When Labels Don’t Fit: Hispanics and Their Views of Identity

It has been nearly four decades since the United States government mandated the use by federal agencies of the terms “Hispanic” or “Latino” to categorize Americans who trace their roots to Spanish-speaking countries, but the labels still haven’t been fully embraced by the group to which they have been affixed.

Only about one-quarter (24%) of Hispanic adults say they most often identify themselves by “Hispanic” or “Latino,” according to a new nationwide survey of Hispanic adults by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. About half (51%) say they identify themselves most often by their family’s country or place of origin-using such terms as Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Salvadoran or Dominican. And 21% say they use the term “American” most often to describe themselves. The share rises to 40% among those who were born in the U.S. (Read More)

American Central American Actor Maurice Bernard

Maurice Benard (born March 1, 1963) is an American actor. He is known primarily for his iconic portrayal of romantic mobster Michael “Sonny” Corinthos, Jr. on the ABC soap opera, General Hospital, a role he has portrayed since 1993.

Born Mauricio Jose Morales in Martinez, California and growing up in San Francisco, California, Benard is of Salvadorian and Nicaraguan ethnicity. He started his acting career as Nico on the soap opera All My Children from 1987 to 1990. In addition to guest spots on several television series during the early 1990s, Benard also appeared in television movies including the 1991 CBS television movie Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter, in which he portrayed Desi Arnaz.

Bet you didn’t know just how multi-cultural the character of Sonny Corinthos is supposed to be:

Michael “Sonny” Corinthos, Jr. is born on April 20, 1967[4] in the blue-collar Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn. His father, Michael “Mike” Corinthos, Sr is of Irish and Greek descent and his mother Adela is Cuban.


The character of Sonny Corinthos is quite the ladies man and he loves to cook gourmet dinners for the ladies.  With a multi cultural background like his wouldn’t you like to see what he cooks up?

Info from Wikepedia

Hispanic population growth influencing eating trends in U.S.

The U.S. Census indicates that the Hispanic population is expected to grow 34 percent from 2010 to 2020. Foodservice market research company NPD Group has found that this growth is beginning to influence national consumption patterns.

One of the categories where Hispanics are influencing consumption patterns is at breakfast, according to NPD’s NET (National Eating Trends) Hispanic, which is a year-long study that captures the in-home and away-from-home food and beverage consumption habits of Hispanics in the U.S. by level of acculturation.

For example, NET Hispanic reports that while non-Hispanics include non-toasted bread in 2 percent of their breakfast meals, 12 percent of Hispanics’ breakfasts include non-toasted bread. Throughout the last decade, typical consumers decreased the number of times they include non-toasted bread with their breakfasts. (READ MORE)

En La Cocina Para Mi Amor (In the Kitchen for My Love)

MCCN’s long awaited Show En La Cocina Para Mi Amor puts you in the kitchen with Honduran Chef Jay Bonilla cooking for your loved one.  In webisode one, Jay helps a Lupe, a wife with a fear of cooking for her semi-chef husband who loves to plate dishes.  Her husband Daniel admits, “I’d be happy with a grilled cheese sandwich if she made it because I love her.”  Aw, we could not resist such a story plus it is a multi-cultural marriage of Mexican-American and Lebanese American.  Watch Chef Jay help Lupe. (Video en Español )

Selena to be Honored With Postal Stamp

WASHINGTON (AP) – Selena is one of the Latin Music Legends being honored with news stamps from the U.S. Postal Service in 2011.

Selena, Carlos Gardel, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz and Carmen Miranda stamps go in sale in March 2011.

Two of America’s favorite spacemen – the cool-headed Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard and the animated Buzz Lightyear of “Toy Story” fame – join movie stars, musicians and artists being honored in 2011 with stamps from the U.S. Postal Service.  READ MORE

J.R. Martinez American Hero Dances With the Stars

J.R. Martinez’s emotionally-charged ‘Dancing With the Stars’ routine was the highlight of the competition this week. Martinez, who was injured in a humvee accident while serving in Iraq, stopped by ‘Access Hollywood Live‘ (weekdays, syndicated on NBC) to talk about what the performance, which he dedicated soldiers who didn’t make it home from the war, meant to him. READ MORE

In 2003, Martinez sustained severe burns to over 40 percent of his body while serving as a United States Army infantryman in Iraq. Following his recovery, he has traveled around the country speaking about his experiences to corporations, veterans groups, schools, and other organizations.

Before Photo:


The Evolving Face of Latino

The old cigarette slogan said, “You’ve come a long way baby.” This is an appropriate statement for the influx of Afro-Latinos in Hollywood.  Although culturally in the hearts of many an “Afro”- Latino there is no divide between being a Latino.  In fact many would never call themselves Afro-Latino no matter how dark they may be,  and even though  a great deal of people both non-Latino and Latino alike simply see them as Black.  It is like somehow you are diminished as of Latin descent the more apparent your African blood may be. 

What is interesting about the increasing successful amount of Latinos in Hollywood including Zoe Saldana, Maxwell(Puerto Rican), Soledad O’Brien(Cuban), Lloyd Banks(Puerto Rican), Rosario Dawson(Cuban and Puerto Rican), Tatayana Ali(Panamanian),  Laz Alonso(Cuban) and more is their desire to bring a  social understanding by vocalizing  they are both Latino and proud in addition to being “Black and proud.”  Probably because of an awareness of the historical discrimination including a marginalization of culture due to color.  

 In the 90’s it was rare as it is today for visibly Afro-Latinas such as Lauren Vélez would be cast as the leading lady as a Latina character on a television show (New York Undercover) but her look made her pefect for a on play romantic chemistry between both  Latin and African American leading men.  She also starred in the classic film, “I like it Like That.”


According to Wikipedia

Black Hispanics are often overlooked in the U.S. mass media and in general American social perceptions, where being “Hispanic” is often incorrectly given a racial value.   The situation is also the same in the U.S. Hispanic media and the Latin American media through their telenovelas.

Since the early days of the movie industry in the U.S., when Black Hispanic actors were given roles, they would usually be cast as African Americans (as in, NON-Hispanic black).For those with Spanish-speaking accents that betrayed an otherwise presumed non-Hispanic African American origin, they may seldom have been given roles as Hispanics.

Hence, this is what makes Zoe Saldana lead role in Colombiana triamphant.   She clearly is a light skinnned Black.  She clearly has a Spanish name.  She is both Dominican and Puerto Rican.  Although not Latino, Blair Underwood was proud to play the role of an American President of Afro-Cuban descent.  (See Interview).  The hope is that Univision, telenovelas and more forms of media will embrace all that makes up the image of Latino.

MCCN’s Erika L. Holmes talks about her Latin Comfort Foods:

Written by MCCN Editor Crystal Johnson

Discuss this Topic on our Forum Page(Click Here)

Esai Morales Talks about Healthy Eating

MCCN Editor’s spoke with her favorite celebrity crush, Esai Morales. He talked about his passion in recognizing Earth Day, ” I want to become a part of the solution and not part of the problem.  It is not a left or right issue.”  Using his age of 47 as a frame of reference, Morales discussed changes in his diet  like vegetablesand whole grain pasta.  He says, “You don’t have to have a big meaty meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner.    It is not neccessary and quite  frankly that is why a lot of us are coming to an early grave.”

MCCN Interviews Tatyana Ali

Photo: Contactmusic.com

The actress/singer most famous for appearing as Ashley Banks in the Television series, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, was born to a father of East Indian ancestry from Trinidad and Tobago named Sheriff Ali. Her mother, Sonia is of Afro-Panamanian heritage.  In an interview with MCCN the actress talks about her “Trini” and Panamian roots.   She also talks about the foods of the culture. READ MORE

Laz Alonso on Being Latino & Black in Hollywood

Laz, who says that being both Cuban and black has helped him get more roles in his career, says he’s proud to be black and proud to be Latino. “I have a Cuban influence from my ethnicity, so I feel 100 percent Cuban and 100 percent Black and nobody can take that away from me,” he says. “For me, playing an African American role is playing myself and playing a Latino role — I’m playing myself,” he explains.  (Latina.com)READ MORE