Sankofa—Learn from the Past

FILLING OUT MY FIRST U.S. Census form in 1970, I searched for a category that acknowledged my Latino roots. I felt a loud thud in my heart as I finally checked the Caucasian box. Latinos were not recognized as a group by the U.S. government until the 1980 Census. We all have a deep need to be accepted for who we are, but this is particularly so in communities of color, whose members have been relegated to a minority status and measured by a White ideal. As I filled out the form, I heard my grandmother’s sweet voice, “Aye mi jita, nunca olvides quien eres y de donde venistes” (“Oh, my dearest little daughter, ...

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