Another Hot Take on the Term ‘Latinx’

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-11-24 02:29Z by Steven

Another Hot Take on the Term ‘Latinx’

El Espace
The New York Times
2018-11-21

Concepción de León, digital staff writer for the Books desk


At the 11th Annual Trans Day of Action, in 2015, transgender and gender-nonconforming people rallied with allies to fight discrimination.
Credit Joana Toro/Redux

This week in El Espace: gender-bending, big news for bookworms and more.

The paradox of working in media is that even as your mind expands, your world also shrinks a bit. Because of my job, I read a lot of news, then go on Twitter to read people’s hot takes, then listen to podcasts, you know, just to round out the picture. It’s extra, for sure. But while there’s no question that my understanding of topics like foreign relations, economics and the president’s taxes, to name a few, has gone from zero to at least 80 in the last few years, the overexposure has also distorted my perception about what “everyone” knows.

Fortunately our readers keep me accountable. In my last column, for example, I used the word “Latinx” as a broader term for the Latino community, to some people’s perplexity…

Ed Morales, a Columbia University professor who wrote “Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture,” agrees. In a recent conversation he said that “the X, which is so strange and is not Spanish, sort of marks this new hybrid idea.” The title of his book, similarly, was meant to be forward-looking. “I thought it was a futurist term,” he said, “imagining a future of more inclusion for people that don’t conform to the various kinds of rigid identities that exist in the United States.”…

Read the entire article here.

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As a mixed child of a Latin American couple, I could be seen as socially undetermined — part of a mestizo/mulato muddle, yet embraced as part of a Puerto Rican national identity. But in the United States, my fate has been to be inexorably drawn to the identity of my darker parent.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-10-15 00:40Z by Steven

As a mixed child of a Latin American couple, I could be seen as socially undetermined — part of a mestizo/mulato muddle, yet embraced as part of a Puerto Rican national identity. But in the United States, my fate has been to be inexorably drawn to the identity of my darker parent. Like Pedro Pietri penning the obituary of the passive Puerto Rican, I accept and cherish that embrace, but hope to end the silence of the dear negro in me. It’s time to let go, and embrace the blackness at the core of my being that I’ve always known.

Ed Morales, “‘Mi negro’: Embracing my blackness as a Puerto Rican man,” The Washington Post, Septermber 14, 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/09/14/mi-negro-embracing-my-blackness-as-a-puerto-rican-man.

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‘Mi negro’: Embracing my blackness as a Puerto Rican man

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-10-14 01:35Z by Steven

‘Mi negro’: Embracing my blackness as a Puerto Rican man

The Washington Post
2018-09-14

Ed Morales, Adjunct Professor
Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University, New York, New York

Several years ago, at the height of New York’s stop-and-frisk policing policy, two officers stopped me at West 125th Street and Broadway and insisted that I was carrying a knife. I was walking from Columbia University’s campus, where I’ve taught seminars on Latinx identity since 2010, after picking up a couple books at the library. Because I wasn’t teaching that day, I was wearing a backward baseball cap, worn-out jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt, attire that apparently made me look like a criminal suspect.

The officers were Latinx with complexions similar to mine, but in that moment, they made a racialized judgment about how I represented a culture of criminality often associated with black and Latinx people. They stared at me with insistent eyes, demanding that I hand over a weapon that I didn’t have. They had been signaled by my unkempt appearance and the furtive movement of my hand toward a keychain holder protruding from my right front pocket, a plastic Puerto Rican flag in the shape of an island. They were operating in the context of 125th Street, a dividing line between the largely white collegiate neighborhood of Morningside Heights and the predominantly black gentrifying neighborhood of Harlem.

The officers looked blankly at my university ID and reluctantly questioned me for several agonizing minutes, then decided I was not who they were looking for. But the experience reminded me that I can never escape my racial identity: In a society ruled by a binary perception of race, my complexion classifies me as “other,” but at any point in time, what I’m wearing, where I’m standing and how the sunlight hits my skin will color how I’m judged…

Read the entire article here.

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The Latinx revolution in US culture, society, and politics

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-10-14 01:26Z by Steven

The Latinx revolution in US culture, society, and politics

Verso Books
September 2018
368 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9781784783198
eBook ISBN: 9781784783204

Ed Morales, Adjunct Professor
Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University, New York, New York

Latinx-1050

Latinx” (pronounced “La-teen-ex”) is the gender-neutral term that covers one of the largest and fastest growing minorities in the United States, accounting for 17 percent of the country. Over 58 million Americans belong to the category, including a sizable part of the country’s working class, both foreign and native-born. Their political empowerment is altering the balance of forces in a growing number of states. And yet Latinx barely figure in America’s ongoing conversation about race and ethnicity. Remarkably, the US census does not even have a racial category for “Latino.”

In this groundbreaking discussion, Ed Morales explains how Latinx political identities are tied to a long Latin American history of mestizaje—“mixedness” or “hybridity”—and that this border thinking is both a key to understanding bilingual, bicultural Latin cultures and politics and a challenge to America’s infamously black–white racial regime. This searching and long-overdue exploration of the meaning of race in American life reimagines Cornel West’s bestselling Race Matters with a unique Latinx inflection.

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Queridos Blanquitos: The Hidden Racism of Nuestra América

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-11-24 01:04Z by Steven

Queridos Blanquitos: The Hidden Racism of Nuestra América

NACLA Report on the Americas
New York, New York
2014-11-19

Ed Morales
Columbia University, New York, New York

In Justin Simien’s debut film Dear White People, a passing comment about Puerto Ricans exposes the contradictory status of mixed-race people in the “post-racial” Americas.

There is a moment in Dear White People, a film that is drawing a lot of attention for its frank treatment of “post-racial” America—particularly in Ivy League universities—that made me laugh, although I felt not many in the theater got the joke the way I did. It was during a voiceover dialog during which the protagonist Sam’s African-American suitor was musing that he thought at first that she was “Puerto Rican” because of her lighter skin and superior attitude. Sam is a mixed-race filmmaker and agitator who is constantly angry over “micro-aggressions” she endures every day on campus, and is determined to put the brakes on all forms of neo-racism, period…

…In an Ivy League university a mulata is an exotic character, charged with a social and sexual ambivalence that is hard to resolve in quotidian campus interactions. Sam, reflecting on this, suffered the crisis of being accompanied by her white father to grade school when she was a child–the desire to separate herself to avoid confusion that resulted from noticing how people looked at her curiously–what is that white man doing with that black girl?  Other scenes find Sam grappling with being an object of sexual desire and political solidarity with white and black lovers, with all of this seemingly just adding to her quiet agony…

Read the entire article here.

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Afro-Latinos Seek Recognition, And Accurate Census Count

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2014-09-21 18:00Z by Steven

Afro-Latinos Seek Recognition, And Accurate Census Count

NBC News
2014-09-21

Raul A. Reyes

NEW YORK, NY — Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to recognize the contributions of Latinos in the U.S., yet one group often feels left out of the Hispanic community. Afro-Latinos say that they struggle with acceptance from both Latinos and African-Americans. Now they are seeking recognition, acceptance – and an accurate count of their numbers. As was discussed at a recent Afro-Latino Forum conference in New York City, Latino advocates and educators are working with the U.S. Census Bureau to help make it easier for mixed-race Hispanics to report their background on the 2020 Census.

The Census Bureau reports that in the 2010 Census, 2.5 percent of the 54 million Hispanics in the U.S. also identified as black – a figure that many say is an undercount. “I believe that what were hearing from the Afro-Latino community is that they do not believe that those numbers accurately illustrate the Afro-Latino community presence in the United States, and that’s the dialogue that we’re having,” said Nicholas Jones, chief of the Bureau’s Racial Statistics Branch.

The Bureau is currently weighing changes in how it asks about race and ethnicity. In the 2010 Census, while over half of Hispanics identified themselves as white, 36 percent checked “some other race.” The significant number of Latinos who did not see themselves in traditional racial categories has led the Bureau to consider offering a combined race/ethnicity question for 2020, offering “Hispanic/Latino/Spanish origin” as a choice.

The combined race/ethnicity approach is still controversial. Some Afro-Latinos support the idea because they believe it would make the Census more accurate. Others worry that it would encourage Hispanics to think of themselves as a separate race…

…“Among Latinos, the idea of talking about mixed race can still be taboo,” said Ed Morales, adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race. “It’s easier to say that you’re Dominican or Mexican, rather than delve into your racial background.” He attributes this to the traditional cultural forces at play in Hispanic culture. “In our own families, there is not a lot of discussion of being mixed race, there is not a lot of open acknowledgement of it.”…

Read the entire article here.

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The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Biography, Books, Gay & Lesbian, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Science, United States, Women on 2012-01-04 22:20Z by Steven

The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States

Duke University Press
2010
584 pages
9.1 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-4558-9
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-4572-5

Edited by:

Miriam Jiménez Román, Visiting Professor of Africana Studies
New York University

Juan Flores, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis
New York University

The Afro-Latin@ Reader focuses attention on a large, vibrant, yet oddly invisible community in the United States: people of African descent from Latin America and the Caribbean. The presence of Afro-Latin@s in the United States (and throughout the Americas) belies the notion that Blacks and Latin@s are two distinct categories or cultures. Afro-Latin@s are uniquely situated to bridge the widening social divide between Latin@s and African Americans; at the same time, their experiences reveal pervasive racism among Latin@s and ethnocentrism among African Americans. Offering insight into Afro-Latin@ life and new ways to understand culture, ethnicity, nation, identity, and antiracist politics, The Afro-Latin@ Reader presents a kaleidoscopic view of Black Latin@s in the United States. It addresses history, music, gender, class, and media representations in more than sixty selections, including scholarly essays, memoirs, newspaper and magazine articles, poetry, short stories, and interviews.

While the selections cover centuries of Afro-Latin@ history, since the arrival of Spanish-speaking Africans in North America in the mid-sixteenth-century, most of them focus on the past fifty years. The central question of how Afro-Latin@s relate to and experience U.S. and Latin American racial ideologies is engaged throughout, in first-person accounts of growing up Afro-Latin@, a classic essay by a leader of the Young Lords, and analyses of U.S. census data on race and ethnicity, as well as in pieces on gender and sexuality, major-league baseball, and religion. The contributions that Afro-Latin@s have made to U.S. culture are highlighted in essays on the illustrious Afro-Puerto Rican bibliophile Arturo Alfonso Schomburg and music and dance genres from salsa to mambo, and from boogaloo to hip hop. Taken together, these and many more selections help to bring Afro-Latin@s in the United States into critical view.

Contributors: Afro–Puerto Rican Testimonies Project, Josefina Baéz, Ejima Baker, Luis Barrios, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Adrian Burgos Jr., Ginetta E. B. Candelario, Adrián Castro, Jesús Colón, Marta I. Cruz-Janzen, William A. Darity Jr., Milca Esdaille, Sandra María Esteves, María Teresa Fernández (Mariposa), Carlos Flores, Juan Flores, Jack D. Forbes, David F. Garcia, Ruth Glasser, Virginia Meecham Gould, Susan D. Greenbaum, Evelio Grillo, Pablo “Yoruba” Guzmán, Gabriel Haslip-Viera, Tanya K. Hernández, Victor Hernández Cruz, Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof, Lisa Hoppenjans, Vielka Cecilia Hoy, Alan J. Hughes, María Rosario Jackson, James Jennings, Miriam Jiménez Román, Angela Jorge, David Lamb, Aida Lambert, Ana M. Lara, Evelyne Laurent-Perrault, Tato Laviera, John Logan, Antonio López, Felipe Luciano, Louis Pancho McFarland, Ryan Mann-Hamilton, Wayne Marshall, Marianela Medrano, Nancy Raquel Mirabal, Yvette Modestin, Ed Morales, Jairo Moreno, Marta Moreno Vega, Willie Perdomo, Graciela Pérez Gutiérrez, Sofia Quintero, Ted Richardson, Louis Reyes Rivera, Pedro R. Rivera , Raquel Z. Rivera, Yeidy Rivero, Mark Q. Sawyer, Piri Thomas, Silvio Torres-Saillant, Nilaja Sun, Sherezada “Chiqui” Vicioso, Peter H. Wood

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Editorial Note
  • Introduction
  • I. Historical Background before 1900
    • The Earliest Africans in North America / Peter H. Wood
    • Black Pioneers: The Spanish-Speaking Afroamericans of the Southwest / Jack D. Forbes
    • Slave and Free Women of Color in the Spanish Ports of New Orleans, Mobile, and Pensacola / Virginia Meacham Gould
    • Afro-Cubans in Tampa / Susan D. Greenbaum
    • Excerpt from Pulling the Muse from the Drum / Adrian Castro
  • II. Arturo Alfonso Schomburg
    • Excerpt from Racial Integrity: A Plea for the Establishment of a Chair of Negro History in Our Schools and Colleges / Arturo Alfonso Schomburg
    • The World of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg / Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof
    • Invoking Arturo Schomburg’s Legacy in Philadelphia / Evelyne Laurent-Perrault
  • III. Afro-Latin@s on the Color Line
    • Black Cuban, Black American / Evelio Grillo
    • A Puerto Rican in New York and Other Sketches / Jesus Colon
    • Melba Alvarado, El Club Cubano Inter-Americano, and the Creation of Afro-Cubanidades in New York City / Nancy Raquel Mirabel
    • An Uneven Playing Field: Afro-Latinos in Major League Baseball / Adrian Burgos Jr.
    • Changing Identities: An Afro-Latino Family Portrait / Gabriel Haslip-Viera
    • Eso era tremendo!: An Afro-Cuban Musician Remembers / Graciela Perez Gutierrez
  • IV. Roots of Salsa: Afro-Latin@ Popular Music
    • From “Indianola” to “Ño Colá”: The Strange Career of the Afro-Puerto Rican Musician / Ruth Glasser
    • Excerpt from cu/bop / Louis Reyes Rivera
    • Bauzá-Gillespie-Latin/Jazz: Difference, Modernity, and the Black Caribbean / Jairo Moreno
    • Contesting that Damned Mambo: Arsenio Rodriguez and the People of El Barrio and the Bronx in the 1950s / David F. Garcia
    • Boogaloo and Latin Soul / Juan Flores
    • Excerpt from the salsa of bethesda fountain / Tato Laviera
  • V. Black Latin@ Sixties
    • Hair Conking: Buy Black / Carlos Cooks
    • Carlos A. Cooks: Dominican Garveyite in Harlem / Pedro R. Rivera
    • Down These Mean Streets / Piri Thomas
    • African Things / Victor Hernandez Cruz
    • Black Notes and “You Do Something to Me” / Sandra Maria Esteves
    • Before People Called Me a Spic, They Called Me a Nigger / Pablo “Yoruba” Guzman
    • Excerpt from Jíbaro, My Pretty Nigger / Felipe Luciano
    • The Yoruba Orisha Tradition Comes to New York City / Marta Moreno Vega
    • Reflections and Lived Experiences of Afro-Latin@ Religiosity / Luis Barrios
    • Discovering Myself / Un Testimonio / Josefina Baez
  • VI. Afro-Latinas
    • The Black Puerto Rican Woman in Contemporary American Society / Angela Jorge
    • Something Latino Was Up with Us / Spring Redd
    • Excerpt from Poem for My Grifa-Rican Sistah, or Broken Ends Broken Promises / Mariposa (María Teresa Fernandez)
    • Latinegras: Desired Women—Undesirable Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, and Wives / Marta I. Cruz-Janzen
    • Letter to a Friend / Nilaja Sun
    • Uncovering Mirrors: Afro-Latina Lesbian Subjects / Ana M. Lara
    • The Black Bellybutton of a Bongo / Marianela Medrano
  • VII. Public Images and (Mis)Representations
    • Notes on Eusebia Cosme and Juano Hernandez / Miriam Jimenez Roman
    • Desde el Mero Medio: Race Discrimination within the Latino Community / Carlos Flores
    • Displaying Identity: Dominicans in the Black Mosaic of Washington, D.C. / Ginetta E. B. Candelario
    • Bringing the Soul: Afros, Black Empowerment, and Lucecita Benítez / Yeidy M. Rivero
    • Can BET Make You Black? Remixing and Reshaping Latin@s on Black Entertainment Television / Ejima Baker
    • The Afro-Latino Connection: Can this group be the bridge to a broadbased Black-Hispanic alliance? / Alan Hughes and Milca Esdaille
  • VIII. Afro-Latin@s in the Hip Hop Zone
    • Ghettocentricity, Blackness, and Pan-Latinidad / Raquel Z. Rivera
    • Chicano Rap Roots: Afro-Mexico and Black-Brown Cultural Exchange / Pancho McFarland
    • The Rise and Fall of Reggaeton: From Daddy Yankee to Tego Calderon and Beyond / Wayne Marshall
    • Do Platanos Go wit’ Collard Greens? / David Lamb
    • Divas Don’t Yield / Sofia Quintero
  • IX. Living Afro-Latinidads
    • An Afro-Latina’s Quest for Inclusion / Yvette Modestin
    • Retracing Migration: From Samana to New York and Back Again / Ryan Mann-Hamilton
    • Negotiating among Invisibilities: Tales of Afro-Latinidades in the United States / Vielka Cecilia Hoy
    • We Are Black Too: Experiences of a Honduran Garifuna / Aida Lambert
    • Profile of an Afro-Latina: Black, Mexican, Both / Maria Rosario Jackson
    • Enrique Patterson: Black Cuban Intellectual in Cuban Miami / Antonio Lopez
    • Reflections about Race by a Negrito Acomplejao / Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
    • Divisible Blackness: Reflections on Heterogeneity and Racial Identity / Silvio Torres-Saillant
    • Nigger-Reecan Blues / Willie Perdomo
  • X. Afro-Latin@s: Present and Future Tenses
    • How Race Counts for Hispanic Americans / John R. Logan
    • Bleach in the Rainbow: Latino Ethnicity and Preferences for Whiteness / William A. Darity Jr., Jason Dietrich, and Darrick Hamilton
    • Brown Like Me? / Ed Morales
    • Against the Myth of Racial Harmony in Puerto Rico / Afro-Puerto Rican Testimonies Project
    • Mexican Ways, African Roots / Lisa Hoppenjans and Ted Richardson
    • Afro-Latin@s and the Latino Workplace / Tanya Kateri Hernandez
    • Racial Politics in Multiethnic America: Black and Latina/o Identities and Coalitions
    • Afro-Latinism in United States Society: A Commentary / James Jennings
  • Sources and Permissions
  • Contributors
  • Index
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