Debate is growing over use of ‘Latinx’ for ethnic identity

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2022-02-08 01:48Z by Steven

Debate is growing over use of ‘Latinx’ for ethnic identity

The Houston Chronicle

Olivia P. Tallet, Staff Writer

James Durbin
Many Latinos and Hispanics who are familiar with the word “Latinx” respect it in the context of LGBTQ+ inclusiveness. But it’s overwhelmingly unsupported as a pan-ethnic identity word.

Latinx is a buzzword for individuals of Latin American origin in the United States, yet the use of “Latinx” as a noun to identify people of Latino and Hispanic heritage is not universally welcomed.

“Ooooo, you’ve entered the dangerous territory of ‘identity politics,’” said Rice University professor Luis Duno-Gottberg on a social media post where a journalist asked for opinions about the use of Latinx.

The word “Latinx” and its plural “Latinxs” spark passionate discussions, with supporters asserting it is more inclusive than the predominant “Latinos” or “Hispanic” to group the multifaceted identities of people who trace their origins to Latin America and Spanish-speaking countries.

Some analysts trace the original use of Latinx to the mid-2000s when it began to appear in web searches. The word started a slow trend upward in June 2016, according to Google Trends data. Some observers associated it with the mass shooting that month at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando where 49 people were killed and 53 injured…

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Afro-Latinos: a vision of Houston’s mixed-race future

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Arts, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Texas, United States on 2016-12-05 01:58Z by Steven

Afro-Latinos: a vision of Houston’s mixed-race future

The Houtson Chronicle
Houston, Texas

Olivia P. Tallet, Reporter

Afro-Latinos embody Texas’ mixed-race future

It happens all the time. At the taco truck, Raul Orlando Edwards placed his fajita order: “Señorita, por favor, póngale la cebolla bien cocida” (“I’d like the onions well-done.”)

“Man,” said the African-American behind him in line, “how did you learn to do that?” Meaning: Why, for a black man, is your Spanish so good?

“I’m Latino,” Edwards answered. The director of the Strictly Street Salsa Studio and founder of the Afro-Latino Festival of Houston, he’s a Panamanian-Jamaican immigrant.

The guy stated the obvious: “I thought you were black!”

“I’m blacker than you are!” Edwards replied. And, he says, they laughed.

These days, in both Texas and the U.S. at large, skin color is an ever less reliable indicator of identity. According to a 2015 Pew survey, about a quarter of U.S. Hispanics identify themselves as Afro-Latino. Like Edwards, the vast majority (70 percent) are foreign-born.

Afro-Latinos generally are descendants of African slaves brought to Spanish and Portuguese colonies in Latin America and the Caribbean. Most are biracial or multiracial. Being Afro-Latino, says Alain Lawo-Sukam, professor of Hispanic and Africana Studies at Texas A&M University, is less about skin color than about identity and a sense of belonging.

By their very existence, Afro-Latinos challenge the traditional “one-drop” view of race in the United States: the idea that one drop of African blood makes a person black. Afro-Latinos like Edwards aren’t simply black, white or Hispanic. They’re a combination – and as such, a vision of the United States’ racially and ethnically complex future. They’re a minority inside a minority; a melting pot within the melting pot…

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