“No single race or nationality can claim America as its own,” Superboy pointed out in 1951’s Know Your Country. “Don’t hate on your new schoolmate because she’s an immigrant from faraway Ikeastan. Her mom makes killer Swedish meatballs!”
I consider myself Latina, close to my family’s Mexican culture; I’m bilingual and I’m happy with that identity. But, more often than not, it seems like everyone else is trying to corral me into some other identity, telling me that mine is not sufficient.
The neighborhood where I live (photos, above) is a perfect example.
It’s split in two: one part of it is gentrifying rapidly, and the other is filled with Mexican and many immigrant families. I where it’s more Mexican, which makes me — in all my professional hipster-ness — stand out sometimes, but people still speak to me in Spanish and often I just become part of the scenery. But then there are other times.
Roberto’s Dreams comes straight from today’s headlines. Roberto has been laid off, Angelica cleans houses to make ends meet and 10-year-old daughter Brittany struggles to reconcile her Latino roots and her American education. Roberto opts for the American Dream of being his own jefe and decides to start his own business: The first Latino green cleaning business in North Carolina.