If you haven’t caught the PBS special, Latin Music
I was asked to briefly describe “Latin music,” and here’s my totally ad-libbed response:
Latin music is more than a musical genre, it is an urban folklore, a way of life; the receptacle of all that is Latino/a. It is Latinidad itself, the sway of a
It’s Latino/a Month and I’ll be writing on things Latino/a for most of the rest of what’s left of this month...
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-=[ Latinidad ]=-
I am not Taína. Taíno is in me, but there is no way back.
I am not European. Europe lives in me, but I have no home there.
I am new. History made me. My first language was Spanglish.
I was born at the crossroads. History made me.
-- Aurora Levins Morales, Child of the Americas
I’ve been lax this month, ignoring my Latinidad. So today, I have to start from somewhere and I wonder if I can even do it. I mean, to explore the essence of all that is Latino/a -- Latinidad -- is like trying to explore the ocean.
So, I’ll start here, in the good ole U.S. of A. A little about me: I was born in New York City of Puerto Rican parents and so my experience of Latinidad is filtered through those complications. I am light-skinned with blue-eyes, but I am not white. I was born in
See? I told you it was complicated. But, actually, I’m not. I am, to paraphrase the lovely
I hope to give you a glimpse into me and in that way offer you a glimpse of things Latino/a, for, as you might already sense, Latino/as will eventually take over. Don’t worry, we come in all colors, the blood of humankind flows through us. We come in all political orientations too! It is said that the Chicanos in California gave Gore the 2000 presidential election and the Miami Cubans took it away. To be sure, without Latino/as, Obama’s historic campaign would have fallen short.
We have arrived, some pundits say, but I have news for you: we were always here, long before the Daughter of the American Revolution lost her cherry, long before even the first slave ships infiltrated the
There is much to cover here, for while we have indeed arrived, and continue to do so, we are also being targeted as scapegoats for every conceivable social ill. We are at once desired and despised, but I’m here to set the record straight... stay tuned.