I usually don't cut-and-paste, but this Latina is such a valuable resource when it comes to Latino/a cultural identity that I thought it was worthwhile. I got it from the official website of the PBS drama, American Family, the only dramatic series totally created and controlled by Latino/as. The writing was by Latino/as, as was the direction -- everything.
Get this: none of the major networks (not even HBO and Showtime) wanted to air this! Check out their website.
I will be offering a series of blogs elaborating on some of the issues raised by Doña Rodriguez... I will be gone all day. Today, as usual, is my longest day of the week.
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-=[ What It Means to be Latino ]=-
by Dr. Clara E. Rodríguez
To be a Latino means that in the 2000
If we look at the Hispanic/Latino population pie in 2000, we see that Mexicans comprised the majority of all Latinos (58.5% or 20.6 million). Puerto Ricans were the second largest Latino group, constituting 9.6% of all Latinos or 3.4 million. However, if we include the 3.8 million Puerto Ricans who resided in
Although historically there are important regional concentrations of each of these groups, e.g., Cubans in
Being Latino also means that you lay claim to one (or more) of the rich and unique histories that each of these groups brings to the
Since Latinos have been part of the
Being Latino means a connection to the Spanish language, although, in
Finally, being Latino means you are a part of one or more groups that have their own unique cuisine, music, and cultural and artistic traditions. For example, spicy, hot food is common in some diets and relatively absent in others. But there are also some commonalties. For example, in the same way that meat and potatoes can be considered a staple of the U.S. American diet -though not everyone eats this – rice and beans are a staple throughout much of
On Terminology: Hispanic or Latino?
The term “Hispanic” is often used interchangeably with the term “Latino.” The term “Hispanic” was introduced into the English language and into the 1970 census by government officials who were searching for a generic term that would include all who came from, or who had parents who came from, Spanish-speaking countries. It is, therefore, an English-language term that is not generally used in Spanish-speaking countries. The term “Latino,” on the other hand, is a Spanish-language term that has increased in usage since the introduction of the term Hispanic. Some Latinos/Hispanics feel strongly about which term they prefer. Some reject both terms, and insist they should be known by their national origin; still others use all terms and vary their usage depending on context.
Those who prefer “Latino” argue that the term preserves the flavor of national origin and the political relationship between the
Those who prefer the term “Hispanic” maintain that it should be used because the data on this population is gathered using this term, and the data should not be re-labeled. It is seen to be preferable for scientific publications because it is seen to be more rigorous and consistent with the data. It is argued that Hispanic is a more universal term because this is the term used by most agencies and other data gathers, while Latino is a regional term more often used in areas where there are large numbers of native Spanish-speakers. In essence, the argument is that this is the term that most people - particularly those living far from Spanish-speaking populations will use. The term includes those from
Dr. Clara E. Rodríguez is a Professor at Fordham University,