Jeannette Reyes is a morning anchor at FOX5 in Washington D.C. The daughter of Dominican immigrants, she was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. Reyes is a proud Afro-Latina who uses her platform in both Spanish and English to educate her followers about what it means to be a first-generation American who’s proud of her Latino roots. She seeks to show others that Latinx people are not a monolith and to be proud of your roots as we come in all colors, shapes, backgrounds. Read below to find out more on how the community inspires her!
What does it mean to you to be part of the Latinx community?
It means that I come from a people who have a great appreciation for family, culture, resilience and work ethic. We are a diverse, vibrant, joyful people with a passion and zest for life. It makes me proud.
How has your culture influenced or shaped you?
I believe I’m more open-minded and more understanding of others even if I don’t speak the same language. You understand the sacrifice and hard work that’s required to come to a new country and start over. And have a greater respect for those who speak English as a second language.
How do you share your culture & community on and off of TikTok?
I do videos in Spanish about my culture as a Dominican. I’ll do some code switching where I neutralize my accent and then do an “anchor voice.” I’ll dance to Spanish music, do lip syncs and talk about how Latinos come in different colors and backgrounds.
How has the TikTok community inspired you?
It’s reminded me of the importance of representation being that I am a Black Latina -- something I desperately looked for when I was younger. It’s humbling. And while TikTok is fun for me, it’s taught me that there’s a sense of responsibility that comes with the platform and the people who look up to me.
What video are you most proud of creating?
The video where I debuted my curly hair on air for the first time. I spoke about my Dominican upbringing and breaking the long-held belief that curly hair is “bad hair.” It resonated with a lot of fellow Latinos who grew up with the same insecurities.
What are some content creation tips you would offer to other creators?
Be authentic. Don’t just post content to meet a quota. Your followers can see through that. Vulnerability is a powerful thing.
Who are some Latinx creators that everyone should be following/watching?
[Trailblazer illustrations created by Brazilian artist Niege Borges for TikTok's Latinx Heritage Month celebration]