Make no mistake: MJ Rodriguez is an Afro-Latina actress that embraces her Blackness.
The Black Women In Hollywood honoree—who was feted during our 13th annual soiree along with the rest of her co-stars and producer Janet Mock—has a message for anyone attempting to challenge her Black card.
“They gon’ have to think again because my momma, she can tell you I’m Black,” Rodriguez said proudly. “They better get it together!”
Before the star-studded event kicked off in Beverly Hills, California ahead of the Oscars, the break-out actress also spoke about the importance of being recognized by her own community.
“ESSENCE magazine is a huge platform and for a long time, in my community, I didn’t feel as if I was accepted,” she said, noting that the feeling came from binding and discriminatory “social constructs.”
Check out the video above to see what else Rodriguez had to say on the red carpet.