12-13-2019  2:54 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

PHOTOS: Black Santa Visits Northwest African American Museum

The Skanner's Seattle photographer Susan Fried was on hand to snap some photos

English Language Learners' Success Translates Into a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Teacher Julie Rowell

Oregon educator boosts student achievement and future prospects at Gresham High School

Portland Resident Hoping to Donate Kidney to Black Recipient

Fewer Black patients receive live kidney donations

Puget Soundkeeper and Waste Action Project Send Notice of Intent to Sue to Ardagh Glass

Violations listed include illegal discharges into the Duwamish River, failure to collect stormwater samples and failure to install required treatment systems

NEWS BRIEFS

Friends of the Children Chapter Coming to Tacoma, Executive Director Announced

Organization empowers youth facing the greatest obstacles through the long-term support of professional mentors ...

Oregon Humane Society Celebrates the Adoption of the 11,000th Pet of 2019

Max, a two-year-old Labrador/Weimaraner mix, is going to a new home with the Dunlap family of Damascus ...

EPA Approves Funding for Oregon and Washington to Improve Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

States estimate $190 million for wastewater, $35 million for drinking water projects in Oregon, and $120 million for...

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

'Shop early': US Christmas trees supplies tight, prices up

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Customers searching for the perfect Christmas tree typically glance at Sandy Parsons’ limited offerings, then keep walking.Parsons never got her order for 350 trees from a North Carolina farm. Supplies were short, she was told. Instead, she was shipped some...

Dozens out sick at Vancouver schools, Seattle school closed

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Dozens of students are out sick at several Vancouver Public Schools elementary schools, prompting cleaning, disinfecting and a letter to parents warning them of the symptoms of the stomach flu.The Columbian reports at Harry S. Truman Elementary School, 72 of the...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Anti-Semitism order raises tough issue of defining prejudice

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s order to expand the scope of potential anti-Semitism complaints on college campuses is raising the stakes of an already tense battle over how to define discrimination against Jews.The executive order Trump signed on Wednesday tells the...

New Jersey attackers linked to anti-Semitic fringe movement

The deadly shooting rampage at a New Jersey kosher market has cast a spotlight on a fringe movement known for its anti-Semitic strain of street preaching and its role in a viral-video confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial this year.Investigators believe that the man and woman who killed three...

Man convicted in 2017 Charlottesville car attack to appeal

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — An Ohio man plans to appeal his convictions for driving his car into a crowd of counterprotestors during a 2017 white nationalist rally in Virginia.The Daily Progress, citing online court records, reports that a lawyer for James Alex Fields Jr. filed a notice of...

ENTERTAINMENT

Weinstein lawyer says 98% of creditors agreeing to settle

NEW YORK (AP) — Ninety-eight percent of The Weinstein Co.'s creditors are joining a tentative settlement that plaintiffs say includes million for over two dozen actresses and former employees who claim Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed them, a lawyer said Thursday.The attorney, Karen...

Review: In Malick's 'A Hidden Life,' a hymn of defiance

Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life” resides above the clouds in a small Alpine hamlet.Franz Jägerstätter lives there, in Austria, with his wife, Franziska, and their young daughters. They spend their days working and playing in the hillside fields, enraptured by their...

Wilde defends 'Jewell' reporter over sex-for-tips claims

NEW YORK (AP) — Olivia Wilde said Thursday she does not believe the real-life journalist she plays in the new film “Richard Jewel” “traded sex for tips" despite that insinuation in the movie. In a series of tweets, Wilde called late Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

'Shop early': US Christmas trees supplies tight, prices up

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Customers searching for the perfect Christmas tree typically glance at Sandy...

Tokyo being billed as 'Recovery Olympics' -- but not for all

FUTABA, Japan (AP) — The torch relay for the Tokyo Olympics will kick off in Fukushima, the northern...

"Nuts!" US troops thwarted Hitler's last gamble 75 years ago

BASTOGNE, Belgium (AP) — Pvt. Arthur Jacobson was seeking cover in the snow behind a tank moving slowly...

EU leaders break stalemate over climate target, claim deal

BRUSSELS (AP) — EU leaders broke a deadlock early Friday and claimed a deal over a key climate target by...

"Nuts!" US troops thwarted Hitler's last gamble 75 years ago

BASTOGNE, Belgium (AP) — Pvt. Arthur Jacobson was seeking cover in the snow behind a tank moving slowly...

UK vote eases corrosive uncertainty hurting businesses

LONDON (AP) — The British election result is a boost to the economy and financial markets in the short term...

McMenamins
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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