Art and Culture

Exploring Chicano Identity and Music

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Essentially, Mexicans were never homogeneous although portrayed as such. Beyond the tendency to group people together by their countries, the mestizo identity, and the claiming of la raza have become synonymous with ‘Mexican.’ Though the idea of likeness of the Mexican population dominates today, it is necessary to remember the history of Mexico’s diversity in order to understand the particularities of where the Chicano identity is historically linked and loyal to. Chicano communities are proof that borders are effective in separating people from land or people from each other. However, a connection across borders still remains. Whether simply a mythical reclamation of homeland or not, much of Chicanos’ connection to Aztlan is about rightful belonging, reclaiming a lost territory that has been laced with “frustration and powerlessness'' with regards to their treatment in the U.S. Chicano music today is very diverse, but what is the general criteria for Chicano music, if there really is any? Are there particular genres that are exclusively Chicano, or can Chicano music encompass other genres or hybrids like Cumbia, rap, or rock? Is Chicano music exclusively made by Chicano people or can any Mexican and/or Mexican American musician contribute? Finally, does Chicano music have to talk about Chicano culture and/or issues? 

Afro-Indigeneity in Latin America: Conversations of Diasporic Blackness, Allyship, & Advocacy

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By Ashley Brown

With the coming and passing of Indigenous Peoples' Day, we are tasked with continuing the celebration and advocacy for Indigenous communities that have been destroyed and deeply scarred by centuries of colonization. The diversity of identities in Latin America has resulted in the creation of new cultures, languages, and world perspectives. Two groups that embody this intersectionality are the Afro-Indigenous tribes known as the Garifuna and the Miskito people. Both communities are challenged with efforts to erasure their culture However, the growing recognition and representation of Indigenous people help combat this cycle of violence from continuing.

How can our intentional consumption of knowledge and advocacy challenge the colonial paradigms that marginalize Afro-Indigenous communities?

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