syndicated network includes orig
inal properties such as Showtime at the Apollo, Livin’ Large, and Weekend VIBE, as well as Resurrection Boulevard, a drama set in Los Angeles with a Latino cast.
And though he has seen prejudices firsthand in his industry, he still gets upset when he experiences it from the African American community. “I think the most frustrating thing comes from the black side of the equation–not the white. I’ve never had white people say ‘you’re not really black, are you?’ ” he says. “I’m always thinking ‘when did I stop being black because my last name is Mercado or Valdes?’ ”
Mercado-Valdes says that the Afro-Latino community could be a powerful ally to both the African American and Latino communities once more civic, business, and political leaders emerge. “It’s one of the things that I feel I should have been more active in that I feel like I haven’t been,” he confesses. “I spent so much time being black I forgot I was Latino.”