Moving beyond the Black Legend: Chicano-a and Latino-a Literature.Report as inadecuate

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According to a footnote in the 1990 book "The Noble Savage,""The Spanish Black Legend is the view of Spain's genocide in The New World, as accounted for by Bartolome de las Casas and the European historians who, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, denounced this genocide, often utilizing it as an anti-Spanish propaganda tool" used by the English. This anti-Spanish feeling is more than evident in De Crevecoeur's "Letters from an American Farmer," in which, for instance, narrator James points out the decadence of Lima (Peru). Unfortunately, the legacy of this Black Legend remains with the American culture today. Consider the distaste the dominant culture feels for the stereotype of the "pachuco," the cocky young Chicano male. Or consider this anecdote: during a portion of the Penn State Conference on Chicano/a and Latino/a literature, Paul Lauter pointed out that when he, as a Jewish child growing up in Brooklyn, had to decide which language to study, the answer was simple--French. Spanish was regarded as "declasse." (Contains 11 references.) (TB)

Descriptors: Colonial History (United States), Comparative Analysis, Cultural Context, Ethnic Stereotypes, Higher Education, Hispanic American Literature, Multicultural Education, Spanish Culture

Author: Moore, Dennis


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