When Latto emerged first as Miss Mulatto, controversy immediately ensued. All manner of people were offended by her name choice. Some felt she was establishing a racial superiority to monoracial blacks and others felt she was invoking racist memories of the antebellum south, where miscegenation laws were the law of the land. In a tweet teasing the details of an unreleased track, Alyssa Stephens, aka Mulatto, confirmed her alter ego, back in May of this year. She and others referred to her as Big Latto, eventually dropping the Big remaining simply as, Latto.
A Racial Slur: Mulatto
What is a Mulatto?
It appears that the rapper Latto, was trying to do with mulatto, what African Americans have done with the n-word. However, a movement by millions that layered the definition of the n-word was too grand of a mission to be completed by one teenaged girl. For its offensive history, Big Latto has received major criticism over the years. Historically, the term “Mulatto” is used to describe the first-generation offspring of a Black person and a white person and has a dark history that dates back to American chattel slavery. Mulatto comes from the word mule, as in the mixture of a horse and a donkey. Miscegenation or the literal mixing of genes between blacks and whites was said to be the mongrelization of the white race.
Biracial Phenotype Diversity
Often times phenotype comes into play when it comes to how biracial people feel about being biracial. While some come out looking identifiably African American, others have exotic appearances that could have them placed anywhere in South America to the Middle East as origins. The way society engages their individual appearances encourages them to either identify as black or other than. As Latto came of age she dropped a portion of her name, but zero portions of her fame.