Becoming Mexipino: Multiethnic Identities and Communities in San Diego [Floyd Review]

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2013-12-26 18:42Z by Steven

Becoming Mexipino: Multiethnic Identities and Communities in San Diego [Floyd Review]

The Journal of San Diego History
Volume 59, Number 4 (Fall 2013)
pages 291-292

Carlton Floyd, Associate Professor of English
University of San Diego

Becoming Mexipino: Multiethnic Identities and Communities in San Diego. By Rudy P. Guevarra, Jr. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2012. Maps, photographs, tables, notes, and index. 256 pp. $25.95 paper.

Becoming Mexipino: Multiethnic Identities and Communities in San Diego by Rudy P. Guevarra Jr. deftly explores his Filipino and Mexican familial history from its origins in Spanish colonialism to its current Mexipino configurations in San Diego. Addressing a subject that has received little extended critical attention, Guevarra argues that Spain’s sixteenth-century colonial enterprises brought Mexicans and Filipinos together in ways that facilitated their intimate interaction. First, they shared or, more aptly, endured enslavement and indentured servitude as well as the interest in surviving these perilous conditions. Second, Mexicans and Filipinos took on a common language and religion: Spanish and Catholicism. Third, they discovered themselves in possession of a similar sense of familial arrangements—in the notions of godparents and in the practice of coming-of-age ceremonies for young women, to cite two examples. These various conditions facilitated intimate interethnic relationships then, and foreshadowed similar intimate interactions centuries later, particularly in the western parts of the United States…

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The Forging of the Cosmic Race: A Reinterpretation of Colonial Mexico. [Book Review]

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico on 2013-05-20 00:57Z by Steven

The Forging of the Cosmic Race: A Reinterpretation of Colonial Mexico. [Book Review]

The Journal of San Diego History
Volume 27, Number 3 (Summer 1981)

W. Michael Mathes (1936-2012), Professor of History
University of San Francisco

The Forging of the Cosmic Race: A Reinterpretation of Colonial Mexico. By Colin M. MacLachlan and Jaime E. Rodríguez O. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980. Bibliography. Illustrations. Index. Maps. 362 pages.

In general, Mexico’s colonial past has been interpreted as a negative experience by modern scholars. Within Mexico this interpretation is based primarily upon political concepts which idealize pre-Cortesian culture and condemn Spain as a cruel, autocratic nation which forcefully imposed itself upon Aztec civilization through bloody conquest. Foreign scholars either adhere to this “Black Legend” concept or, in a more revisionary sense, simply condemn colonialism as an institution. This new study presents a positive approach to the three centuries of Spanish domination in Mexico as an integral part of national evolution, not as a better-to-be forgotten period of darkness.

The basis for the development of Colonial Mexico, New Spain, is seen as mestizaje, the fusion of Indian and European culture which began with the conquest in 1519. In that Aztec and Spanish society shared more similarities than differences, mestizaje produced a dynamic new race, referred to by José Vasconcelos as “Cosmic,” the “Mexican.” As an integral part of society within New Spain, the mestizo is seen as the prime mover of economic growth and cultural homogeneity…

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California’s Hispanic Heritage: A View Into the Spanish Myth

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United States on 2011-09-22 03:17Z by Steven

California’s Hispanic Heritage: A View Into the Spanish Myth

The Journal of San Diego History
San Diego Historical Society Quarterly
Volume 19, Number 1 (Winter 1973)

Manuel Patricio Servin, Professor of Southwestern and Mexican-American History
Arizona State University, Tempe

No aspect of Borderlands’ history has been more distorted than that of the Spanish colonization of the Southwest. Despite the writings of eminent historians on the racially mixed background of the Spanish-speaking pioneers, the myth that the early settlers, and consequently the old families, were preponderantly of Spanish stock persists in many quarters.

Members of old families, whose mixed-blood ancestors early adopted the Spanish ideals of success, proudly extol their Spanish lineage and background. Viewing history through special lenses, the descendants of early settlers, as well as their Anglo-American friends and relatives, seem to focus only on the Spanish conquistadores, explorers, and settlers of the Borderlands. Overlooking their unbleached mestizo, mulatto, and Indian ancestors, these anointed Spanish-speaking pioneers see themselves as the descendants of intrepid Castilian gentlemen.

This act of self-deception appears to afflict almost the entire Borderlands’ area. New Mexico, perhaps because of its long history and galaxy of noble-like conquistadores, more than any other area suffers from this Spanish fever. The names of Don Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, Don Antonio de Espejo, and Don Juan de Oñate dominate the history of the state. Consequently, New Mexico is generally considered Spanish and its Spanish-speaking inhabitants are consequently Hispanos—not Mexicans of mixed Spanish, Indian, and African stock. Texas, with its so-called Spanish founders of San Antonio, also suffers from a similar affliction. The Spanish-speaking rico, the person of status, is consequently the descendant of either the notoriously indolent Canary Islander or of an alleged Spaniard or criollo. California, where earlier American historians over glorified the Spanish period of the province as well as the names of Junípero Serra and Gaspar de Portolá, relishes in its Spanish origins and traditions. Its distinguished families, suffering from an acute case of color blindness, call themselves californios, descendants of supposed Spaniards.

The recognition of the role that colonial Mexicans—that is, the role that the persons of mixed-blood—played in settling the Borderlands and especially California does not reject the essential part that Spaniards performed in the exploration, colonization, and missionization of the Southwest. Spanish peninsulares overwhelmingly were the adelantados, the officials, and the priests who explored, governed, and served settlers. But to claim that the settlers were preponderantly Spaniards—as the Californios assert—must be rejected as historically untenable. These settlers, as the study of California’s settlement shows, were not Spanish, but overwhelmingly mixed-bloods from Indian, Spanish, and also Negro stock…

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