Hispanic, Latino and Latinx: What’s the difference, and why it matters
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Woman in traditional clothes holding a basket full of colorful f

This year’s Hispanic Heritage Month has been marked by tireless efforts from both Republicans and Democrats to woo the large and diverse voting bloc ahead of the November election.

However, with their outreach comes debate over who exactly they are addressing: Latino, Latinx or Hispanic voters?

The terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” are often used synonymously in the U.S., with the term “Latinx” used as a gender-neutral alternative to the latter. While views on what the terms mean exactly can vary, filmmaker and journalist Andrew Padilla says the significance is not with semantics, but the actions that are supposed to come after.

“I think that we know what we’re comfortable with,” Padilla said on CBSN Tuesday. “The issue is when folks try to communicate to our communities by using one of these terms as opposed to a real dedicated and developed relationship with us.”

According to Merriam-Webster, the terms are defined as the following:

  • Hispanic: People that originate from Spanish-speaking countries
  • Latino: People who descend from Latin-American countries — but whose language isn’t necessarily Spanish
  • Latinx: A gender-neutral, pan-ethnic label
  •  

    A December Pew Research poll found 61% of bilingual Spanish and English speaking adults surveyed identified with the term “Hispanic,” while 29% preferred to be called “Latino.” Just 4% of people identified as “Latinx.”

    Padilla said the preference against the gender-neutral term does not reflect a negative sentiment, but rather a lack of familiarity.

    Continue on to CBS News to read the complete article.

    These 3 Latinas Scientists Are at the Forefront of Fighting Against the Spread of COVID-19
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    three latina scientists in lab coats standing in the lab together looking confident with arms folded

    BY TONI GONZALES

    They call themselves “Las Tres Mosqueteras (The Three Musketeers),” and they certainly live up to their nickname being on the frontline of fighting against the spread of the Coronavirus.

    The three Latinas in lab coats are Connie Maza (33), Monica Mann (34) and Elizabeth Zelaya (36). The scientists and medical technologists are part of a small team in Washington, D.C.’s Department of Forensic Sciences’ Public Health Laboratory Division. The trio has been working in the lab for a number of years, when in early 2020 they were thrust together into the spotlight after testing and reporting the first, initial COVID-19 cases in the area.

    Photo: Courtesy Instagram

    Since the early days the heaviness has been constant. “It’s just unbelievable, the pressure we had. We were under a microscope at that point,” Maza said. “It was scary at first. I was very nervous.” Over 12 months later, the ladies have seen cases skyrocket across the world and all while they remained at the forefront of the pandemic. The women have gone from reporting cases, to identifying and analyzing different Coronavirus mutations, and now onto seeing how the variants spread.

    It’s a job that still comes as a surprise to people Zelaya told NBC News.”I do get that sometimes when people ask me what I do. I tell them I’m a scientist and they’re like, ‘Really? What?’ It’s like, ‘Yeah, sure am. I can tell you about some DNA if you want to learn,” she said. The reality is that while it is still revelatory for society, the numbers actually support the accepted stereotype of STEM consisting predominantly of men.

    STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers is not a field that is made up of women-in particular Latina women. Even though women make up almost 50% of the population, only a third of the workforce working in science and engineering fields are women. Even worse, Latinas make up only about 2% of STEM degrees earned according to a 2016 National Science Board study.

    The lack of Latinas in their field is an ever present thought in their minds. “You know what used to be the medical field, the science field, laboratory field being run by white males? Now, it has turned into this beautiful rainbow of colors,” Mann said. For her colleague Zelaya, it’s even bigger than that. “Every day I reflect and I’m like, ‘Wow, this is probably going to be in a history book.’”

    Their work is far from being over. The pandemic still has a significant hold over the nation and the world. But, the end is in sight for the first time in a long time for the women who are very much looking forward to vacation.”Vacation together? Yeah!” said Zelaya.

    STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers is not a field that is made up of women-in particular Latina women. Even though women make up almost 50% of the population, only a third of the workforce working in science and engineering fields are women. Even worse, Latinas make up only about 2% of STEM degrees earned according to a 2016 National Science Board study.

    Read the full article at Remezcla.

    Hispanics In Wine Organization Aims To Empower Latinx Wine Communities
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    two women smile at the camera and hold a glass of wine as the sun sets in the background

    Social organization Hispanics in Wine was founded with the aim of promoting equality and diversity and helping Latinx professionals advance in the wine industry. Founded in September 2020, it consists of a social media space and website which serve as a digital platform for insight into opportunities and resources for members of the community.

    It was established by Lydia Richards and Maria Calvert alongside wine professional Ivonne Nill. The organization’s mission is to give back to Spanish-speaking communities by promoting equality and helping the new generation of Latinx professionals advance in the wine and hospitality industries. Hispanics in Wine also intends to help wine companies better communicate with their Spanish-speaking consumers.

    Photo: Forbes

    Cofounders Maria Calvert and Lydia Richards met while working in wine public relations at Colangelo & Partners, a well-known agency with offices in New York and California. Calvert, a native of Quito, Ecuador, is currently working as an independent Public Relations Consultant with a focus on startup and established brands in wine and food, while Richards, who hails from Panama, recently started a job as PR Manager at Taub Family Companies: Palm Bay International and Taub Family Selections.

    At this time Hispanics in Wine has more than 30 members and is prepared to grow as word spreads within the wine and hospitality industries. Hispanics in Wine aims to encourage and connect people from diverse backgrounds to pursue their career path in the industry through the organization. It also intends to help wine brands and companies cater to the Latinx population in the U.S., whose buying power is forecasted to top $1.9 trillion by 2023.

    As Women’s Month draws to a close, we are concluding our focus on women in the wine industry with this interview of co-founder Maria Calvert.

    World Wine Guys: What was the impetus behind starting Hispanics in Wine?

    Maria Calvert: In 2018, I transitioned to the wine industry and met Lydia Richards at a public relations agency. As part of our PR jobs, we work closely with all types of professionals in the alcohol beverage and hospitality industries, including sommeliers, retail stores, restaurants, trade, press, wine brands, winemakers, marketing professionals, and many others. Coming new into the wine industry, you see people of color cutting the grapes and working behind the scenes, but we noticed the lack of representation and diversity when attending trade events, press trips, and executive meetings. In addition to the lack of BIPOC, Hispanic, and Latinx professionals in decision-making roles, we noticed the lack of Spanish language resources for our community, brands neglecting Hispanic and Latinx consumers, and the need to amplify the work done by vineyard stewards.

    As a result of our professional experience as two Latina immigrants in the wine industry and Covid disproportionately impacting the hospitality industry and minority communities, we decided to launch Hispanics in Wine in September 2020. We chose this month in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Culturally, Hispanics and Latinx work together as a community; it’s part of our pride, family, our roots. Community is so important to us, and this is something that we are trying to replicate with Hispanics in Wine. We created this centralized digital space for individuals to feel welcomed by the industry, to find important English and Spanish resources, to provide a sense of community with other Hispanics & Latinx alcohol and hospitality professionals, and more importantly, to educate the public about our communities and amplify the diverse talent and knowledge we offer and promote more representation in the industry.

    WWG: Which areas of the wine community have you drawn members from thus far? 

    MC: The Hispanics in Wine team are four women with different professional careers, hailing from different countries, and different journeys in the wine industry: Lydia Richards, Ivonne Nill, Emilia Alvarez, and myself. It is important to highlight our team diversity because it allows us to understand the industry’s needs, bridging the gap for opportunities and language, and build a broad Hispanic and Latinx beverage and hospitality community.

    As a result of our team’s efforts and continued outreach, we have connected with wine professionals across the United States and worldwide. We have a community that covers the spectrum of wine and hospitality. For example, we have Nial Harris García, Wine Director at the Conrad Hotel in Washington D.C., Hugo Arias, Head Sommelier at The Grill in Washington D.C., Gabriela Fernández, Marketing and Event Coordinator for a California wine producer, Jesica Vargas, Founder and Wine Blogger of AndesUncorked, DeAnna Ornelas, President of non-profit organization AHIVOY, Sam Parra, Owner of PARRA Wines Co., and many others. Our Hispanics in Wine community is growing every day, and we have received tremendous support from many wine professionals in the industry who want to help in any way possible.

    WWG: How are you reaching Latinx members of the wine community in order to let them know about Hispanics in Wine?

    MC: We are working with our Hispanics in Wine community to help spread the word, share the “Hispanics in Wine Spotlight Series” within their network, and notify other Hispanics and Latinx professionals about this initiative. We started Hispanics in Wine on social media, and we now have a website. We have received inquiries from individuals trying to pursue a career in wine who reached out to us via Instagram, and individuals who found our website via Google search. We have also received inquiries from other Hispanic and Latinx professionals asking how they can help with the initiative and perhaps serve as mentors.

    WWG: Can you tell us about some of the initiatives that Hispanics in Wine has implemented?

    MC: We launched the “Hispanics in Wine Spotlight Series,” where the team conducts virtual English and Spanish interviews with talented Hispanic and Latinx professionals in the United States and worldwide, such as sommeliers, wine producers, marketing experts, retailer owners, portfolio specialists, social influencers, and bloggers, to learn about their journey in the wine industry, speak about educational opportunities, and provide essential advice to the next generation as well as changes they want to see in the industry.

    Our mission with these interviews is to inspire individuals to enter the industry, thereby increasing the talent we offer as a community. Ultimately, we want to increase pressure on companies to hire Hispanic and Latinx professionals for leadership roles, drawing from our deep well of unique backgrounds, experiences, viewpoints. According to Nielsen data, by 2023, we expect the buying power of the U.S. Latinx population to top $1.9 trillion, which is higher than the gross domestic product of countries like Australia, Spain, and Mexico. Targeting this quickly growing consumer base by aligning with Hispanic and Latinx values has never been more critical.

    Through the “Hispanics in Wine Spotlight Series,” we also aim to highlight the diverse backgrounds of the Hispanic and Latinx communities in the United States and worldwide. We hail from vastly different geographies, whether Latin America, Central America, the Caribbean, Spain, or the United States; we have different traditions, we look different, and in some instances, we claim unique local languages, such as Guaraní in Paraguay, Catalan in Spain, or Quechua in Ecuador.

    Additionally, with our public relations expertise, we are also working with the local and national press to include Hispanics and Latinx alcohol beverage and hospitality professionals at the forefront for feature stories and share their knowledge with key external stakeholders. In the near future, we hope to execute a program aimed at providing educational training, scholarships, and professional opportunities for advancing in the industry – both via in-house opportunities and partnerships with external organizations. Lastly, we are also looking to partner with wine companies looking to tap into the Hispanic and Latinx consumer market.

    Read the full article at Forbes.

    Why the Term ‘Latinx’ Hasn’t Taken Off Among Latins – And Likely Never Will
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    pink "X" for Latinx with flowers with grey background

    At first blush, the word Latinx –the gender-neutral, non binary term used to describe the nation’s diverse Hispanic population– seems ubiquitous.

    Latinx pops up regularly in press releases, in news headlines, in social media posts, in campaign mailings. But scratch below the surface, and you find little substance under the semantics.

    According to a by now widely cited study undertaken by the Pew Research Center and published in August, only one in four Latinos are even aware of the term Latinx, and just 3% say they use it to describe themselves. The results run

    (Image Credit – Billboard)

    across demographics: Even though use of the term Latinx is greater among younger Latinos, only 7% of those ages 18 to 29 say they use it; among those 30 and older, that percentage drops to an abysmal 2%.

    “The population it’s meant to describe isn’t even aware of it,” says Mark Hugo Lopez, Director of Global Migration and Demography research at the Pew Research Center, and one of the authors of the August 11 study. “It’s a striking finding.”

    And it mirrors what we see in the Latin music universe. Although the term “Latinx” can be often found in English-language press releases, especially when pertaining to U.S. born or raised artists, it’s a rarity in Spanish language releases. Most telling, very few (if any in recent memory) Latin artists self-describe as Latinx, even when directly asked what term they prefer to use.

    And a recent, informal survey of more than 30 Latin music executives found that only one preferred the term Latinx over Latin.

    “The artists, especially those coming from Latin America, don’t identify as Latinx,” says Matthew Limones, SoundExchanges’ Miami-based manager of artists & label relations, who deals with on a daily basis with Latin acts of all stripes and levels of fame. “Those who are born here, who are raised here and understand the mentality of inclusion, they understand what it means. But I don’t find they use the word.”

    Latino Inaugural 2021 celebrates the resilience and power of U.S. Latinos ahead of Biden’s inauguration
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    Latino Inaugural 2021 poster Biden and Harris

    By Brittany Valentine for Al Dia News

    To commemorate the upcoming Inauguration of the Biden-Harris administration, the Hispanic Federation has brought together more than 50 Latino organizations to support the historic event.

    “Latino Inaugural 2021: Inheritance, Resilience & Promise” is part of the official five-day slate of programming from the Biden-Harris Presidential Inauguration Committee.

    Latino Inaugural 2021 is an hour-long special that will

    (Image Credit – latinoinaugural.org)

    feature musical performances and inspirational docu-shorts to uplift the Latino community and portray all the contributions they have made in this country.

    Actress and activist, Eva Longoria Bastón is set to host the event, and many more big stars will make appearances, including Becky G, Ivy Queen, Rita Moreno, and Edward James Olmos.

    There is also an impressive list of musical performances.

    Lin-Manuel and Luis Miranda will perform a touching tribute to Puerto Rico, All-Star Tejanos United will perform “America The Beautiful,” and Gaby Moreno and David Garza will perform “Fronteras.”

    Much like the “Momento Latino” televised event that aired on CBS in October, this special is focused on telling the stories of Latino excellence, resilience and strength. It will honor members of Latino communities who kept the country running smoothly during the pandemic as members of the frontline essential workforce.

    In addition to the celebrity guests and musical performances, several political figures will be in attendance. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto, Robert Menendez and Ben Ray Luján, Senator designate Alex Padilla and Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Rep. Raul Ruiz will join the special to add to the messages of hope, unity and gratitude.

    Henry R. Muñoz III, founder of Momento Latino and executive producer of the program, expressed his excitement at welcoming the new administration..

    “Latino communities face existential threats every day – from the disproportionate spread of COVID-19 through our communities, to the requirement that we work essential jobs without essential benefits, to the fear of our democracy falling apart and the constant threat of deportation and family separation. We are gathering to celebrate Latinos’ contributions & our power in the country and to honor the next era of American leadership in President Biden and Vice President Harris,” he said.

    The program is co-hosted by 52 of the country’s largest and most influential Latino organizations, including Voto Latino, She Se Puede, Justice for Migrant Women and the Dolores Huerta Foundation. Some of the sponsors include DoorDash, Telemundo, Comcast NBCUniversal, Microsoft and Primo TV.

    Read the full article at Al Dia News.

    These Latinos made a mark in our communities and nation. We lost them in 2020.
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    Portraits of Rudolfo Anaya, Naya Rivera, Silvio Horta and Miriam Jimenez Roman.

    By Raul A. Reyes for NBC News

    2020 has been a year marked by grief and loss, but it is in the spirit of remembrance, not sadness, that we highlight the lives of several Latinos we said goodbye to this year. From Hollywood to Washington, from academia to the armed forces, these are just a few of our “familia” who enriched our communities, our lives and our nation before leaving us.

    RUDOLFO ANAYA, 82, a “godfather” of Chicano literature. Anaya is best known for his novel “Bless Me, Ultima”

    (Image Credit – NBC News)

    (1972), a coming-of-age story set in 1940s New Mexico. “Ultima” follows the relationship between a young boy and a curandera (healer) who comes to live with his family. A bestseller at a time when U.S. Latinos were rarely depicted in mainstream fiction, it has become one of the most acclaimed works in the Chicano literary canon. “Ultima” inspired generations of Latino writers, and it was adapted into a play, an opera and a film.

    Books like ‘Ultima’ are part of our personal reading history. Because they are taught in schools, we don’t forget seeing ourselves on the page for the first time,” writer and critic Rigoberto González said. “Seeing names like ours, and figures that are familiar to us, is powerful.” González said he believes “Ultima” will continue to have longevity in libraries and schools and on bookshelves.

    Anaya, a prolific author who wrote mysteries, children’s books and travel chronicles, received the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama in 2016 for his “pioneering stories of the American Southwest.”

    NAYA RIVERA, 33, actress and singer. Condolences poured in from around the world when news broke of the drowning death of Rivera in July. “As a Latina, it’s rare to have rich, complex characters reflect us in media,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., tweeted. “Naya worked hard to give that gift to so many.”

    Rivera performed throughout her childhood, but it was her role on TV’s “Glee” (2009-15) that catapulted her to fame. Rivera, an advocate for the LGBTQ community, for immigrants and for women’s rights, earned three American Latino Media Arts Awards for her acting and singing. In 2016 she released her memoir, “Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up.”

    “She was the rare Afro-Latina on network TV, and when her character came out as gay, it was a historic moment for LGBTQ representation in prime time,” entertainment journalist Jack Rico said. Pointing out that 22 percent of Latino millennials identify as LGBTQ, Rico called Rivera’s portrayal of cheerleader Santana Lopez “groundbreaking,” saying it paved the way for queer characters on shows like “One Day at a Time” and “Vida.”

    Rico said he believes Rivera died on the cusp of another career resurgence. “I could see true stardom in her. When people die young it really hurts, because we lose them and also their potential,” he said. “She was a guiding light for all of us struggling for more diversity and representation.”

    Read the full article at NBC News.

    Why people are split on using ‘Latinx’
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    Depending on which corners of the internet you inhabit, you might have come across the term “Latinx.”

    “Latinx” has emerged as an inclusive term to refer to people of Latin American descent, encompassing those who don’t identify as male or female or who don’t want to be identified by their gender. It’s been used by journalists, politicians, corporations, colleges and universities. In 2018, it even made it to the dictionary. But among the people “Latinx” is intended to describe, few have heard of the term — let alone use it. In a new survey, researchers found that only about one in four adults in the US who identify as Hispanic or Latino have heard the term “Latinx,” while just. (Image Credit – Mary Mckean for The Red & Black)                 3% say they use it to describe themselves.

    The findings, published Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, the signal just how complex identity is for people categorized as Hispanic or Latino.
    “This reflects the diversity of the nation’s Hispanic population, and the Hispanic population of the US thinks of itself in many different ways,” Mark Lopez, director of global migration and demography research at Pew Research Center, told CNN. “‘Latinx’ is just one of those many dimensions.”
    ‘Latinx’ is more common among younger Hispanics

    In the US, the terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” are often used to refer to people of Spanish-speaking or Latin American origin. Though they’re often used interchangeably, “Hispanic” refers only to people from Spanish-speaking countries, which includes Latin America and Spain. “Latino” refers to people with roots in Latin America, which includes Portuguese-speaking Brazilians, but excludes Spain.

    Those two terms describe a very broad group of people and don’t always align with the ways that those populations identify themselves.
    Read the full article at CNN.

    The findings, published Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, signal just how complex identity is for people categorized as Hispanic or Latino. “This reflects the diversity of the nation’s Hispanic population, and the Hispanic population of the US thinks of itself in many different ways,” Mark Lopez, director of global migration and demography research at Pew Research Center, told CNN. “‘Latinx’ is just one of those many dimensions.”

    In the US, the terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” are often used to refer to people of Spanish-speaking or Latin American origin. Though they’re often used interchangeably, “Hispanic” refers only to people from Spanish-speaking countries, which includes Latin America and Spain. “Latino” refers to people with roots in Latin America, which includes Portuguese-speaking Brazilians, but excludes Spain. Those two terms describe a very broad group of people and don’t always align with the ways that those populations identify themselves.

    Continue to the full article at CNN News.

    The ‘Mexican Beverly Hills’
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    How a former white enclave became an aspirational suburb for Latinos in Los Angeles.

    I was having dinner at some fancy beach-side eatery in early March when someone said they had just moved to Downey, a Southeast Los Angeles suburb 12 miles south of downtown. The other Latinos at the table oohed. “You finally made it,” someone said. “To the Mexican Beverly Hills.”

    In many ways, that is what Downey represents. It’s hoity-toity, gilded and more conservative than surrounding neighborhoods — a status-marking place where the average household income, at $88,000, is significantly higher than in other areas in Los Angeles with a similar

    (Photo credit – June Canedo for The New York Times) 

    ethnic makeup. In East Los Angeles, which is also predominantly Latino, the average income is $56,000, according to census data. (If you’re wondering, the average income in Beverly Hills is $191,000.)

    It’s the kind of place where many people feel entitled enough to not wear face masks despite coronavirus infection spikes, where many homes featured “Thank you, Downey PD” banners at the peak of the George Floyd protests — but where an overwhelming majority of its citizens voted for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. over President Donald J. Trump. (With a vote of roughly 2 to 1 for Mr. Biden, Downey voted more conservatively than Los Angeles County as a whole, which voted for him 3 to 1.)

    Continue reading at The New York Times.

    Who is Hispanic?
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    Hispanic family seated on couch together smiling

    Debates over who is Hispanic and who is not have fueled conversations about identity among Americans who trace their heritage to Latin America or Spain.

    The question surfaced during U.S. presidential debates and the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. More recently, it bubbled up after a singer from Spain won the “Best Latin” award at the 2019 Video Music Awards.

    So, who is considered Hispanic in the United States? And how are they counted in public opinion surveys, voter exit polls and government surveys, such as the 2020 census?

    The most common approach to answering these questions is straightforward: Who is Hispanic? Anyone who says they are. And nobody who says they aren’t.

    The U.S. Census Bureau uses this approach, as does Pew Research Center and most other research organizations that conduct public opinion surveys. By this way of counting, the Census Bureau estimates there were roughly 60.6 million Hispanics in the United States as of July 1, 2019, making up 18 percent of the total national population.

    Behind the impressive precision of this official Census Bureau number lies a long history of changing labels, shifting categories and revised question wording on census forms – all of which reflect evolving cultural norms about what it means to be Hispanic or Latino in the United States today.

    Has the Census Bureau Changed the Way it Counts Hispanics?

    The first year the Census Bureau asked everybody in the country about Hispanic ethnicity was in 1980. Some efforts took place before then to count people who today would be considered Hispanic. In the 1930 census, for example, an attempt to count Hispanics appeared as part of the race question, which had a category for “Mexican.”

    The first major attempt to estimate the size of the nation’s Hispanic population came in 1970 and produced widespread concerns among Hispanic organizations about an undercount. A portion of the U.S. population (5 percent) was asked if their origin or descent was from the following categories: “Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, Other Spanish,” and “No, none of these.” This approach had problems, among them an undercount of about 1 million Hispanics. One reason for this is that many second-generation Hispanics did not select one of the Hispanic groups because the question did not include terms like “Mexican American.” The question wording also resulted in hundreds of thousands of people living in the Southern or Central regions of the US being mistakenly included in the “Central or South American” category.

    By 1980, the current approach – in which someone is asked if they are Hispanic – had taken hold, with some tweaks made to the question and response categories since then. In 2000, for example, the term “Latino” was added to make the question read, “Is this person Spanish/Hispanic/Latino?” In recent years, the Census Bureau has studied an alternative approach to counting Hispanics that combines the questions that ask about Hispanic origin and race. However, this change did not appear in the 2020 census.

    Source: Pew Research Center

    The story of Joseph De Castro: The first Hispanic to ever win a U.S. Medal of Honor
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    A reenactment photo of the Civil War

    By Nigel Thompson of Al Dia News

    It is estimated that up to approximately 10,000 Hispanics served throughout the course of the American Civil War.

    From Mexican-Americans in the South and West, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and immigrants from Spain and Portugal, they found themselves on either side of the battle.

    In the case of Joseph De Castro, the son of a Spanish father and American mother from Maine and the first Hispanic to ever win a Medal of Honor, he enlisted in the Union Army’s volunteer forces at 16 years old.

    He was born on Nov. 14, 1844 outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Not much is known of his early life, but his father passed away of tuberculosis in 1858, when De Castro was 14.

    This had a profound effect on the adolescent, as the next time he appears in records, it is as an inmate of the State Reform School in Westboro, near Worcester, MA in 1860, at 16.

    “He apparently became a handful,” wrote Historian Darlene Richardson in a Facebook post about his life on the VA Boston Healthcare System page.

    His time at the Westboro Reform School was also likely filled with more trauma, as an 1860 investigation of the facility in the summer of that year revealed the cruel treatment of boys in the institution’s care.

    “Older boys, like Joseph, were often confined to dark, dirty cells for weeks at a time with only bread and water for sustenance,” wrote Richardson.

    De Castro was released after the investigation and only three months after the start of the Civil War, he joined the Union Army on July 12, 1861.

    He was initially a private in the 19th Massachusetts Infantry, but rose to a corporal over time and became a color-bearer for his regiment. In other words, De Castro was the flag-bearer every time the regiment went into battle, and it is where his heroism would be best remembered.

    The 19th Massachusetts fought in a number of historic battles throughout the Civil War, including the Second Manassas, Antietam and Fredericksburg.

    But it was at the Battle of Gettysburg that De Castro would earn his Medal of Honor.

    The story goes that during the battle, De Castro separated from his unit amid Pickett’s Charge — ordered by Confederate General Robert E. Lee on the forces of Union Major General George G. Meade.

    Continue on to Al Dia News to read the full article. 

    How Columbus Day became Indigenous Peoples’ Day in over 130 US cities
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    Indigenous Peoples' Day art

    It took Christopher Columbus about nine weeks to reach the New World from Spain — and his critics more than half a century to start convincing US cities to ditch the holiday honoring the moment.

    In 1992, Berkeley, Calif., became the first city to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day — and now, nearly 30 years later, there are more than 130 cities and 15 states that have either followed suit or chosen to mark both.

    “It’s become a trend,” said Baley Champagne, a tribal citizen of the United Houma Nation, to NPR last year, after successfully lobbying Louisiana’s governor to make the switch to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

    We’re bringing awareness that we’re not going to allow someone like that to be glorified into a hero because of the hurt that he caused to indigenous people of America,’’ she said of Columbus. “I think it’s long overdue.’’

    Shannon Speed, a Chickasaw Nation citizen and director of UCLA’s American Indian Studies Center, was more blunt to the outlet.

    “Today we understand that while [Columbus] was an explorer and credited with being one of the first Europeans to arrive in the Americas, we now know a great deal about the history and the way that he and his people behaved when they came to this continent — which included pillaging, raping and generally setting in motion a genocide of the people who were already here.

    “That’s not something we want to celebrate,” she said. “That’s not something anyone wants to celebrate.”

    When President Franklin D. Roosevelt made Columbus Day a federal holiday in 1934, it’s likely he had no idea the controversy he would create.

    The annual holiday was set for the second Monday in October, traditionally feted with parades largely organized by Italian American groups.

    But indigenous people — furious at seeing the Italian explorer elevated to hero status while representing the brutal European conquering of their ancestors — fought back against the holiday.

    Continue to the New York Post to red the full article. 

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