It's not something that's talked about a lot. But for the Latino students at UNC, it's something that's felt everyday.
The Carolina Hispanic Association (CHispA) and Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., hosted 50 Shades of Latinidad, an interactive discussion that raised questions about Latina/o identity in America.
The groups focused on the relationship between skin color and identity.
“We would like to create awareness of the importance of the diversity within our own ethnicity. People would think we’re just defined by a certain color, but we have different backgrounds and those backgrounds are reflected in our physical appearance,” said senior Laura Brache, CHispA Hispanic Heritage Month co-chairwoman.
The representatives encouraged small-group discussion in a “fishbowl” setting. After posing questions to the whole group, those interested moved to the discussion space in the middle of the large group to speak about the issue.
Senior Salomon Pinargote approached the topic of self-identification in a multi-racial society.
“Really, it’s up to the person to decide what they want to be. That is something that is socially constructed, it doesn’t really exist,” Pinargote said. “You don’t have to pick because there is no definition for being American.”
The blending of races, the group established, is apparent in American society.
“Without assimilation, you wouldn’t have culture in America. I think there’s something so unique with what we find in this culture,” said Amos Fung, a junior in the Carolina Latina/o Collaborative.