Archive for May, 2012

Common Struggle

May 25th, 2012

In George Priestley’s article entitled “Ethnicity, Class, and Race in the United States: Prospects for African-American/Latino Alliances”, Priestly states:

The current challenges of both groups are the product of race, class, and gender relations of the post-civil-rights era, a period characterized by massive immigration of nonwhite people […] If economic competition and immigration issues have the potential of dividing Latinos and African-Americans, these groups have a strategic list of demands that unites them. (Priestly 56)

Priestly believes that “race, class, and gender” play major roles in both minority groups.  In America today, slavery no longer exists, but “The Color Line” an article which Frederick Douglas published in 1881 detailing racial segregation, still exists to a certain extent in America.  The “Color Line” suggests racial discrimination because of the color/race of a person.  Latinos and African Americans have both equally dealt with Racialization and inequality in America prior to and after the “civil rights era”; an era that struggled to attain civil rights for African-Americans along with other groups.  Latinos represent a multi-cultural and multi ethnic group of people and a “color line” or Racialization exists within their community as well because of the diverse backgrounds and races that incorporate the group.  As immigration increases from Latin America, Latinos and Blacks both struggle to achieve civil, economic and social stability.


In Tanya Golash-Boza’s article entitled “Dropping the Hyphen?  Becoming Latino/a-American through Racialized Assimilation”, Boza states:

In contemporary U.S. society, we learn our racial place through interactions with others.  If others classify us as white, we learn to expect preferential treatment.  If others classify us as something other than white we learn to expect marginalization.  This marginalization plays out in different ways, depending on a wide variety of factors, including, but not limited to, skin color, manner of speaking, body language, hair texture and facial features. (Boza 33)

Boza states the “we learn our racial place through interactions with others”.  This happens if you’re white, black, Latino, Asian, and so on.  Race places everyone in categories and even a child regardless of race understands their place in society.  Even if they are not consciously aware of it, society depicts a hierarchy with whiteness and children grasp this at an early age.  She also states that Latinos “learn to expect preferential treatment” if others classify them as white, and they expect “marginalization” if they classify them as black or other.  She also states that depending on “skin color, manner of speaking, body language, hair texture and facial features”, the marginalization plays out in different ways.  Boza implies that the darker their skin, the more “ethnic” they speak and “act”, the coarser their hair and the larger their features the more they are racialized or discriminated against.



In Jennifer Lee’s and Frank D. Bean’s article entitled “Reinventing the Color Line Immigration and America’s New Racial/ Ethnic Divide”, they state:

In any case, regardless of skin color, Latinos fall closer to non-Hispanic whites in their attitude towards blacks than to non-Hispanic blacks.  Such results suggest considerable variation in the Racialization experiences of Latinos in the United States […] Many Latinos, especially Mexican, may not see themselves or may not be seen as belonging to the collective black category. (569)

Lee and Bean state that “Latinos fall closer to non-Hispanic whites in their attitude towards blacks than to non-Hispanic blacks”, this implies many Latinos fit well within the white binary, where they relate more to whites than to blacks.  They also state that there lies “considerable variation in the Racialization experiences of Latinos in the United States” which implies that Latinos also use Racialization when it comes to blacks because they fit into the white spectrum and possibly never experienced Racialization.  Again, going back to the color line, why would anyone want to relate to a group that faces marginalization and Racialization over centuries within this society?  This quote explains how some Latinos identify more with whites over black minorities because of 1.) Racialization and 2.) White represents power where as black represents fear.


Shades of the Border

May 25th, 2012

This video demonstrates how Dominicans use Racialization when it comes to their sister island of Haiti.  Though the Haitians and the Dominicans look quite similar (the Haitians may be a tad bit darker), they view the Haitian people as less than which shows how the white/black binary persists in other countries as well. Over one million Haitians live in the Dominican Republic illegally and the video illustrates the conflicts that exist because of the white/black binary which is not only prevalent in the United States but as you see in this video in another “minority ethnic group” .  Dominicans and Haitians derive from the same lands and some the same ancestry, but yet one holds a stigma on the other because of skin color.  The other conflicts that Pineda mentioned pertain to cheap labor, language and religion but the real heart of the conflict involves darkness.  The darker the person, the more Racialization occurs even within otherminority groups.

The above video entitled “The Browning of America” is from a lecture at The Latin American Health Institute by Ilan Stavans, the editor of The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. Stavans discusses the social connotations of color and the stereotypes that society constructs for different ethnic groups.  He addresses the White/Black binary and states that the social connotations of color will always maintain prevalence because the world encompasses a multi cultural and multi ethnic society. Good Stuff!

This short video shows how Miami is considered the “Capital of the Americas” and the “Center of the New World”.  Miami is filled with Latinos from all over the world who have come to the City and made Miami into a little Latin America.  From Cubans, Venezuelans, Brazilians to Argentinians Miami encompasses this wonderful culture and has embraced the Latin community.  Miami is the most diversed Latin American Community and almost 60% percent of the people speak mainly Spanish.  It is almost as if Miami is its own diverse Latin American country.  Cubans make up the biggest percent of Latinos in Miami and even have a section of Miami called “Little Havana”.  I have been to Miami several times and I love the Latin/ Caribeean energy that Miami brings.

The video above brings tears to my eyes.  Even though I know it is staged, it really pushed my buttons to see this type of crime happen because the individual is “Mexican”. It really saddened me to see the lack of humanity that transpired during the video.  There have been lives lost for hate crimes just like this and I do understand the initial shock of witnessing this type of thing and the uncertainty around getting involved.  But, as another human being how could you just stand and do nothing. With the society that we live in people close their eyes to and ignore what’s going on because these people are strangers to us.  But we have to take a step back and put our selves or our loved ones in the same situation.  The pedestrians that got involved, represent humanity and love for their brother and that was so beautiful to see.


Cover Letter

May 25th, 2012

I always thought of myself as a pretty good writer until English 255 Latino Literature with Professor Alvarez.  This class completely opened my eyes to the habitual mistakes that I make when writing.  I never noticed that a paper of mine would contain on average about 20 “To Be” verbs.  Everything that I learned in this class, I am now applying to my other classes when I write my papers.  I am over conscious about the the verbs that I use, because my writing simply flows better with less “To Be” verbs.  My MLA citation has definitely improved but I can not say I have mastered the many different variations which MLA entails.  This course helped me to critically analyze different texts from poems to historical content.  As far as learning about Latino Literature, I can honestly say that I appreciated learning about the culture on a deeper level than what I know from friends of Latino descent.  I appreciated learning different things about the culture and the social struggles that they face as a minority group.  Even though the class has A LOT of writing, I enjoyed it because of the improvement that I now see as I write.  This class definitely had me questioning my other English classes and wondering why I never learned to organize PIE paragraphs or even accurately use MLA citation.  Thanks Professor for taking the time “to be” 🙂 thorough.  That was only one I think.  Have a great summer!!!!


May 25th, 2012


 Racialization exists in America, but it also exists all over the world.  In this article, I will argue that Latinos face social struggles in American society.  I will argue that Latinos face the same social struggles that are inherent in the African American community but because of the white/black binary instituted within our culture, they tend to identify with whiteness because of the hierarchy that it implies.  Racialization stains the United States because of the color line.  Race links individuals to their place in society.  Latinos represent a racialized minority just as African Americans in American society, but depending on skin color a Latino/a can go either way.  This article will detail how skin color impacts the way Latinos classify and identify themselves.  This article will argue the idea of “race” and how it impacts the relationship between Latinos and African Americans.  I will argue that African Americans and Latinos need to connect on a minority level to build a coalition where the two groups will work together to achieve the same opportunities as whites.  Race is a form of social inequality and this article will demonstrate how it negatively labels different groups within the hierarchy of race.

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