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👨🏻🙋🏽👱🏾🙎🏿👱🏽The Latinx Collective - Issue #11: This Week's 5
THIS WEEK'S FIVE:
A must-read from this month's issue of Nat Geo magazine. This is a story about Latinidad across America and roles that latinos are playing in their local communities. This quote, which points to how incredibly and confusingly diverse we are as Latinos, is part of why I started The Latinx Collective:
"The Spanish word “Latinidad,” which loosely translates as “Latino-ness,” is a term that strives to encompass the shared cultural identity of millions of Latinos who are of different races and national origins and who live in the United States. According to the U.S. census, the terms “Latino” and “Hispanic” represent the 57.4 million who hail from a host of countries south of the U.S. border and in the Caribbean, as well as Spain. Latinos officially became the largest U.S. minority in 2000." // "Among the major ethnic or racial identities in the United States—white, black, Asian, Native American—Latino is the most amorphous. Latino people can be African, Mesoamerican, Asian, or white. They are evangelical, Roman Catholic, and Jewish."
My dad spent many years as a bodega owner, so as we bounced between South Florida and NYC, I spent many summers and weekends hanging out behind the counter as a kid. The bodega is a New York City institution. For decades, the Dominican-American community has run so many of them, turning them from corner stores to something extra special. Here's a 10 minute video about the history of the "corner store" in NYC which started with Jews, later became the bodega as Puerto Ricans opened up shop, then transitioned to Dominicans.
Democratic political superstar Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gives hope for progressives across the country (and around the world). She talks to the hosts of IN THE THICK about why she decided to run for Congress and what the future will bring for her and the Democratic Party.
I've highlighted this show several times now. This is a great discussion between 2 writers (including one that was raised + still lives in Boyle Heights where the show is based) who discuss what 'Vida' does well including: it's complex Latina characters (a rarity on TV), and how its characters call each other out in flaws - as well as what it does poorly like its awkward use of Spanglish. I can't wait for season two!
Diane Guerrero, activist and star of Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, has released a second memoir about her experience as a 14 yr old whose parents were detained and deported. I read her first book "In the Country We Love" years ago and highly recommend it. This new memoir is an adaption of that story that's meant for teens and students who are going through similar traumatic experiences but don't understand how the systems in place work and why it's not their fault.
I'm in the middle of reading 'The Go-Between' a novel by bestselling Panamanian-Dominican author Veronica Chambers. In an often untold narrative about race and class in the Latinx community, the book is about Camilla, a Mexican teenager whose mother is a rich, successful + glamorous Telenovela actress in Mexico City. When her mom gets her first American acting gig, the family moves to the US for the first time + Cami is enrolled in a posh private school in LA. Her mom stars as a not-so-glamorous maid on a sitcom (latinos on American tv playing maids - surprise, surprise). At school, all of the kids very ignorantly assume Cami is a scholarship kid and the child of a local domestic worker - so Cami starts to play along with the stereotype to play a prank on them. If you're looking for a book to gift to a teen or young adult in your life, I highly recommend it. (Or for yourself - I'm not a teen & found it hilarious). Learn more or buy it here.