her in Spanish. Because of that, Brown says she wants to support other Black Spanish-speaking artists. “It feels important to me personally to listen to contemporary Spanish language music from another Black person, and I think it’s really as simple as that,” the 26-year-old told HipLatina. 

With artwork by Black feminist artist Ari Brielle,” Sana Sana” explores Brown’s journey toward self-healing. Brown said her poem, “For the Black Kids in My 8th Grade Spanish Class,” was a “reminder to myself and other Black Latins that we find community amongst other Black people in diaspora precisely because we understand the conditions of each others’ lives.”

On the flip side, the collection also features a poem called “Dear White Girls in My Spanish Class.” Watch a video of Brown performing the poem here and read the full profile at HipLatina.