Internet Star LeJuan James Proud of His Latino Heritage | NBC Chicago

Internet Star LeJuan James Proud of His Latino Heritage

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    NBC 6's Laura Rodriguez shares the story of Lejuan James, the social media star that gained popularity for his jokes about growing up Hispanic. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016)

    His videos are viral, funny and all about growing up Hispanic in the United States.

    Born Juan Atiles, this social media star got some inspiration from his basketball idol, Lebron James, for his online moniker, LeJuan James, with more than four million followers across platforms.

    His Puerto Rican-Dominican upbringing is the groundwork for most of his skits.

    "We first came to the United States when I was in elementary school, and several of my friends wanted to do a sleepover and I quickly found out that doesn't happen in Hispanic homes. Hispanic parents want to know who are they, who are their parents, you wanted to know their social security number, blood type, DNA, etc.," Atiles explains.

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    His favorite subject is his mother Ingrid, who also stars in many of his online videos.

    “It’s cool because I would have never thought in a million years that because of how you [mom] disciplined me and the way I grew up that I would be able to make a livelihood from this and be able to entertain people on social media for just being Hispanic.”

    Atiles’ mom says she’s proud her son continues to promote Hispanic culture and believes internet stardom has been an empowering experience for the whole family.

    “I think it works because it’s nostalgic and people are able to see ‘oh my god I remember when this happened to me’,” said Atiles.

    Mom also has her own fan base on social media. Her Instagram page "Le Mom James" has about 55,000 followers.