Mexican? Hispanic? Latino? Mexican-American? Chicano?

For decades we, we descendents of Spanish-speaking ancestors, born or having lived most of our lives in the US,  have struggled with what to call ourselves. I have written plenty on this in the past. The Chicano Movement of the late 60s and 70s grappled with this issue head-on, choosing to identify itself with the term “Chicano” rather than the more domesticated and inert sounding “Mexican-American.” We chose up sides. We argued. We debated. And sometimes came to blows.

I personally chose Chicano because it was loaded with a cultural-social-political aura that identified me as a mover, a doer, and those who sought an identify one grounded smack in the middle between Mexican and American, not half of each, but 100% of each, if that were even possible.

But despite all this, we succeeded, I believe in creating not a watered-down version of two different cultures, Mexican and American, but a completely independent third culture, a Pocho culture, masterfully blended with the best (but sometimes the worst) of the two. Actor, James Olmos, says it best in the following clip from the movie. “Selena”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw5bA8cVF-E

This video commentary by Sociologist, G. Christina Mora offers additional insights into our dilemma over cultural identity – http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2014/04/29/hispanic-label/

 

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