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Latinas/os on the East Coast

A Critical Reader

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Edited By Yolanda Medina and Ángeles Donoso Macaya

Latinas/os on the East Coast: A Critical Reader provides a comprehensive overview of established and contemporary research and essays written about communities that represent the Latina/o diaspora on the East Coast of the United States. Collectively, it contributes to the historical, cultural, political, and economic dynamics that affect the Latinas/os’ lived experience of the country. Analyzed through an interdisciplinary lens, this reader offers a critical examination of the policies and the practices that affect the following current and emerging themes and topics: History; Ethnicity and culture; Immigration, transnationalism, and civil rights; Education; Health; Women’s studies; Film and media studies; Queer studies; Literature; Visual and performing arts.
This book is an indispensable resource for scholars, researchers, educators, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as any individual, group, or organization interested in issues that affect Latinas/os in the United States in current times.
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A Plea to Destigmatize Mariel

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By Siro del Castillo Translated by Judith C. Faerron

Nowhere in modern U.S. history has a group of recent arrivals been more thoroughly investigated or widely written about in such a short period of time than the Cubans who formed part of the exodus of 1980, popularly known as “Marielitos.” Nor is there any group in this country whose social, cultural, economic and political reality has been more distorted and less understood.

The media and the academic and research community (where it is demographic data rather than the person that counts) took on the task of informing the U.S. public about the Cubans who began arriving in waves at Key West in April 1980. Both routinely ignored the human aspect failing to understand that the lives of these people during the past quarter of a century had been vastly different from those of most Americans, or even from Cubans who had previously made their way to the U.S.

The researchers—each rushing to be the first to publish a study about the new arrivals—jumped to conclusions based on preliminary information which in most cases was obtained in a disorganized and chaotic manner. They wrote reams about the Mariel group as a whole based solely on “scientifically obtained” data relating to those who entered the refugee camps, without stopping to reflect on the differences between them and those processed in Miami.

The media carried its own share of responsibility for...

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