As a history professor, my dreams of wealth and rock n’ roll fame in young adulthood evaporated long ago. But just before this Mexican Independence Day on September 16, my professional moments sparkle, to use an un-academic term. Being a former Mexican American GED student in cholo garb, these moments of enlightenment – for me and my students – are about as priceless as any such moments of a respective jale. It’s my time to teach about Mexican Independence (which is not Cinco de Mayo).
Limones, is a 28-year-old Chicana barber from Los Angeles. From the time she was in middle school, she had known that she wanted to pursue a career in the hair industry. She started out styling her friends’ hair (and her own) and today works in the barbering industry. “My dad would always remind me that I was Brown, beautiful, and Mexican,” she told CALÓ NEWS. “He would always make me feel proud to be Mexican.”
Having arrived in California at age 7 from Guayaquil, Ecuador, Agustin offers a rare glimpse into the world of an undocumented student in his new memoir, “Illegally Yours,” published by Grand Central Publishing and available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other retailers. Known for his work as a writer on the TV show “Jane the Virgin,” Agustin, 41, now serves as the CEO of the Latino Film Institute, which hosts the annual Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival.
Los Angeles and Southern California has been ablaze with protests and protestations by Latinos/as/x. CALÓ NEWS hit the streets once again to interview those whose voices are often lost in this time of political chaos and upheaval. This time we visited downtown LA.
Nearly 8 out of 10 Latina voters agree that pregnant people should be able to have an abortion without fear of arrest or investigation, according to a 2020 nationwide poll sponsored by reproductive justice groups, including The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice. CALÓ NEWS interviewed women in LA, health experts and advocates about their thoughts and reactions in light of the reversal of Roe V. Wade.
Compounding this anger and pain is to see the faces of the children, mere second, third and fourth graders. This is the second worst school shooting in U.S. history and it is hitting the Latino community very hard because most of the victims were Latino.
Yet, if not for my participation in Upward Bound (a federally funded program to help prepare historically marginalized, first-gen kids to pursue higher education), I wouldn’t be able to compete at the highest level in my mathematics. More specifically, if not for my childhood friend Hector from the projects, who peer pressured me to apply to Upward Bound at Occidental College (Oxy) – a six-week, residential program – I would be oblivious to the college application process.
While many ethical and responsible officers exist, police violence cannot be attributed to the actions of a few rogue cops. The everlasting questioning of Latinx people’s belonging in the U.S., the unchallenged accounts of Latinx individuals’ criminality, and the veiled over-policing that occurs in segregated neighborhoods makes Latinx neighborhoods vulnerable to police violence.
Vasquez is a migrant from Tampico Tamaulipas, Mexico. She arrived in the U.S at the age of 7 and lived as an undocumented migrant for 7 years. She recalls cleaning houses with her mom because money was tight while her dad worked as a farmworker. Now she is running for LA City Council.
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.
Latino representation and firsts may have been unfairly overshadowed. Ana María Ferreira, a literature professor born in Colombia, writes about some of the Oscar firsts for Latinos.