Bilingual is Better

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My Blinders Are Off: What Trayvon Taught Me About Parenting

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I have this way of dealing with things that are really really scary – I close my eyes. I’ve always been that way. Whether it be hearing my parents argue, trying to fit into a crowd (physically or culturally) or raising kids to be Latino enough, shutting my eyes makes everything right. Ignorance can truly be bliss. That’s exactly what I did after Trayvon Martin was gunned down by a vigilante. I closed my eyes and kept raising my SpanglishRead More ...

Is Hispanic a Race or an Ethnicity? Does it Even Matter?

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One day when I was teaching ESL, I was working with a group of students from Mexico and Central America. Pencils scratched the paper, the energy was electric, the excitement palpable: we were filling out their applications for a program at a community college that would allow them to take a class over the summer. And the, we got to the demographic section: “Miss, am I white, black, Asian, or American Indian?” asked a young girl from El Salvador. TheRead More ...

Talking To Our Bilingual Kids About Skin Color

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I am one of six children. Like so many Latino families, we look like a spectrum of skin colors from very light/white to dark brown. Unlike some Latino families, we all have dark hair and eyes. Some of us get confused for middle eastern or european. My hair, with it’s big curls, is generally what helps people place my ethnicity as Latino, much more than my light skin. When I had a Salvadoran passport, I had to check either “negro”Read More ...

How Early Should We Talk to Our Children About Race?

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CNN’s Anderson Cooper is devoting this whole week to a special report called “Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture.” I don’t have cable, but I just watched the first segment, which aired last night, online and I must confess: I cried. I don’t know if you’ve watched it, but it was really difficult to watch a bunch of both white and black 6-year-olds — in other words, kids Vanessa’s age — talk about how the color of your skin mattersRead More ...

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