Plugs and Pendletons

Mar 23, 2013

Earlier this week the US2010 Project at Brown University released the report, “Latinos Divided by Nation of Origin”.  In part, the reporter shares that “A political analyst says Latinos are not single issue voters…”   The reporter then goes on about a growing diversity among Latinos, highlighting class and regional differences.

On the one hand, it seems silly to think that folks are still thinking of Latinos as being monolithic.

On the other hand, it feels good to read that folks are beginning to look at the concepts of mestizaje and pochismo.  The concepts that Latinos have mixed heritages, many experiences, and that the times in which our communal or familial identity became formed is a part of the definition.

Years ago when I lived in Claremont neither the phrase Rockabilly or Chicano/Latino would not have been a part of the college community vernacular.  Yet,  there we were at the Latino Student Union at Pitzer*, held their 6th Annual Latina/o Student Union Rockabilly Festival.

Here was the sign that noted the group
artwork by Kimberly Nuvem Bautista of a Chican@ icon – based on work by Barbara Carrasco
and fine vendors, like CJs Angels, on campus.
Folks with plugs or in pendletons rocking away to
Vicky Tafoya?  No way.
Lowriders, ha!  Wouldn’t be.
Yet, here were cars from the Devil Dames Car Club.  A club that is family oriented, focused on times shared with la familia.  There was a sweet feeling connected to the event.  Happy, even.  
As the sun set, it even felt as if we were in another
time and place.
All part of Latino experience and identity; parts that are distinct and not necessarily divided one from the other.

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