What’s In A Name?

National Hispanic Heritage Month began on September 15th and continues on through October 15th. The term “Hispanic” is used interchangeably with the term, Latino/a. However, in this country the term Hispanic refers to anyone whose native language is Spanish. The term Hispanic in the past has referred to those whose origins are in fact from Spain as oppose to who we know as people from Latin America. Today, we have more evolved terms like Latinx and Latinidad that are also being used interchangeably as synonyms for Latin and Hispanic. As Spanish-speaking nationalities in this country continue to grow the ethnonyms will change and what was once acceptable will no longer be. Fat Joe has been doing his media run for a new song he released with Dre from the production duo, Cool and Dre. In one of his interviews Joe stated that all Latinos and Hispanic people derived from Africa, but as what this country would label as an African-American I am telling you all, that is a false statement. Africa is the origin place of all people, but once the white Anglo-Saxons evolved they began their quest to colonize every land mass they did not know existed.


Not all Spanish-speaking people have African roots. Although; the music, the clothes, the food, and the culture is African the blood may not be. Once a European couple moves to the Caribbean they’re still white. They can have children with the other white colonizers and use their white privilege to gain access to power and subsequently oppress the non-white native population that was there prior to their arrival. There were slaves in those Spanish-speaking countries as well and the Caribbean is where a lot of Africans were forced to culturally assimilate. Once they lost their family, culture, language, and identity they were then brought to this country as a slave. Imagine trying to hold on to something as simple as your name. That is why the ethnonym is so important, because we are all different, and until we figure this thing out the identifying terms will evolve. As we learn more about ourselves and our heritage that was erased and destroyed by whites our sense of self will also evolve.


The term African-American is offensive to some if you ask. Some people feel like because they don’t have any recent generational connection to the Motherland that they are simply Americans. Some identify themselves as Black-American, Afro-American, or Pan-African because we all evolve at different places in our lives. We know that we are part of the African Diaspora and some people want to be down so bad that they misinterpret culture. Some Spanish-speaking people just want a license to be cool or say the “n” word, but if you see their grandmother you might have a couple of questions. Dark colored hair isn’t a qualifier of African Heritage and all non-white ethnicities have problems with colorism, just ask the Italians and the Asians. What’s in a name…nothing much just your ancestry, legacy, and birthright.

“Baby, once I get it I’mma make your last name change.” – Freddie Gibbs (Home)

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