Tuesday, April 22, 2014

College? Guilt By Contradiction For Young Latinas

In my Hispanicize 2014 recap, I made reference to a series of skits presented during one of our lunches by Orgullosa called The Nueva Latina Monologues. The skits tackle the ambicultural® Latina experience, that of being able to slip innately between two cultures. They treat as an asset, rather than a deficit, a skill that many of us may have been confused by, or did not know what to name.

By the way, it's not a ability unique to Latinas.

Para Colegio And 'Guilt By Contradiction'

Here's a video clip of The Nueva Latina Monologues' second skit Para Colegio | Go. It's about a conversation a young Latina has with her mother about wanting to go away to college and her mother's reticence, much of which stems from cultural norms. The daughter wants to be independent and self-sufficient, to see the world. The mom is afraid of letting go.

It may appear on the surface to be a familiar, or mainstream conversation, but it's not. First-generation Latinas, or Latinas who immigrated to the U.S. at a young age are often held to a cultural norm that expects them "to prioritize family responsibilities above school." Enter guilt by contradiction: parents, mothers specifically, want their daughters to have the opportunities they never did, but don't want to see their daughters go. Of course it's different for sons. The conversations we're having at home need to change if we're to address the disproportionately high dropout rate experienced by Latinas, relative to their non-Latina peers.

Watch the video. I'm sure more than one of you will be able to relate.


Making Education Work for Latinas in the U.S. (2013), The Civil Rights Project
Latina Power Shift (2013), The Nielsen Company