Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity
Americans who identify as Latino/x are diverse and dynamic, coming from multiple streams of geographic, linguistic, sociocultural, and faith traditions to create an emerging movement that cannot –and will not – be contained in traditional racial and ethnic conceptualizations. In her quest to uplift the often untold and unfamiliar stories of Latinx people from all backgrounds through Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity, journalist Paola Ramos embarked on a cross-country trip to tackle invisibility among new and established Americans who shared their struggles and aspirations.
Narratives of survival and adaptation are interspersed with resistance and resilience amid acts of ostracism, exclusion and violence. Latino/x communities are at once adapting to and changing both the socioeconomic and political dynamics of cities and towns in the West, Midwest, and Southern United States. Ramos challenges the stereotypes about Latinx identity, profiling Muslim Puerto Ricans; Mexican American struggling to overcome addiction in California’s Central Valley; undocumented Afro-Latinx; Mayans who profess their faith in Q’anjob’al; and young people in the Twin Cities asserting pride in Latinidad in English, Spanish, and Spanglish.
Ramos’ prose is both straightforward and heartfelt as she guides us through her own journey of embracing her identity as a queer Latinx. The stories evoke a Whitmanesque feel, unveiling the complex textures of indigenous, Latinx, Hispanic identities as multifaceted, and always rooted in love, pride, and the constant struggle for recognition, respect, and belonging.
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