Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cultural Criticism and Ethnic Divisions

I wasn't sure whether to put this on my scholar side (this blog) or my Afro-diasporic politics side (Waiting2Speak) but since that is the crux of the conflict in this post, I'll put it in both places.

Because on one side I have just finished reading the conversations between bell hooks and Amalia Mesa-Bains in Homegrown: Engaged Cultural Criticism. A Chicana and an African American woman, both artists and scholars, engaged in an intellectual exchange that they argue does not happen enough between African Americans and Latina/os. Both demonstrating, through their personal experiences and historical research, that the history and trajectory of both groups (i.e. slavery, genocide and colonization, disfranchisement, economic exploitation and violence) are interrelated.

Cut to the TSO posting (and "Tell Me More" discussion too?) of the New American Media poll that suggests "deep divisions" between Latina/os, African Americans and Asian Americans in this country. So deep that "...the three groups seem more trusting of whites than of each other."


The survey is only of about 1000 participants but still has profound implications as the first multilingual poll completed by this particular group. So, beyond the obvious, does this poll also say something about a gap between blacks and Latina/os in the academy and the lived realities of people of color in the U.S.?

Or (cut to glass half full) does it say something about how blacks and Latina/os in the academy can and do continue to engage and identify with the lived realities of people of color in the U.S. and presenting solutions/critiques?

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