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Latinas/os on the East Coast

A Critical Reader

Series:

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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Introduction

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Lisa J. Scott

Statistical data provided by the World Health Organization (2005) indicate that poor Afro-Latinos suffer disproportionately from disease, injury, death, and disability worldwide. Generally, black ethnic groups across the globe—even those with no Hispanic heritage—are more commonly victims of disease and health problems associated with AIDS, famine, pollution, and social unrest.

Although there are many factors that contribute to health disparities worldwide, two of the most causative ones among poor Hispanic ethnic groups are the social and economic forms of racism present in the healthcare system and the behavioral practices of these groups. Disparities for these ethnic groups can mean earlier deaths from preventable diseases, decreased quality of life, higher healthcare costs globally, and social inequality. It is for these reasons, among others, that healthcare personnel and advocates need to develop strategies to eliminate healthcare inequity and promote healthy lifestyles among Hispanic populations throughout the world.

Luisa N. Borrell and Clara Rodríguez, in “The Implications and Impact of Race on the Health of Hispanic/Latino Males,” examine the effect of “colorism” on Latino males’ health, specifically in terms of their obtaining healthcare coverage and services. Borrell and Rodríguez indicate that color stratification plays a critical role, especially among Puerto Ricans living in New York City. Based on their research, Puerto Ricans who self-identified as black Hispanic in the U.S. Census had lower mean incomes than those who self-identified as white. Similarly, these same socioeconomic discrepancies were prevalent...

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