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-Latinos in the United States experience double marginalization frequently due to stereotypes that are widespread regarding black and Latino communities.
Latin music has been growing in popularity in the United States over the past several years. Although hit Spanish language songs in the U.S. are nothing new, until recently there would only be one or two Spanish language songs to reach billboard status in the U.S. every five to ten years since the ‘60s. As U.S. music affects Latin American music, Latin music struggled to leave an impact on U.S. mainstream music— that is, until this decade. In 2014, if a person tuned in to a pop radio station, they would have heard ‘Bailando’, the hit Spanish language song by Enrique Iglesias’.
This past summer I had the incredible opportunity to spend half of my summer working in Sololá, Guatemala. The municipality is located in the Western highlands of the country, and I was specifically staying around the beautiful Lake Atítlan in the town of San Juan La Laguna. When my intern team’s boat landed in San Juan’s dock, I remember being a bit apprehensive – I had been forewarned that the town was more in tune to its Maya roots and that it would be a much more traditional experience than the other parts of Guatemala we had visited.
On October 2, 2015 Carlow University and the city of Pittsburgh were given the pleasure of hosting Richard Blanco, the inaugural poet for Barack Obama’s 2012 inauguration, the poet chosen for the ceremonial reopening of the United States Embassy in Cuba, and an author of various works. Of Blanco’s works many are published by The University of Pittsburgh Press. Blanco started off the evening, which was his first time in Pittsburgh, saying he felt that he had come home.