Share

Congressman Adriano Espaillat made history during the 2016 election after becoming the first Dominican-American to serve in Congress.

Even though Espaillat considers himself Afro-Dominican, grappling with this identity in Congress can at times be challenging. When he decided to join the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Espaillat was basically welcomed with open arms. But when it came down to join the Congressional Black Caucus, things turned out differently.

For Espaillat, watching the world try to figure out his own Afro-Latino identity is nothing new.

He grew up in New York City, between the predominantly Dominican neighborhood of Washington Heights and the historically Black neighborhood of Harlem. And now, he represents both of them in Congress.

Congressman Espaillat opens up about overcoming assumptions about what it means to be Black and Latino in Congress and growing up in New York City.

Featured Image: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images