In entering into the work of Latine history and culture, I feel the need to disclose that I identify as a white woman. My experience of being raised and socialized in late the 90s and early 2000s of central Connecticut, white, suburban culture shapes the lens through which I perceive the literature shared in this unit and the voice with which I propose this curriculum. The experience of engaging in the YNHTI Latinx History and Culture seminar has widened my understanding of the way the Latine community has shaped both my personal and professional identity. Therefore, I feel called to dedicated this unit to: my father, the Polish-Lithuanian man who tried his best to teach me his passion for the Spanish language but successfully ingrained his passion for learning and embracing Latinx cultures across the diaspora; my Puerto Rican and Dominican childhood friends who became family and who taught me to dance bachata despite my stiff hips while also demonstrating the linguistic and societal complexities of their multigenerational identities; and finally, my students who continue to expand my view on the historical and present perspectives of the Estados Unidos. For, I would not want to know myself as I am today without the acknowledgement and deep appreciation for these individuals and the unique way they each embody and share the power of Latinidad.
Note on Etymology of Latine
While I acknowledge the importance of self-identification or disidentification (Muñoz, 1999) and the history of government classifications, in light of the CT State Bill H.B. No. 6909, I will use the term Latine in reference to the community, culture, and expression of folks of the Latin American diaspora.