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Multicultural Spotlight: Deconstructing stereotypes surrounding Latinos

Multicultural Spotlight: Deconstructing stereotypes surrounding Latinos

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Marie Arana is the former editor-in-chief and writer-at-large at the Washington Post and the inaugural literary director at the Library of Congress.

Now, Arana has written a new book that deconstructs some of the most pervasive stereotypes surrounding Latinos. The book is called “Latinoland: A Portrait of America’s Largest and Least Understood Minority.”

The book is driven by a single question: How can we move past what is considered to be Latino 101?

“This book is about Latinos,” WISH-TV contributor Gloria Jimenez said. “We’ve been growing the community.”

Jiminez described the stereotypes. “One,” she said, “is that all Latinos are recent arrivals (to the United States). We’ve been here forever.”

“When Latinos move to Florida, most people think they are Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and Dominicans,” she said of another common misnomer. “In California, they think Latinos (are) Mexicans.”

Jiminez said many people mistake her as being of Mexican heritage, though she is from Peru and moved to the United States as a teenager.

The stereotypes Latinos face have also included religion. “When we move to this country, they are looking to have a career and successful education, and probably to be the first college graduate in their family,” Jimenez said.

There are 64 million Hispanics and Latinos in the United States, according to Jiminez.