Conflicted Over Hispanic Heritage Month

by - 10/08/2011 07:28:00 AM

This year I'm not sure I will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. I know after reading that I'll be in trouble with all my Latina girlfriends. LOL. What's so different for me this year? While I personally I have no problem celebrating any culture holiday or tradition that's not African Caribbean/American, I think some people around me are confused about my cultural heritage. Which is confusing to me.

Hispanic Heritage Month

If you follow me on twitter, you've provably seen me rant about getting pr pitches meant for Latina bloggers. I even get some in ALL Spanish. This annoys me to no end. I've never claimed to be Latina nor do I blog about anything Hispanic. If anything I blog more about being a black women with a biracial child....who isn't Hispanic either!

So where's the mix-up happening? I have no idea! Granted my last name is Cupido so it's naturally assumed I have some Hispanic heritage. It's a good assumption but it's not a current assumption. I received that last name from a Portuguese ancestor many many greats grandmothers ago. For the last few generations on both sides my immediate family have been African Caribbean.

But....

Even though I identify as being African Caribbean, I still recognized and appreciate my far far far removed connection to the Hispanic community. After my son was born I wondered what last name to give him. Eventually I decided on giving him mine but I still wondered how this Asian looking child would explain a Hispanic last name. And of more concern would he be *gasped* ashamed of being mixed with another non Asian race.

Not if I could help it! There's many people of Afro-Portuguese heritage that have done great things. I will have to do some more research to find the Afro-Portuguese-Asian connection but I'm sure there's one!

Afro Brazilian CelebrationAfro Brazilian CelebrationAfro Brazilian CelebrationAfro Brazilian Celebration

But while I try to introduce my son to his racial Hispanic heritage, like when we went to the Afro Brazilian Celebration (2009), it seems I only further confuse people who want to "label" me and my family. That is very frustrating to me as a person with a multicultural heritage.

So this month as I look at all the cool and fun things Hispanic families are doing in celebration of their heritage, I will have to give my silent support off on the side lines. This month my family will not join them in celebration.

Maybe we can join the South Asian Indians and celebrate Diwali instead. Who has my Diwali gift?!

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2 comments

  1. I get approached as a Latina, too. I wonder if it's because my name is Maria? I can recall a few times in my life when people asked me if I was Latina. I would ask them if I looked Latina. They'd say, no, but my name is Maria. Well, in Italy, Maria is a very common name, too, and they're straight up Italian.

    Anyway...I don't think your son will be ashamed of being mixed with another non Asian race. He has more cultures to celebrate and I know you expose him to all sides which is so great.

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  2. I get asked if I am Hispanic when people hear that I am Dominican. There are very few people who seem to realize that there is an island in the Caribbean called Dominica--Carib, french, African background and not Dominican Republic which is more Hispanic , African background. By the way my husband is Haitian so we also get comments of meeting on the island.

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