08-17-2022  6:37 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

‘Wake of Vanport’ to Be Screened August 28

Register for this free event to be held at Open Signal in Northeast Portland

Heat Returns to Pacific Northwest Wednesday, Thursday

Multnomah County, which includes Portland, will offer people places to stay cool Wednesday as temperatures potentially reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit

Basic Guaranteed Income Program to Launch for Black Portlanders

Brown Hope’s Black Resilience Fund argues the impact of direct cash payments. 

Oregon Justice Fires Panel Due to Lack of Public Defenders

Criminal defendants in Oregon who have gone without legal representation due to a shortage of public defenders filed a lawsuit in May that alleges the state is violating their constitutional right to legal counsel and a speedy trial.

NEWS BRIEFS

Measure on Portland Government to Appear as-Is on Ballot

Politicians, business leaders and civic activists have called for reshaping Portland’s form of government, which they say...

The Regional Arts & Culture Council Rolls Out New Grant Program

The Arts3C grant program is designed to be fully responsive to what artists and art makers in the community need funding to support ...

OHA Introduces New Monkeypox (hMPXV) Website

As of Aug. 10, 95 people have tested positive for monkeypox in Oregon ...

Wyden, Colleagues Renew Request for FDA to Address Concerns about Dangerous Pulse Oximeter Inaccuracies Affecting Communities of Color

“There are decades of research showing inaccurate results when pulse oximeters are used to monitor people of color” ...

Inslee Issues Directive Outlining Monkeypox Virus Response

As of Friday, Washington state had confirmed 265 monkeypox cases. ...

Russian brought to Oregon, faces trial in ransomware attacks

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A Russian who allegedly laundered more than 0,000 from ransomware attacks in the United States and abroad was extradited from the Netherlands to face trial in federal court in Portland, authorities said Wednesday. Denis Dubnikov, 29, pleaded not guilty on...

2 shot at Oregon casino in gunfight between man, police

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — Two people were shot as a man and police exchanged gunfire at an Oregon casino, tribal officials said. Police stopped a man with a gun at the door of Wildhorse Casino and Resort in Pendleton after he tried to rob the casino in the small northeastern Oregon...

Mizzou full of optimism with new QB, defensive coordinator

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz is on his third defensive coordinator in three years at Missouri, and the Tigers are about to start their fifth different quarterback in the season opener in the last five years. Sounds like a program that should be on shaky ground. ...

Hoosiers looking for a turnaround after dismal 2021 season

Indiana linebacker Cam Jones and quarterback Jack Tuttle took matters into their own hands this offseason. They called their teammates together to discuss the goals and aspirations of the program, the need to always play with an edge and to break down precisely why things went wrong...

OPINION

No One Ever Told You About Black August?

Black America lives in a series of deserts. Many of us live in food deserts, financial deserts, employment deserts, and most of us live in information deserts. ...

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

UN investigator: Contemporary slavery extensive and in China

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A U.N. investigator says contemporary forms of slavery are widely practiced around the world, including forced labor for China’s Uyghur minority, bonded labor for the lowest caste Dalits in South Asia, and domestic servitude in Gulf countries, Brazil and Colombia. ...

Wisconsin school board votes in favor of pride flag ban

WALES, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin school board voted in favor of a policy that prohibits teachers and staff from displaying gay pride flags and other items that district officials consider political in nature. The Kettle Moraine School Board voted Tuesday to keep a code of conduct in...

Concerns over segregation display led to post office closure

MONTPELIER STATION, VA (AP) — The United States Postal Service has closed a small Virginia post office over agency management's concerns about its location inside a historic train depot that also serves as a museum about racial segregation. In a statement this week addressing the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Rapper A$AP Rocky charged with felony assault with a firearm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rapper A$AP Rocky was charged with two felonies Monday for pulling a gun on a former friend and firing in Hollywood last year, prosecutors said. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office charged the 33-year-old New York native, whose legal name is Rakim...

Review: ‘Slenderman’ chronicles a harrowing childhood crime

“Slenderman: Online Obsession, Mental Illness, and the Violent Crime of Two Midwestern Girls,” by Kathleen Hale (Grove Press) The seemingly senseless stabbing of a young girl by two of her school friends in the Waukesha, Wisconsin, woods in 2014 made international headlines when...

Former Israeli PM Netanyahu has memoir coming in November

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a memoir coming out this fall. “Bibi: My Story” will be published Nov. 22, three weeks after parliamentary elections are to be held in Israel. “Born a year after the founding of the Jewish state, I have...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Attorney: Don't accept portrayal of R. Kelly as `monster'

CHICAGO (AP) — R. Kelly kept an ugly side of his life hidden as he escaped poverty in Chicago and rose to pop...

Judge: Pharmacies owe 2 Ohio counties 0M in opioids suit

CLEVELAND (AP) — A federal judge in Cleveland awarded 0 million in damages Wednesday to two Ohio counties...

Wisconsin school board votes in favor of pride flag ban

WALES, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin school board voted in favor of a policy that prohibits teachers and staff from...

South Korean leader: Seoul won't seek own nuclear deterrent

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s president said Wednesday his government has no plans to pursue its own...

EXPLAINER: Dueling views remain a year after Afghan pullout

WASHINGTON (AP) — A year after America's tumultuous and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan, assessments of its...

Dubai sees air travel surge, expects FIFA World Cup boost

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Dubai International Airport saw a surge in passengers over the first half of...

Cynthia Moreno Vida En El Valle

SACRAMENTO -- For those who believe music does not play a role in shaping Latino identity-think again says Jorge Andrés Herrera, an adjunct professor at California State University, Fullerton, who teaches Chicano Studies courses and is a Ph.D. candidate at UCLA.

He is studying the role music plays in shaping Latino identity with an emphasis on the U.S.-Mexico border.

"When a Latino crosses the border, they automatically start to assimilate culturally and a big part of that assimilation comes in the form of musical tastes and musical preferences which also transform and assimilate to the dominant culture," said Herrera.

The UCLA graduate -- who obtained both his bachelor's and master's degrees in ethnomusicology, the study of how music influences and affects culture and vice versa -- became fascinated by the role music plays in shaping Latino identity and how it transforms and affects Latino culture.

"Everything that happens in our society is reflected in music and people don't really stop to think about that. For example, in the last five years, there has been a rise in narco corridos coming out of Mexico and that can be attributed to the record levels of violence we so often hear about on television," said Herrera during a telephone interview.

Two of the most important genres Herrera is studying are norteño and jarocho music. Norteño music -- which is traditionally found in the northern regions of Mexico and customarily recognized by the accordion sound -- changes the moment it crosses the border.

"When you cross the border from Mexico to the United States, music becomes more politicized and is usually used as a vehicle to express ideologies about life, about culture, relationships and life in general. But, if you cross the border from the United States to Mexico, it has more of an entertainment, traditional and regional value," said Herrera.

He noticed the difference in the ways his Latino and specifically, Mexican friends in college thought about music, how it helped define who they were while living in a country that encourages assimilation.

"When I first arrived at UCLA as an undergraduate student, I noticed my Latino friends didn't listen to Spanish or Mexican music and if they did it was something like Intocable, a norteño band whose style is quite different from traditional norteño music, and that is as far as they identified," said Herrera.

"Others jumped on the bandwagon but were hesitant to admit they liked or listened to Spanish music. It was almost as if, they were ashamed to identify as being Latino," said Herrera.

But when those same friends began to take Chicano studies courses and began to learn about their culture, history and roots; when they ultimately realized they were "different and Latino," something began to dramatically change, said Herrera.

"Most Latinos growing up in the United States listen to English music for the most part like mainstream pop, hip-hop, country, rock and jazz. Some like Spanish music and may listen to it at home, but for the most part, it's not the first they are quick to identify with," said Herrera.

"But, something happens in the classroom. A switch goes off. Something tells them, it's important to be a brown face in academia and it's important to relate to one's own culture by way of food, language and especially music," he said.

Herrera recalls his own experience when he first began taking courses at UCLA as a freshman. The one-time jazz major discovered he was the only Latino in his classes studying jazz music. The piano player felt out of place, but as he enrolled in several Chicano studies courses and learned about the different genres of music in Mexico, he began to change his notion of studying mainstream music he had little in common with and could not identify with personally.

"When I realized I was Latino I asked myself, what am I doing in these courses? Why am I not studying the music of my culture? If there is anyone who is more equipped and more connected to the sounds emanating from our country of origin, it is me. If Latinos don't get back in touch with their roots, who will keep our musical traditions alive?" said Herrera.

Herrera believes music helps shape Latino identity by empowering and helping those who have assimilated to mainstream music in the United States, reconnect with their true selves.

"I believe there is a strong need and sense for Latinos to reclaim their heritage. Too many times, we have read our history books that have been written by Europeans and it has had a tremendous impact in the ways we view our culture and listen to our music. I do think our identity is lost with it and at some point, we try to find it again later in life," said Herrera.

Music is just one of those avenues, he says.

"Latinos in the United States are growing up bicultural and bilingual. It is easy for us to speak to our American friends and our Mexican friends. But there is also this notion of categorizing our identity based on comparisons we make amongst one another based on music," said Herrera.

Several of his students, for example, pointed to levels of Mexican-ness by way of music. If you are a "hard-core Mexican," you listen to narco corridos. If you are really hard-core, you listen to corridos alterados. If you listen to Vicente Fernández too often, you are a "paisa," but if you only listen to his music occasionally, you are not a true Mexican.

"I reject the notion of creating a caste system based on what kind of music we listen to, but Latinos so often do it. It's not just with music, but also with how often we visit Mexico, how well we speak or don't speak Spanish, do we favor rancheras, norteñas, cumbias, mariachi? Somehow there is always this notion that someone is more Mexican than someone else," said Herrera.

Despite the ways Latinos try to identify themselves, Herrera says there is no denying the comparisons bring about one important aspect; Latinos are becoming more accepting of who they are and where they come from, despite the comparisons.

"I think we are finally coming to terms with who we are. We are beginning to embrace our biculturalness, the fact that we can listen to English music and Spanish music and still identify. This new Mexican-American identity that is surging will be an interesting one to read about in the history books," said Herrera.

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