New York Times journalist comes to talk about multiracial identity for Black History Month

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-10 03:17Z by Steven

New York Times journalist comes to talk about multiracial identity for Black History Month

Iowa State Daily
2018-02-23

Naye Valenzuela


Journalist Walter Thompson-Hernandez came to Iowa State on Feb. 22 to speak to students about what it’s like being multicultural and speaks about how to define ones identity.
Megan Petzold/Iowa State Daily

As the lights went down and as the crowd hushes to a silence, a man gets up and walks to the podium. He opens his laptop and presents a PowerPoint. The first slide presents a graffiti on a blue brick wall in Los Angeles.

The graffiti says “black power, brown pride – Tupac,” which led to the man’s first question.

“What Tupac song is this from?” He asks the crowd.

A student jumps up right away and proudly states the song is “To Live and Die in L.A.”

Walter Thompson-Hernandez, the guest presenting, is shocked, to realize a lecture attendee in Ames was the first to get it right.

Most known for his work called “Blaxicans of L.A.,” where his photos and videos talk about people in South Central Los Angeles and their experience with their multiracial identity of being both black American and Mexican in the United States, Thompson-Hernandez talks about the history of Blaxicans and what could be the future of multiracial identities in the future…

Read the entire article here.

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Carlos Arias Vivas | DNA tests don’t define your identity

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-09 02:03Z by Steven

Carlos Arias Vivas | DNA tests don’t define your identity

The Daily Pennsylvanian
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2018-03-14

Carlos Arias Vivas


CC0

Convos with Carlos | 23andMe results can’t change your upbringing

During one late night bonding session with my hallmates, one of them revealed to the group that they took a DNA test and discovered more about their background. Intrigued, I sought out to buy one of the kits for myself. The major players in this industry are Ancestry.com and 23andMe; both offer DNA tests that can shed light on your lineage as well as an optional health risks assessment.

Now, I knew that these tests are very expensive. For 23andMe, the basic ancestry service costs $99 and the Health + Ancestry service costs $199. I ended up choosing to go with 23andMe based on positive online reviews. Also, this was the brand my hallmate had used. Luckily, for me, there was a special Black Friday sale, so I snatched up the kit and waited for it to arrive at Amazon@Penn.

Before doing the spit-test that is required, I knew that I was going to be Latino. My parents are from Ecuador, and I imagined that my ancestry composition would show a high concentration of Latino ancestry. I never questioned my background because that was never a conversation I had with my family. After countless times of spitting in my tube, I entered my registration code to track my kit, sealed up the test tube in the box, and dropped off my sample at the post office.

This “waiting game” was an agonizing process. But even though I was excited to receive my results, I knew that the outcome wouldn’t dramatically change who I was. Whatever 23andMe had in store, my upbringing is already set in stone…

Read the enetire article here.

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Searching For A Motherland As A Black Latina

Posted in Africa, Articles, Autobiography, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-02 02:36Z by Steven

Searching For A Motherland As A Black Latina

The Huffington Post
2018-03-30

Maria V. Luna, Associate Lecturer
Goldsmiths University of London


Author Maria V. Luna in the Dominican Republic on her way to celebrate carnival in 2011.
Maria V. Luna

For Black Latinx in the U.S., bicultural, bilingual ― if they are lucky ― and born to immigrant parents, there is no motherland.

Though 25 percent of U.S. Latinos self-identify as Afro-Latino, we are not always made to feel at home in our own country. To be Latinx in the U.S. is to encounter xenophobic rhetoric from the top of our nation’s political leadership down to its base. To be black Latinx is to discover that xenophobia layered with anti-black rhetoric brews even among our own ethnic group.

Scholars Miriam Jiménez Román and the late Juan Flores consider W.E.B. Du Bois when describing the experience of the Afro-Latino in the U.S. as a triple consciousness — an awareness of being black, Latino and American. It is an elastic awareness, a way of moving in the world that has been woefully underexplored in America and in Spanish-language media and entertainment.

As an Afro-Latina, I often wondered: Where are my people? Where are those who crave mangú for breakfast, a Cuban sandwich for lunch and tres leches dessert? Where are those who love the “One Day at a Time” reboot with a Latin cast but winced when Lydia, played by Rita Moreno, repeats with conviction, “Cubans are white!” Didn’t abuela dance to Celia Cruz every morning as she made breakfast?

As soon as I could, I journeyed far from New Jersey to find my people. I looked for my kindred in the Dominican Republic, in Brazil, in Spain and in the maternal monolith I once imagined Africa to be.

I was looking for that mythical interstitial place where my blackness and Latinidad could peacefully coexist. This is what I found…

Read the entire article here.

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The Existence of the Mixed Race Damnés: Decolonialism, Class, Gender, Race

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, Latino Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, Philosophy, United States on 2018-04-01 03:18Z by Steven

The Existence of the Mixed Race Damnés: Decolonialism, Class, Gender, Race

Rowman & Littlefield
June 2018
160 pages
Trim: 6 x 9
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78660-615-0
eBook ISBN: 978-1-78660-616-7

Daphne V. Taylor-Garcia, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies
University of California, San Diego

The Existence of the Mixed Race Damnés is an interdisciplinary and intersectional study of the mixed-race subject in the Americas and the rise of oppositional consciousness with a consideration of not only race, but also colonialism. Daphne V. Taylor-Garcia examines the construction of race, gender, and class in coming to an oppositional consciousness as a Spanish colonial subject in the Americas. Spanning the early foundations of knowledge production about colonial/racial subjects and connecting to contemporary debates on Latinxs and racialization, the book takes up the terms through which first-person perceptions of precarity and class, mixed-race existence, and gendered power relations are constructed. The Existence of the Mixed Race Damnés ends with a response to the current scepticism towards organizing as people of color through a decolonial redefinition of the damnés that centers a critique of anti-black racism and colonial relations.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. The Spatiality of the Damnés
  • 2. Visible Race and the Legacy of the Sistema de Castas
  • 3. The Semiotics of Gender in Colonial/Renaissance Knowledge Production
  • 4. Taking Action as the Damnés
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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The Americans Our Government Won’t Count

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-03-30 19:42Z by Steven

The Americans Our Government Won’t Count

Sunday Review
The New York Times
2018-03-30

Alex Wagner, Contributing Editor
The Atlantic


Monica Ramos

Racially speaking, the United States is zero percent Hispanic. This is confusing — especially for America’s nearly 58 million Hispanics.

The United States census breaks our country into six general racial categories: White; Black; Asian; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; American Indian or Alaska Native; and Some Other Race. “Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin” is treated not as a race but as an ethnicity — a question asked separately. So someone may be White (Hispanic) or Black (Hispanic) but not simply Hispanic. As a result, many Hispanics check “White” or, increasingly, “Some Other Race.” This ill-defined category is what mixed-race Americans, like me — half Burmese, half Luxembourgian-Irish — often check. It might just as well be called “Generally Brown.” Today, the third-largest racial group in America is “Some Other Race” — and it is made up overwhelmingly of Hispanics.

Equally obscured are America’s estimated 3.7 million residents of Arab descent. With neither a racial nor an ethnic category to call their own, they most often opt for a racial designation of “White.” But to count Yemenis and Syrians as generically white is a complicated proposition these days, when whiteness confers power, and men and women from the Arab world are instead the subjects of travel bans and national security debates.

Nearly four years ago, the Census Bureau began researching how to more accurately represent these populations and decided to combine the race and ethnicity questions into one, and to add two new categories: one for residents of Middle Eastern/North African origin and one for those of Hispanic origin. Many advocates within those groups celebrated the reforms, and the broad expectation was that the next census, in 2020, would incorporate these changes. After all, the bureau itself concluded that they were necessary to “produce the highest quality statistics about our nation’s diverse population.”…

Read the entire article here.

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EXCLUSIVE: Afro-Latina Slam Poet, Elizabeth Acevedo, Debuts First Novel ‘Poet X’

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2018-03-20 01:51Z by Steven

EXCLUSIVE: Afro-Latina Slam Poet, Elizabeth Acevedo, Debuts First Novel ‘Poet X’

Latina
2018-03-05

Jenifer Calle, Politics and Culture Writer


@acevedowrites/Instagram

Elizabeth Acevedo has been empowering Afro-Latinas for years by bringing attention to the various experiences of women of color through her powerful words in poetry.

As a Latina, you might remember a certain poem or a book that changed your life, a verse so precise it gave you chills. Acevedo’s debut novel, Poet X, will do just that with its raw emotions that are universal to all young girls, wrapped up in beautiful lyrical verses.

Poet X is a Young Adult novel that follows the story of an unapologetic 15-year-old girl, Xiomara Batista, growing up in Harlem. As a Dominican-American teen stepping into adulthood she takes to her journal to deal with the emotions and frustrations she feels at home and at school. In this three-part novel, Xiomara struggles with her conservative mother, an absent father, her faith in God, her sexuality, and much more. Xiomara’s awakening through slam poetry helps her find her voice but her journey of self-discovery doesn’t come easy…

Read the entire article here.

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Op-Ed: Think Pieces About Being a White Latino Continue to Miss an Essential Point

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-03-19 02:38Z by Steven

Op-Ed: Think Pieces About Being a White Latino Continue to Miss an Essential Point

Remezcla
2018-03-16

Carmen Phillips

Really? Oh wow. You don’t look Latina.”

My entire life, I’ve heard a variation of those seven words after telling someone I am Puerto Rican. As a matter of fact, it’s a common occurrence for entire subsets of the Latinx community. Both white Latinxs and Afro-Latinxs have had others categorize and subsequently disregard us based on our physical appearance. But if you were to only look at the content mainstream outlets have churned out in the last few years, you’d think being a white Latinx presents a one-sided identity crisis.

The sensation of being left out, of being told they’re not “Latinx enough” has led many white Latinx writers to pen op-eds and think pieces about their experiences. But, those essays always miss an essential point; while our community ostracizes both white and Black Latinxs at times, only Black Latinxs face systematic racial oppression on top of that.

I’m Black. I have an Anglo last name. My Latina identity has consistently elicited surprised reactions, something I’ve grown accustomed to. As long as after our first conversation, the person I’m speaking with drops their feigned surprise that our community come in all hues, we’re good. My problem starts when questioning continues – as if I am somehow lying about my own heritage…

Read the entire article here.

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The Poet X

Posted in Books, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2018-03-10 02:32Z by Steven

The Poet X

HarperTeen
2018-03-06
368 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780062662804
E-book ISBN: 9780062662828

Elizabeth Acevedo

Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will fall hard for this astonishing #ownvoices novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet, about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.

With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

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Latina heroine or black radical? The complicated story of Lucy Parsons.

Posted in Biography, Book/Video Reviews, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2018-02-20 00:16Z by Steven

Latina heroine or black radical? The complicated story of Lucy Parsons.

The Washington Post
2018-01-12

Tera W. Hunter, Professor of History and African American Studies
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Lucy Parsons occupies an unusual position in American history: a prominent woman noted as much for her acts of brilliance and bravery as for her evasiveness and contradictions.

Parsons spent most of her life in Chicago, where a park named in her honor calls her the first “Chicana socialist labor organizer.” Born circa 1853, Parsons said she was of Mexican and Indian descent and from Texas — an Aztec genealogy dating before Columbus. Elsewhere she’s been recognized as “the first Black woman to play a prominent role in the American Left.”

These differing narratives are indicative of a life that defies easy categorization and has challenged assessments of Parsons’s legacy…

…With “Goddess of Anarchy,” prize-winning historian Jacqueline Jones has written the first critical, comprehensive biography of Parsons that seeks to peel back the layers of her complex life. Jones amassed an incredible body of records — local, state and federal government documents; prolific newspapers; organizational and personal correspondence; and Lucy and husband Albert Parsons’s extant writings. Through these documents Jones uncovered evidence that Parsons was not of Mexican or Indian ancestry. Her research shows, too, that Parsons was not, as many have thought, born Lucia Eldine Gonzalez but as Lucia Carter in Virginia in 1851. Her mother was black, and her father was white (and probably her slave owner). Her family moved to Waco, Tex., during the Civil War, where Lucia worked as a cook and seamstress in the homes of white families. As a teenager, she married an older, formerly enslaved man, Oliver Benton, a.k.a. Oliver Gathings, and had a child who died as an infant…

Read the entire review here.

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There’s a big problem with how the census measures race

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-02-14 23:06Z by Steven

There’s a big problem with how the census measures race

The Washington Post
2018-02-06

Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor of Sociology
Graduate Center, City University of New York


Activists hold signs during a news conference in front of the Supreme Court in 2015. (Getty Images)

Will the 2020 Census be accurate? A number of observers have been worrying about that question for several reasons. For instance, the Justice Department has been trying to insert a citizenship question on the census form; such a question could discourage many immigrants from completing the form. As a result, cities and regions with large numbers of immigrants could see their populations seriously undercounted, with troubling results for political representation, services and funding.

But there’s another reason to be worried, one that hasn’t gotten much attention. The Census Bureau just announced that its 2020 form will not fundamentally change the questions it uses to ask about ethnic and racial origins. This may seem like a minor technical issue — but it will have major real-world implications. If it does not incorporate already-tested improvements into these questions, the census will deliver a less accurate picture of the United States.

And as a result, census statistics will continue to roil the public discussion of diversity, by exaggerating white decline and the imminence of a majority-minority United States. Political figures and pundits who oppose immigration and diversity could exploit that, peddling an alarmist narrative that doesn’t fit with the long-standing reality of mixing between immigrant and established Americans….

Read the entire article here.

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