Malín Falú is a much-loved Spanish-language journalist whose trailblazing work for Spanish-speaking women of color has drawn affectionate comparisons to Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters.
“My decision to carve out a career in journalism and communication was a casual one—it was not planned. I moved from one experience to another, but my decision to pursue this career path was based on the positive reaction I got for my work from my own people. Hence, I have learned to welcome new experiences because they can lead to growth. I have also learned to be disciplined, to study everything related to my craft, and to read a lot from writers of all cultures, so I can understand our lives as a people. It is a hard and difficult journey, but if you do good and ignore the gossip, then your true work as a journalist can be about helping, helping, helping.”
Malín knows first-hand, though, the struggles women of color face in the male-dominated world of journalism.
“My biggest challenge was dealing with the prejudices and biases in our society. Because I was a black Puerto Rican woman, men in the industry could not comprehend that a woman of color could be intelligent, reasonable, and sensible. Many were surprised that my voice was soft and my tone mellow. Working in radio was a blessing because by not ‘seeing’ me, I could be judged on the merits of my work instead of being judged on the color of my skin. My work spoke for itself.”
Malín is also a Reiki master and teacher, and she continues to advocate for the increased representation of people of color in all media.
“I have been able to change the minds of many in the industry. We are not vulgar or ignorant. We have values. Our culture is varied and vast. But, I also learned that we are all in this struggle together. If you fight with everyone, you will always find yourself alone.”
© Ricardo Muñiz. Published by permission in Centro Voices on 18 September 2015.