Transculturation- the merging of cultures
Aurora Levins Morales
“Ode to the DiaspoRican”
I’m not a rapper, I’m not an MC but I flow the way I flow as a poet. Poetry is the fifth child of hip-hop. You have B-boying and you have DJ’ing and MC’ing and you have Graffiti as the art form and Poetry is there. Poetry is often unrecognized, but it’s there, it’s still there. I think that now there are certain artists that have found a way through the culture of hip-hop, through live music and spoken word and live art and those types of shows and presentations, to blend it all in, but I don’t think that people really give poetry the acknowledgment that it should have.
We do suffer from cultural amnesia, historical amnesia. There are things in our history that we have forgotten, the whole story of the migration that preceded the great migration. I have always been so interested in my family history and stories. There is so much that does not have to be lost. I think about what is lost through that broken memory, that rupturing, that amnesia, the forgetting, but it really has to be seen as a responsibility for artists and poets and writers to fill in the gap because if not, what is going to fill in the gap?
Attacks on Spanglish reflect the ways in which negative attitudes toward diverse ways of speaking perpetuate inequities: the “standard language” of the elite is considered superior to the disparaged ways of speaking of the working masses, and many believe that those who speak “correctly” are better prepared for life, even better people.
The “Spanglish” label forces us to confront the way language is used to impose national and cultural boundaries and to disguise racial and ethnic prejudices; it invites us to discuss the specific sociohistorical, cultural, economic, and racial contexts that give rise to Spanglish. In addition to puns, jokes, and double entendres, Spanglish speakers perform acts of bilingual identity while deploying more than two dozen discourse strategies, such as topic and role shifting, quoting, translation, mitigation and aggravation of requests, and so on (Zentella 1997).
Ultimately, Spanglish is a graphic way of saying, “We speak both because we are both.” Despite widespread condemnation and formidable opponents, our Spanglish rejects linguistic border patrolling that reinforces monoglot imperialism; the label itself proclaims its border crossing nature.
-Ana Celia Zentella, Keywords for Latina/o Studies
Mothers, Womanhood, Traditions
Discuss how these poets use their texts to address linguistic, racial and ethnic discrimination in the U.S., but also to celebrate their identity in those same categories.
Acknowledging and promoting Latinx voices and histories