4:34 PM

My Racial Testimony

For my intergroup dialouge class I had to write a testimony about race &ethnicity. This is what I had to say.

I am a Hispanic woman. Some call me Latina or Spanish which is fine too. To my understanding I belong to a group of people whose ancestors came from Africa & Europe and spoke Spanish. We have varying skin tones from pale white to the blue black that is my grandfather. Our hair isn’t straight and often frizz is every Latin woman’s complaint. We are a strong hardworking laborious people, our ancestors once farmers and possibly slaves. This is who I am and these are the people I come from.

With race, I have experienced stereotypes or been thrown in certain stereotypes like being loud and talking fast. I have often felt like an outsider when I'm the "minority" in the situation, but I have always been the majority. Coming from a low income neighborhood in the South Bronx, everyone that surrounded me was just like me. We were poor, we were fatherless, drugs were as common as the pigeons flying overhead, people went to jail, they returned, they left again, and that’s how it went. We yelled at each other from across the street, talked fast, grew up faster. We tried to keep up with the urban fashions so we wouldn’t be considered losers. We were stuck in the “hood” and school was our only way out. Spanish or Black we were minorities and were taught the white man rules corporate America, and if we study hard enough and apply ourselves, one day we could be in corporate America too. We could escape the ghetto, we could be like them, but not many of us have left. The children I grew up with have become the drug dealers I observed, the young mothers I pitied, and the cycle continues. I refused to stay. This affects me today because I am constantly on a journey out and away from where I came from. Not forgetting where I came from but knowing that there is better out there. Pride is the main emotion I feel when I think about what influenced my race and ethnicity over time, because although I knew I was a minority somewhere in the world, growing up, I was raised a queen. No one was better, or more beautiful, or more eloquent than I was. As I think back to the streets I came from and how I was able to break the cycle I am proud. Proud of my studies, my work ethic, my drive, all instilled in me by my culture, my race, my Spanish blood. This identity allows me to see the world as opportunity, as a place to thrive and improve. The biggest shock has been college and how I am viewed. I am no longer seen as the queen I was raised to be, here sometimes I feel invisible, invisible to every race including my own. Being Hispanic, I feel like I always have to prove that I'm not "ghetto" or "hood" and often try to be as educated and proper as I can. Sometimes it is annoying to not be able to fully be myself, and have to avoid being categorized and stereotyped. I never want to be judged for where I am from, but at times it seems impossible. Sometimes I don't think it is so much my ethnicity or race that makes me feel this way, but the stereotypes that have been assigned to it and the disadvantages that sometimes come with the label “minority.”

Gender is another identity that is important in the way I see myself. As a woman, you must always be a lady, act a certain way, be responsible for certain things. But what if I don’t want to? What if I hate to shave? What if I rather sit with my legs open and burp in public? What if I don’t want children? Why can’t I have those options, without being judged? Being a woman affects me as a person today because I must always follow a certain guideline on how to be. This annoys me as I think about how the media and just general tradition has translated an image of what a woman is supposed to be over generations and generations. There will always be these fundamental principles that make up a female, these labels of mother, caretaker, cook, maid, companion, and submissive that are applied. I don’t believe we should have to worry about what we wear, and how we look, and how we act simply because of our gender. My home is full of women who proudly wear some of these labels and dismiss others all at the same time. I have been accustomed to never settling no matter what social identity I’m a part of.
10:03 PM

Help me Help you.

So as you may or may not know, I am a Public Relations major at Syracuse University. I want to concentrate on entertainment PR, music to be exact. I'm am conducting research for a project on consumers and how they get their music. Music isn't the same as it was anymore, and as the music industry changes so does the way people consume it. I am intrigued by artists like Drake who gained fame with no management company, no agent, no publicists, and no record deal. What I want to know is why? What do you consider hip-hop? What makes you listen to a song? What catches your attention? Would you go to a website you see on a flyer/newspaper/magazine for a new artist? Does it matter whether or not they are signed? How do you find out about new upcoming artists?

Your help will be greatly appreciated.
9:35 PM

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Its Thursday. Thirsty Thursday depending on your location. If you aren't getting ready for tonight then tomorrow night you will probably be doing this.

A few years ago, this form of dancing would have landed you in jail, with some form of indecency charge or prostitution, but due to the rap videos and what we have been surrounded with in the media it has become the norm. We often talk about the effects that music like hip hop and reggaeton have on women and how they are treated, as well as how women see themselves, but do we ever stop to think of what it does to the kids? The images they see on TV not only do they admire, but they eventually try to imitate. The way we now dance is dry humping in essence, yes it doesnt sound too cute huh? But thats exactly what it is. Just because it is the norm doesnt mean it makes it right. Below is a video that will shock you. Pay attention to where those little hands are, the motions that they are doing, and how the parents respond. Then ask yourself, if you dont feel some kind of way because of it. If you have a little brother or a little sister or a heart at all, something will seem so wrong. Child porn would look like this. I got to 3 minutes and was disgusted.

How do you feel about it?

11:20 AM


Havent written much lately. Dont know if what I want to say isnt appropriate or isnt relevant. Maybe Im just so busy that I havent found a moment to sit down and dig into my emotions, or at least let them float to the surface. I have been silent, I have been patient, I havent been me. Fading in the "Back to School" rush or maybe just not moving forward fast enough, has my stamina diminshed in the slow summer months? I am satisfied and content, but theres a void, a void that has yet to be filled. What is it? Why is it? Answer me!!!! Speak!!!!!!! and there it goes again... the silence.
12:01 PM

:: Life Update ::

So I'm sitting in Shaw Hall writing this on a disgusting computer ( looking down at the keyboard repulses me with each key click and clatter) but anywho I decided to give you a Life Update: the Back to school Edition. Hmm where to start? Well, the love drama is officially over, well at least I expect it to be. Im extremely happy where I'm at at this point, stress and drama free ( well for the most part). On the school side of things, I started my 19 credit semester, which seems absolutely managable. I currently work for the Daily Orange, our school newspaper, as a designer and the hours are seriously killing me this week, but ill figure something out. I have a second job working for Catering at the Dome, so if you are ever at a football or basketball game you just might see me. Tomorrow is my first official practice for Creations Dance Company and I'm estatic, my muscles arent too thrilled, they now have to wake from their dormant state. Having my own apartment is awesome! I decorated it so simple yet cute ( I'll put up pics soon), and I cook! Woooo yes we thought it could be done but I have got it together! aooowww! Snap if you hear me! :: snap snap snap :: ok well thats it for now I guess. Off to class. xoxo