racial classification

Mulatto is a word referring to a person who is born to one black parent and one white parent. The term may be considered offensive or rude to some, because of its origin. The term is also used to refer to a light brown color, because of a mulatto's skin color. Many people prefer terms such as "biracial" and "of mixed race" over "mulatto".

Juan de Pareja by Diego Velázquez, 1650. De Pareja had a Black mother and a White father.

In some cultures, such as in Cuba, there are a number of terms describing skin colour, and none of them is taken as evaluative. There are simply descriptive terms. And in the Spanish language the term mulata would be used for females of mixed race.[1][2]

There are other descriptive terms which are used in the Caribbean and Latin America, without their being regarded as racial in the pejorative sense.


  1. Guillen, Nicolas 1931. Songoro cosongo: poemas mulatos. La Havana
  2. Iznaga, Diana 1989. Transculturatíon en Fernando Ortiz. La Havana.