By Erica L.

The NY Times has created an incredible resource for provoking public discourse called "Conversation on Race: A series of short films about identity in America." These powerful media bites deal with racism, privilege, and the myriad ways people experience prejudice and discrimination based on ethnic or racial origin in the USA. In this particular video, 13 individuals share personal stories and struggles as self-identifying Latinos/as, revealing the breadth and depth of Latino identity in the USA. The videos are poignant and honest, a heartfelt entrance into the complexities of navigating Latino/a identity in the USA, as they discuss cultural origins, discrimination and marginalization, language and cultural barriers, colorism and light-skinned privilege, and the pain of cultural erasure/whitewashing in an effort to blend in to white America. While these 13 voices cover a lot of ground, they are just a launching point into a much broader discussion of Latino/a, Hispanic, and Afro-Latino/a identity both internationally and in America.

"Before we could even discuss racism and the challenges Latinos face in this country, though, we had to define the term “Latino.” When we asked our interviewees, their responses were wide-ranging. For some, Latino identity is a political stance involving both race and nationality, while others found the label deeply constraining. Most pointed to the frustrations of being stereotyped, marginalized and demeaned. The people we spoke with were vulnerable, and their stories illuminating, but most of what we took from them is that we need far more examination of this crucial segment of the American population." - NY Times Conversation on Race

For more on Latino Identity in the USA, check out these clips collected from NPR's Latino USA: