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Op-Ed: “You’re Not Really Mexican” – A Personal Essay About My Cultural Identity Crisis

Photo credit: broderzine.org

Photo credit: borderzine.org


All my life I’ve lived between two worlds.

As a Mexican-American, it’s easy to be confused as to which world you think you should identify with more; I feel undoubtedly Mexican-American when I make tamales or listen to mariachis, but that feeling fades away when I speak broken Spanish.

Spanish might not seem like an important characteristic for all Mexican-Americans, but not knowing it in central Texas—an area where Spanish is spoken all over the region by Mexican-Americans—can surely make you feel like a foreigner.

Although I sometimes feel confused as to which world I belong to, there’s no question I’m first and foremost an American; I’m the product of my Mexican grandparents’ American Dream, I’ve never been to Mexico (besides Cancun, where there are probably more American tourists than Mexicans) and I can’t say certain words in Spanish without revealing my obvious American …

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The New U.S. Poet Laureate: Juan Felipe Herrera

Photo credit: npr.org

Photo credit: npr.org


Poetry readers, prepare yourselves for a passing of the laurels. The Library of Congress announced in the wee hours Wednesday that the next U.S. poet laureate will be California writer Juan Felipe Herrera. He will be the first Latino poet to be appointed to the position.

“This is a mega-honor for me,” Herrera said in the announcement, “for my family and my parents who came up north before and after the Mexican Revolution of 1910 — the honor is bigger than me.”

A poet of Chicano descent, the 66-year-old has spent just about his whole life on the West Coast. Born to a family of migrant farmworkers, Herrera bounced from tent to trailer for much of his youth in Southern California, eventually going on to study at UCLA and Stanford. Years later, he stepped out of the state to attend the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, before — …

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Generational Differences Hints To A Different Future For Latinos

Latino Family

Latinos are not of one single country, history, customs, traditions or accent. Yet some pollsters, researchers, politicians and the proverbial “man/woman-in-the-street” still have trouble seeing Latinos as anything but homogenous. Frankly, Hispanic Heritage Month doesn’t help the cause.

But a new study of the Latino vote drills down beyond the country of origin to analyze the political differences that exist among Latinos — by age. And the revelations are eye-opening.

The Rhiza Ratio: Generations and the HIspanic Vote not only highlights the differences in perspectives and behaviors among the generations but, in the process, creates a blueprint for the future when today’s youngest Latinos will one day come into their own as community leaders, influencers and professionals.

A few signs that the Latinos of mañana won’t be like those of today are:

  • 18-29-year-olds are the majority among non-partisan voters
  • 18-30-year-olds are the smallest segment to have been born in another

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