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.

Tags: ,

How Anti-Chinese Propaganda Helped Fuel the Creation of Mestizo Identity in Mexico

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Mexico on 2017-11-27 01:56Z by Steven

How Anti-Chinese Propaganda Helped Fuel the Creation of Mestizo Identity in Mexico

Remezcla
2017-06-13

Freddy Martinez
Brooklyn, New York


Chinese Mexican pilgrims march to the Basilica de Guadalupe, Mexico’s holiest shrine. Courtesy of Pilar Chen Chi.

Like most revolutions, the one Mexico fought at the beginning of the 20th century was brutal. Over a million people, both civilian and revolutionaries alike, died in the span of ten years. And although, by its end, a new constitution guaranteeing indigenous civil rights was enacted, life was still no better: assassination, disease, and violence left the Mexican state nearly ruined.

Yet even the bloodiest revolution has its icons. Mexico’s quintessential revolutionaries, Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, have become so recognizable today that it’s easy to take their politics at face-value and romanticize what they fought for. Jason Oliver Chang, an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut, wants to change that. Speaking in late May at the Museum of Chinese in America, he gave a lecture prepared from his most recently published book, Chino: Anti-Chinese Racism in Mexico, 1880-1940.

Uncovering the forgotten history of anti-Chinese propaganda and violence documented in the years around the revolution, the book reads like a dossier of state secrets. In one chilling example, you’ll read how Pancho Villa gave orders to execute 60 Chinese prisoners by throwing them down a mineshaft. Magonistas, along with many other revolutionary parties on the left and right, used antichinismo — anti-Chinese rhetoric and policy making — to popularize their own movements. But those incidents pale in comparison to the massacre that occurred in Torreón, Coahuila, during one of the first battles of the revolution. There, 303 Chinese men, women, and children were killed — some even butchered — by both civilians and soldiers, marking the bloodiest incident of anti-Chinese violence ever recorded in the Americas

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

The Mexipino Experience: Growing Up Mexican and Filipino in San Diego

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2017-06-28 00:15Z by Steven

The Mexipino Experience: Growing Up Mexican and Filipino in San Diego

Remezcla
2017-06-27

Rudy P. Guevarra Jr., Associate Professor of Asian Pacific American Studies
Arizona State University


Author Rudy P. Guevarra Jr. Photo by Jimaya Gomez, Art by Alan López for Remezcla.

Rudy P. Guevarra Jr. is the author of Becoming Mexipino: Multiethnic Identities and Communities in San Diego

Growing up in San Diego, I remember watching my abuelito tend the guava tree he grew for my mother, while singing along to the Mexican rancheras that blared from his tiny radio in the backyard. When my mother called him in for lunch, he’d start whistling, as Linda Ronstadt’s Canciones de mi Padre echoed from the house. We both knew that we’d be eating caldo de res con arroz Mexicano. Once a month, my Filipino grandfather, or tata, would also pay us visits from San Francisco. I’d help him and my mother cook Filipino delicacies, like chicken adobo, pansit, and lumpia. He’d have us in tears, laughing at his jokes, while the smell of soy sauce and vinegar permeated the entire house.

Many of our family functions centered on moments like these – eating Filipino food while listening to Mexican music, bathing ourselves in the experiences that were for me, the essence of being a Mexipino…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Misty Copeland on Seeing So Many Brown Ballerinas in Cuba: “That Will Forever Stick With Me”

Posted in Articles, Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Women on 2016-12-26 21:03Z by Steven

Misty Copeland on Seeing So Many Brown Ballerinas in Cuba: “That Will Forever Stick With Me”

Remezcla
2016-12-22

Yara Simón, Trending Editor


Photo: Emily Jan/NPR

In the world of American ballet, Misty Copeland is the exception. As the first black woman to become a principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre, Copeland knows what it’s like to be one of the few women of color to break through. That’s why when President Barack Obama asked her to visit Cuba as part of a sports envoy program designed to further strengthen relations between the United States and the Caribbean nation, Misty felt struck by the number of brown bodies she saw at the prestigious Ballet Nacional de Cuba.

“Just the imagery of seeing a room full of Cuban women and men with brown skin, doing classical ballet, and it’s not even a question for them,” she told The Undefeated. “It’s like, ‘No, this is what we do and this is what we look like.’ That’s something that will forever stick with me.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Afro-Latinos Have a Well-Deserved Place at the New National Museum of African American History

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-09-30 01:18Z by Steven

Afro-Latinos Have a Well-Deserved Place at the New National Museum of African American History

Remezcla
2016-09-27

Yara Simón, Trending Editor

This weekend marked the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. After Rep. John Lewis and others spent decades battling Congress for funding, the museum opened its doors on Sunday from 7 a.m. to midnight, according to the New York Times. It’s a celebration of the black community’s contributions to the United States, but it also highlights the injustices faced by an often marginalized group. More than anything, it’s crucial to our understanding of our national identity. The museum comes at a time when racist policing has taken center stage, and just months before the first black president of the United States steps down.

On Saturday, President Barack Obama helped inaugurate the museum. He stood in front of thousands and repeated Langston Hughes’ words, “I too, am America.” “African American history is not somehow separate than the American story,” he said according to the Washington Post. “It is not the underside of the American story. It is central to the American story.”

The 400,000 square-foot museum sits on the National Mall and features more than 36,000 artifacts that aim to explore all parts of blackness. While the intersection between black and Latino identities aren’t always acknowledged, it’s an important part of both groups. The National Museum of African American History and Culture doesn’t ignore the Afro-Latino experience. Check out a few ways they’re being included in African-American history below:…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

Meet Anthony Ocampo, the Professor Who Wrote a Book on Why Latinos and Filipinos are Primos

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Interviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-07-19 18:53Z by Steven

Meet Anthony Ocampo, the Professor Who Wrote a Book on Why Latinos and Filipinos are Primos

Remezcla
2016-07-12

Kevin Nadal


Anthony Ocampo

As one of the few Filipino American psychology professors in the US, it can get lonely. I am the only Filipino American professor on my campus and one of the few tenured Filipino American professors in New York City (and on the East Coast in general). When I first started writing about Filipino American issues over a decade ago, I found myself constantly fighting with scholars (especially peer reviewers) who argued that I should concentrate on issues affecting the pan-ethnic Asian American community, instead of focusing specifically on Filipino Americans. Whenever I wrote journal articles or essays, I always had to explain who Filipino Americans were – outlining colonial history, phenotypical appearances, and socioeconomic experiences in the US. I relied on interdisciplinary readings because there was so little written about Filipino Americans in social sciences. I turned to Latinx and Black American mentors, who validated my feelings of marginalization within the Asian American community. And I was fortunate to work with one Chinese American mentor who encouraged me to pursue my interests in writing about Filipino American Psychology.

While there have been several amazing Filipino American scholars who have emerged across multiple disciplines in the past ten years or so, it is still a rarity to see a Filipino American professor — in a tenure or tenure-track position — who studies issues of concern for Filipino American people. In fact, in a study that I conducted with Dr. Dina Maramba in 2010, we found that there were only 113 tenured or tenure-track Filipino American professors in social sciences, education, and humanities in all of the U.S. As a reference point, there are 45 full-time professors in my Psychology Department alone (mostly white) and 415 full-time professors on my campus with 15,000 students. So, to only have a little over 100 Filipino American full-time professors in the US across these disciplines (when there are over 4 million Filipino Americans in the US), is both disproportionate and unfortunate.

Because of all of this, I was so excited when I first learned about Dr. Anthony Ocampo and his research on deconstructing race for Filipino Americans. Dr. Ocampo is a tenure-track assistant professor of sociology at Cal Poly Pomona. His first book, The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race describes how Filipino Americans’ experiences with race and racism is influenced by social context (e.g., friendships, neighborhoods and communities, or even school environments). His research answers many of the questions that I had when I was first a student trying to understand Filipino American identity- unpacking issues related to Spanish and American colonialism, whether or not Filipinos are “Asian enough”, and whether or not Filipinos should continue to be classified under this pan-Asian umbrella…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

PHOTOS: What It Means to Celebrate Afro-Latinidad in the Time of Black Lives Matter

Posted in Articles, Arts, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Justice on 2016-07-15 01:39Z by Steven

PHOTOS: What It Means to Celebrate Afro-Latinidad in the Time of Black Lives Matter

Remezcla
2016-07-12

Isabelia Herrera, Music Editor

Photography by: Itzel Alejandra Martinez, Photo Editor


Itzel Alejandra Martinez

When Remezcla headed to the fourth edition of New York City’s Afro-Latino Festival this weekend, surrounded by colorful dashikis and bold #BlackLivesMatter t-shirts, we were reminded that the political utility of the Afro-Latino label is more urgent than ever. Speaking with festival attendees, families, and musicians, it became clear that celebrating Afro-Latinidad in times of black trauma isn’t about diverting the focus of anti-racist movements, but about highlighting the diversity of black experiences. As the nation reels from the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, and as police violence continues to rattle black and brown communities, Afro-Latinos are uniquely positioned to combat anti-blackness in Latino communities. To that end, we spoke to a group of festival attendees about their Afro-Latinidad in the context of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Here’s what they had to say…

Red the entire photo-essay here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

5 Steps Latinos Can Take to Combat Anti-Blackness

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-07-09 19:56Z by Steven

5 Steps Latinos Can Take to Combat Anti-Blackness

Remezcla
2016-07-09

Andrew S. Vargas

We are all reeling from the events of this past week. The deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police have become an all-too-familiar narrative in our public life, but each time we are confronted with these images it dredges up centuries of pain weighing on our collective conscience. Latinos of color acutely relate to the struggle African Americans face against their constant dehumanization by our country’s law enforcement institutions. It is a struggle that we often share on the streets, in the courtroom, and in our mainstream media. But we would be mistaken to assume that our experience of injustice is comparable.

The culture of the United States has been built on a racial binary designed to exclude and oppress the descendants of Africans brought into this country against their will. Anti-blackness is not the occupation of hateful individuals, rather it is embedded within the very notion of race in the US, and reflected in all of its institutions. As Latinos – which is, itself a designation of ethnicity, not race – we often find ourselves struggling to stake out a place within this rigid racial landscape, while dealing with our own internalized biases and societal pressures to assimilate into whiteness…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

On Her Second Album, Xenia Rubinos Finds a New Language to Talk About Latinidad

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-10 19:00Z by Steven

On Her Second Album, Xenia Rubinos Finds a New Language to Talk About Latinidad

Remezcla
2016-06-01

Isabelia Herrera

At a time when the political utility of the Afro-Latino label is as urgent as ever, it’s easy to forget that the journey to embrace that identity isn’t always immediate. Before recording her sophomore album Black Terry Cat (ANTI- Records), Boricua-Cuban artist Xenia Rubinos did not identify as Afro-Latina. So when she embarked on the recording process this time around, Rubinos envisioned the album as a vehicle to explore her brownness and blackness, to rediscover her place in the African diaspora.

That’s why hip-hop is Black Terry Cat’s lifeblood. “I was listening to a lot of hip-hop at the time. It was a new exploration for me, getting into Slum Village and KRS-One, as well as going back to Erykah Badu, which was starting to become my daily diet,” she explains. Rubinos lays those influences bare on Black Terry Cat; the record vibrates with clanging percussive interludes, stream-of-consciousness lyrics, and deep pocket backbeats. It’s a clattering, experimental triumph that leaps from thick funk basslines to spooky horn sections and then to broken-down hip-hop beats, like a kid playing with Legos. Above it all, Rubinos’ warm, smoky voice flutters about, revealing a vocal dexterity and a slew of alter egos the listener is constantly trying to catch up with…

Read the entire interview here.

Tags: , , ,

Filmmakers Behind ‘Invisible Roots’ on Finding Afro-Mexicans Living in Southern California

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-02-22 01:49Z by Steven

Filmmakers Behind ‘Invisible Roots’ on Finding Afro-Mexicans Living in Southern California

Remezcla
2016-02-16

Walter Thompson-Hernández
Los Angeles, California


Photo: NOTIMEX/JAVIER LIRA OTERO

Almost a year before the Mexican government officially acknowledged Afro-Mexicans as a distinct racial and ethnic group, directors Tiffany Walton and Lizz Mullis first began working on their film, Invisible Roots: Afro-Mexicans of Southern California, as a film project while attending the University of Southern California (USC). For Walton, whose grandfather was Afro-Panamanian, the project was deeply connected to her family’s Afro-Latino story, while Mullis was motivated by her interests in broader societal questions about race and identity. But during the early stages of the project both struggled to find subjects for their film. After a number of failed attempts at connecting with Afro-Mexican families in the Los Angeles area, attempts they both called “extensive,” Walton and Mullis were fortuitously connected to a few Afro-Mexican families through academic and professional contacts. The film premiered at the Los Angeles Pan African Film Festival with which the directing duo hopes to shed light on the experiences of a group that continues to garner recognition both in Mexico and in the U.S…

Can you describe what inspired you to make this film?

TW: I’ve always been really interested in African-American history as well as the African diaspora. I remember first learning that my dad’s grandfather had moved from Panama to Alabama to attend college. I felt excited about having a personal connection to another place, an ancestral place, a place outside of the United States, that I could reference and say, “Hey, I have roots there.” With that, I became really curious about Black people who lived in Central America and other Latin American countries. I wanted to know how they identified culturally and racially, I wanted to know what they ate, and what things we would have in common. I was curious about learning how they navigated the world.

I first learned about Afro-Mexicans from a large poster my dad had hanging in his office. The poster was of a photograph called, “Tres Hermanas,” by Tony Gleaton. On this poster were the words, “Africa’s Legacy in Mexico.” That poster spoke volumes to me. So, the poster inspired me to make this film. It touched me in such an intangible, sublime way that made me want to take action. I wanted to know everything about those little girls. What would we have in common? Were they curious about Africa? Would they feel a connection to me? I really just wanted to know how they viewed the world and how the world viewed them and how they felt about what the world thought of them…

Read the entire interview here.

Tags: , , , , ,