Who is a Latina/o? What constitutes a Latina/o identity? How do we account for socioeconomic, linguistic, racial, generational, and gender differences? Over a course of time, the identity of a Latina/o has developed as they face hardship. The pieces “Aparicio (RE)construction Latinidad The Challenge of Latina/o Studies” and “Whalen” focus on the identity of Puerto Rican and Latino/a as they are challenged when colonized. A nation divided loses sight of where their ethnicity lies to themselves. Correspondingly both pieces depict their stripping in identity and culture while they are up against colonizers and themselves.
In “Aparicio (RE)construction Latinidad The Challenge of Latina/o Studies,” If identity is defined by the dialogic struggles between notions of the self and the constructions imposed from the outside, then Latina/o identities need to be understood at the interstices of both. Additionally, if in the past decades, paradigms of national identity served to understand and produce a sense of collectivity grounded in particular geocultural locations and regions – the Chicanos in the West and Southwest, the Puerto Ricans in New York and the Northeast, the Cuban Americans in Miami – nowadays national identities are still significant, but they are not the exclusive axis of reference from which to understand Latino lives. Due to the migration to the states varies of components have contributed to the hybrid identity many of us affiliate ourselves with today. Factors such as the power and visibility of each group in relation to the others, or the mainstream acceptance of some identities over others, and the political rights and citizenship accorded to some, have an impact on the ways in which hybrid Latinas/os foreground one identity over another. Personally, I identify myself as Puerto Rican, although I was not born or raised there. Throughout the years I have been in positions where I’d tell other individuals that I am American as well as Puerto Rican based on the other person’s background or class. Lastly, in the text ” The Puerto Rican yard complex of Lorain” Kent’s paper endeavors to expand the examination of the urban private scenes of Hispanics in the United States to groups other than Mexican Americans. They begin with how Puerto Ricans in Lorain is imparting their ethnic character utilizing private arranging. Private arranging such as the Puerto Rican flag or the coqui. The clarifying estimations portray crucial differentiations in the precedents of house and yard embellishment and care among Hispanics and non-Hispanics in Lorain. Many Hispanics that migrated to the states decorate their homes with items that represent a piece of home. This supports the idea of hybrid identity because as these Latina/o’s grown accustomed to the American norm, they are still holding onto where they truly came from.
Moreover, through “Whalen”, the narrator imbeds the hardship of colonialism of Puerto Rico to exemplify the geographic effects on one’s identity and portray insight on the struggling nation. According to Whalen 3,406,178, Puerto Ricans resided in the United States and 3,623,392 resided in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico became “a divided nation” as a result of a long history of colonialism and the massive migration that accompanied it. July 5, 1898 editorial in the New York Times, business writer Amos Fiske revealed the United States’ interests in acquiring Puerto Rico, “There can be no question to perplex any reasonable mind about the wisdom of taking possession of the Island of Puerto Rico and keeping it for all time.” The U.S stripped the “humanity” of this beautiful Island away when claiming it to be their “possession”. Puerto Rico is not an item or object but yet the U.S seeks to gain possession of the Island. Secondly, Amos Fiske states ” Puerto Rico’s geography and people could be transformed, he thought, to meet U.S. economic interests as well.” The term “transform” altered this idea of the identity to hybrid identity to many Puerto Ricans. Eventually, when the time came to colonize Puerto Rico the leader of the insular House of Representatives, enforced the Jones Act. This meant that Puerto Ricans were either “stripped of their natural citizenship” or rendered “foreigners in their homeland” if they rejected U.S. citizenship.
Ultimately, the socioeconomic, linguistic, racial, generational, and gender differences among the Hispanic group shape their identity. During that time period being forced to either flee to the U.S or stay with your people and watch your economy crash was an unfair choice to be made. Your choices, culture, and geography all have an impact on who you are. These components shape your identity.