Last Saturday, March 21, the Hispanic American Leadership Organization (HALO) invited speaker Bobby Gonzalez to give a speech on the diversity within Hispanic culture. Entitled “Why Latinos Are Not ‘Spanish’: The Cultural Diversity of Hispanics,” the talk centered on how the differences within Hispanic culture make it difficult to categorize without stereotyping.
The talk spanned a variety of topics, discussing a multiplicity of Latino cultures and the oftentimes erroneous ways that they are represented in the media as compared to their authentic cultures. For example, some people view Puerto Ricans as immigrants despite the fact that they are US citizens. Essentially, Gonzalez presented a series of verbal snapshots of views not only here in the US but also in Latin America itself of Latin American stereotypes.
He sought to make the talk relatable to the specific Truman State University audience. For example, given the presence of a theology professor, Gonzalez discussed some of the religious aspects of various Latin American cultures. Furthermore, there were a number of anthropology students in attendance, so Gonzalez dissected what it means to look at Hispanics in America as a separate group (in addition to looking at their pasts within different contexts of geography).
A little on Bobby Gonzalez: He is a cultural speaker addressing diversity, particularly among those with a Latin American background and a poet born and raised in New York yet with very strong connections to his Taino (Native American) culture. He sees himself as representative of the great diversity found within the modern Hispanic community.
We wish to extend our thanks to the Hispanic American Leadership Organization for hosting Mr. Gonzalez and for Mr. Gonzalez for his enlightening speech.