We're excited to print an excerpt from the introduction of Latino Stats: American Hispanics by the Numbers, a new book by Idelisse Malavé and Esti Giordani that sifts through a profusion of data to identify the most telling and often surprising facts of contemporary Latino life with glimpses of the past and future. It comes out on January 27 from The New Press—preorder a copy here.
Although the United States is routinely and proudly referred to as “a country of immigrants,” waves of immigration still inspire economic and cultural fears. Latino immigrants have been greeted with a familiar litany, most commonly, “They’re stealing our jobs!”
Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Timesreported on the hottest new marketing demographic for the personal care industry: Latino men. Considering that Hispanics are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States, it isn't surprising that brands and advertisers had already begun courting Latina women's purchasing preferences. The men's habits, however, seemed like more of a lesson in social studies than in product development.
Last year a Latina friend of mine who's unhappily single outlined what she's looking for in a mate. She wants a man who's college-educated, socially conscious, speaks Spanish and is Latino. "It's not that I'm against interracial dating or anything," she explained self-consciously. You see, I'm in an interracial relationship, and she didn't want to offend me.
I'd be remiss to begin a blog on the intersection of race, gender and pop culture without mentioning that, in reading various other blogs on all three topics, I've kept happening upon the same complaint: that pop culture and many feminist publications often exclude or oversee the unique perspectives offered by women who aren't white. So this blog, then, is a group effort, with your comments and experiences forming an integral part in fostering a thoughtful and inclusive discussion on feminism.