As a “guest” of the American government, my father—Salomón Huerta, Sr.—worked as a farmworker during the early 1960s under the Bracero Program. Officially known as the Mexican Farm Labor Program (1942-1964), this guest worker program recruited 4.6 million Mexican laborers to toil in America’s agricultural fields, along with the railroad and mining sectors.
Dr. Malcom Finney believes that it just takes one moment of falling in love with speaking another language with another human being for us to realize that languages are not threatening.
After years of being asked a version of this “Where are you from?” question, I don’t always answer it the same way. Sometimes I say I’m Latina. I’m involved in a campus group comprised of Latina women of different origins such as Mexico, Peru and El Salvador, and it makes sense that I say I’m Latina in that context. How I answer, how I identify, depends on the day and who is asking.
“One of the things about being in California is that I have been gender challenged since the day I walked in,” Achy Obejas says. “I moved out here in 2013 after teaching at the University of Chicago and DePaul. The issue of something as simple as a pronoun had not been brought up in the intense way that it was here.”
As of late there has been increased debate over the term Latinx. Some have argued that the term Latinx represents a whitewashing of the community as it is an artificial label imposed on us. Others have argued that it actually diminishes the community by adding a pejorative “x.” A best practice would be to ask a person their preference, when relevant, and for us not to label or mislabel each other.
For the Latinx community, there is a connection between ethnic identity and cultural identity, which varies for everyone, depending on family, socio economic status, environment and lots of other factors.