Does racism stroll the Walk of Fame?


When Shakira became the first Colombian this week to get her name on a world-renowned monument to the entertainment industry- the Hollywood Walk of Fame – the 34-year-old recording artist recalled what her mother told her at age 7.“One day, Shaki, your name will be here,” her mother said when the two and a family friend visited Hollywood for the first time 27 years ago. For Shakira, the star marked a personal triumph; as an artist and a Latina. “If by coincidence you happen to look down to the ground and you see this star, remember that it belongs to each one of you, because it carries the name of a Hispanic woman that, like you, dreams and works and works and dreams every day,” Shakira said during a public ceremony on Hollywood Boulevard, with her mom and the same friend present. As the latest celebrity to get a terrazzo star, trimmed with bronze, on the sidewalks of Hollywood, Shakira joins a small but growing rank of minority performers making a dent in an overall industry that some criticize as not inviting enough to African-Americans, Latinos and Asians. In fact, of the 2,354 stars on Hollywood sidewalks, only 3.4 percent of them belong to Hispanics such as Shakira, a CNN analysis shows. The figure is 5.1 percent for African-Americans and a mere 0.4 percent for Asians, according to an analysis of the stars on the Walk of Fame. Those figures fall short when compared with those minorities’ representation in the nation’s overall population: 16percent for Hispanics, 13percent for African-Americans and about 5 percent for Asians.