Part social history, part political theory, part philosophical reflection, and part memoir, Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture is a book about Latino racial identity. It describes how migration to the U.S. has affected the country’s racial black-white binary and fleshes out implications of Latinx racial identity in new ideas about language, politics, media, and the possibility of change. Latinx closely examines the impact of how media representation of Latinos often erases black and indigenous elements, which has created a crisis in the idea of Latinidad itself.
The use of the term Latinx by non-binary identifying people reflects the way Latino identity critiques binary categories, adding another layer to the discussion. Latinx the book argues that while elusive, Latino identity is defined by “difference,” whether it’s identification by race or gender, and that for Latinx to coherently define their identity it must be in opposition to normative definitions of “American.”
Ed Morales is an author and journalist who has written for The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and the Guardian. He has authored Fantasy Island: Colonialism, Exploitation, and the Betrayal of Puerto Rico (2019) and Living in Spanglish (2002), as well as written and directed Whose Barrio? (2009), an award-winning documentary about the gentrification of East Harlem. Morales is a lecturer at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
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