We aren’t voiceless, pass the mic.
I don’t know how other POC bloggers feel, but I’ve always felt that there is a shortage of stories and perspectives from people of colour… our stories are many and unique. So, towards the end of last year, I decided that I would begin sharing the stories of many talented, wonderful, diverse bloggers.
Today, we have Suziey @ Of All the Books in All the Libraries who is one of my favourite bloggers ever. Literally, like ever. If I remember well, I discovered Suzeiy’s blog whilst searching for book reviews on WordPress Reader and I internally cried tears of joy because I finally found another book blogger who was open to reading across all genres like me and the rest is history. Suziey is ridiculously intelligent – heck, she can actually get me to see things from a different point of view and do it with panache… I say panache, what I mean is cool logic. I mean, that brain be banging. She is kind, compassionate, hilarious, full of surprises and so fun to talk to! Suziey and I talk a lot about race, culture, gender and identity and I feel that much of our talk has played a part in driving me to do this series, and I’m so glad I have because, heck, I’m learning a lot too now. Here’s a toast to Suziey, who makes the blogging world a lot lighter and brighter!
- What are some things you love about your culture and being Latinx?
Family. Familial love runs strong and deep. Through thick and thin we have each other’s backs. We also have *extreme* pride in our heritage and keep our traditions alive (for the most part). We also have the best food #sorrynotsorry Okay, so I’m Guatemalan but technically I grew up on Mexican-style food. Tacos and Agua de Jamaica (hibiscus tea) are life. But pupusas (Salvadoran food) are one of my favorite things to eat. And you have not lived until you’ve tried Cuban bread. My mouth is watering just thinking about it haha.
2. What are some of the disadvantages of being Latinx?
Machismo! That’s what we call toxic masculinity. We tend to be a conservative and traditional people. So women’s rights are trampled by men because that’s what tradition dictates. A woman has no role but to make her husband’s life easier. We basically live to serve men. While there have been great strives forward in some areas, it’s still a problem. We’re also pretty discriminatory against each other. I’ve seen it, and I’ve lived it. You’d think because we’re all Latinx and have a somewhat similar history we’d all get along. Yeah, no. Racism towards our own people is a thing. It’s problematic and needs to end.
3. What makes Latinx culture different?
I wouldn’t say we’re too different from anyone else. We love, laugh, cry, have music, value family, art, food, etc. just like every other culture. What sets us apart would probably be our history. I think of Latin American history as broken up into 2 parts. Pre-Columbian and Post-Columbian. Pre-Columbian history is rich. It’s the history of the indigenous groups who peopled this continent for ten thousand years and from which I and many Latin American’s are descended. Post-Columbian begins with colonization. Where whole civilizations were wiped out by Europeans and where other cultures were brought in (thinking of my Caribbean brothers and sisters).
4. Do you have any stories to share about Guatemala?
I’ve been to the motherland exactly one time, when I was about 1 year old. But I’ve heard my mom’s childhood stories many times before. She grew up during the Guatemalan civil war, so most of her stories are tinged with sadness, poverty, and fear. Then there are the simple, everyday stories like, going for a swim in the river, gathering wild herbs for food, the first and only doll my mom received as a child. Her stories make me aware of my privilege and I appreciate everything my mom has done for me so much more.
5. How do you feel about stereotypes of Latinx’s in pop culture?
It’s funny you ask this question because I was just watching Pitch Perfect 2! I absolutely love this movie and and always chuckle when Flo says anything. Because she’s supposed to be Guatemalan and the things she says are just absurdly funny! “When I was 9 years old my brother tried to sell me for a chicken” or “I had diarrhoea for 7 years”. Ha! I *try* not to take the stereotypes I see in the media too seriously because I know they’re not factual. But it does bother me when other people take it as a truthful or realistic representation when it’s so obviously satire. I watched “You” on Netflix, and I don’t think every cis white dude working in a bookstore is a serial killer. If I did, I’d never go book shopping again. (The horror)! Although speaking of Netflix and Latinx representation, I would recommend watching the Academy Award winning film “Roma”!
Oh, and just for the record, Central America and the Caribbean are part of North America. I find it frustrating when people say Guatemala is a part of South America. I feel like they’re trying to purposely exclude us from associating with Canada, the U.S., and Mexico (developed, First World countries). But it’s a geographical fact y’all.
6. What do you wish more people knew about Latinx’s?
Psh. I don’t know. Hm… We’re just like you. We have family obligations/expectations to live up to same as everyone else. We know the value of hard work because it’s what we’ve been doing our whole lives. We want the world to be a better place for our children than the one we grew up in, just like you. We may sound, look, and act differently than you, but deep down we’re actually a lot alike.
Check out Suziey’s blog
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Have you got a story to share? Are you passionate about your culture, identity and community? Are you a diverse blogger? If so, I would love to interview you! For further information, please contact me if you would love to feature as a guest on my blog.