On Tuesday, June 2, thousands of people across the nation took to social media to share an all-black image in honor of Blackout Tuesday. The social media movement was used to put a “pause” and support the Black community following the tragic death of George Floyd, 46. Many celebrities participated, including Zoe Saldana, who shared a heartfelt message under her solidarity square. “I stand with my heart filled with love because that’s what my people have given me from the first moment I took a breath,” she wrote.
The actress continued, “I rise like the Phoenix out of the ashes because that is what my people have taught me. You may sit on my neck to silent my voice and yet I will always sing the song of peace because that is what my people tell me to do every day.”
The Guardians of the Galaxy actress, whose mother is Puerto Rican and father’s Dominican, has always been proud of her Afro-Latina roots and the heritage passed down to her children, twins Bowie Ezio and Cy Aridio, five, and her youngest, Zen, three. “Now more than ever I am proud to be black!! I am proud my sons are black. I am proud of every person that stands, rises and sings with me,” she wrote.
In a 2017 interview with Time, the 41-year-old opened up about battling racism in Hollywood and how being Puerto Rican-Dominican makes her either “too dark or too light” to star in most of Hollywood‘s historical dramas.
“I‘ve been disappointed before,” she says. ”Racism is often used as a plot device. Sometimes it’s glamorized,” she told the publication. The Avatar star, who had initially passed on the role, suffered a backlash after wearing dark makeup to play the role of Nina Simone in the biopic, Nina.
Nonetheless, the Bese founder has always been real with her fans, which is why she continues to be a role model for many Afro-Latinas.