Latinx Oral History Scholars discuss the history of “latinx” in Evolution of Latinx

Juan Castillo, Staff Writer

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As a part of Latinx heritage month, Elgin Community College’s Latinx Oral History project scholars hosted seminar-mixer on the history of the word “Latinx”. The presentation was held on Sept. 27 in the Spartan Auditorium.

The main presentation of the seminar was delivered by ECC’s very own Professor Antonio Ramirez. He began his presentation by asking his audience a question.

“What race are Latinos?” Ramirez said.

With this question, Ramirez introduced the audience to a problem that many people of Hispanic or Latino origin experience in their lives. When filling out government documents or questionnaires, they face this question and many of them provide their own different answers.

Ramirez then went on to provide the audience with a history of the classification and labeling of Latinx people in the United States through things like the U.S. census.

“It was around the time of the 1970s that social movements began to start to want to define themselves rather than have the U.S. government come up with terms for who they are,” Ramirez said.

According to Ramirez, during the 1970’s, through various Latino social movement groups looking to take their cultural identity in their own hands, the term Latino began to be used more commonly in the United States.

Now the Latino community is once again changing the way it identifies itself. The term Latinx is meant to be a gender-neutral term to help include all members of the Latino community no matter what the identify as.

“There could be one man in a group of women and because of the way the Spanish language works, it changes the entire definition of a group of people, so Latinx is just more progressive and helps include more people,” said Alannis Muñoz, a marketing and political science major at ECC.

The term Latinx is being more commonly used on campuses like ECC’s and in the real world. It is a term that is growing in popularity in a community that hopes of making all its members feel as welcome as possible.

As the event came to an end, food and drinks were provided to the audience as they began to talk and discuss their thoughts and ideas on the presentation and the word Latinx.