Natalia E. Parra Diaz

A Continuación, Black Lives Matter: An Ethnographic Analysis of the Perception of the Latinx Community Towards the Black Lives Matter Movement

March 30, 2021   /  

Student Name: Natalia E. Parra Diaz
Majors: Communication, Spanish
Advisor: Dr. Singh, Profesora Garonzik

The death of George Floyd, an African American man, in Minneapolis in 2020 sparked renewed protests for racial justice across the world, led by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement. Coverage of these events permeated news outlets worldwide. Although the Latinx community showed more support for the BLM movement in this case than in previous years, much ground still needs to be covered if we are to attain a fuller understanding of the attitudes of the Latinx community in the U.S. towards African American people. To that end, this study examines the attitudes of Hispanic people in the U.S. towards the African American community and BLM. For the study, I conducted ten ethnographic interviews with Hispanic-Americans who are consumers of Spanish-speaking news media and were living in the United States from 2012 to 2020. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using scholarly concepts from Communication Studies and Spanish Studies on the perceptions of race and ethnicity within the Latinx/ Hispanic community and the effects of news framing on perceptions of the African American community. I found that the Hispanic community strongly rejected umbrella terms, dissociated the Latino “Us” from the African American “Other”, and relied on children to educate immigrant parents about racial justice issues.


Natalia will be online to field comments on April 16:
10am-noon EDT (Asia: late evening, PST 6am-8am, Africa/Europe: late afternoon)

75 thoughts on “A Continuación, Black Lives Matter: An Ethnographic Analysis of the Perception of the Latinx Community Towards the Black Lives Matter Movement”

  1. What inspired you to come up with this topic? And what aspect(s) of it are you most proud of now that it is complete?

    1. I have always been interested in the concept of identity, and what are the politics of identity. I became interested in this project specifically when I attended a BLM protest in GA in the summer of 2020 and I saw such overwhelming support coming from the Latinx community. I began to wonder how the Latinx community identified with the movement and how they viewed the African American community. Thank you for the question Profesora Garonzik ✨

  2. Congratulations Natalia! So proud of your journey and work here at Wooster. Posselove.

    1. Thank you o much Mamaj ✨you were such a huge factor in my Wooster and posse life! I love you so much and hope to see you soon♥️

  3. Your research brings to light so many salient points regarding the complex notions of race en nuestra comunidad..felicidades Natalia!

    1. Muchísismas gracias! That was my hope, to give credit to our community’s diversity and look past the monolith that the media makes us out to be! Thank you for your kind words✨

  4. Congratulations on finishing your IS and thank you for sharing your research Natalia!

    1. Thank you so much, Lauren! You are the best boss ever and It was such a pleasure to have worked with you.

    1. Thank you! look at us PosseX, finally made it! Thank you for being an amazing friend Stachal✨

    1. ¡Muchísimas gracias, Profesor Cope! Le doy las gracias a usted por haber inculcado un amor hacia la cultura, literatura y la sociedad hispano hablante los últimos cuatro años.

  5. What an awesome and nuanced project, Natalia! Thank you for sharing your research. You’re amazing!

  6. Natalia, what an interesting and important topic! I am also impressed how you narrowed your research questions. Congratulations Natalia for such a committed research. It definitively dialogues with current issues. Your (methodological) decisions does not surprise me. It reminds me your clever interventions during your class participations–intersecciones puntuales y directas. Your IS reminds me/us our active role in our society. Congratulations Natalia!

    1. ¡Gracias Profesor Median! Y gracias a usted por educarme en como expresar ese espíritu de argumentación en español. He disfrutado muchísimo sus clases en los últimos cuatro años.

    1. Couldn’t have done it without our late-night study sessions! I love you so much my dear friend♥️

    1. Thank you so much Alegnta! I know you will reach so much further by your senior year♥️

  7. Great work, Natalia! Your topic is very interesting and nuanced. If you were to continue your research, what other dynamics about the Latinx community and BLM would you like to address?

    1. Lynette you really helped me immensely in getting through this school year, and I thank you so much for your patience! Thank you so much for your question, I think there is so much more work to be done to understand how the Spanish-speaking news media is representing and framing the BLM movement. I would like to do a close analysis of what frames are being used in Spanish-speaking media to report on African American people and BLM protests.

    1. Thank you, Tessa! you were so instrumental in helping me organize and revise my ideas in this project✨

  8. Such an interesting topic! I have also noticed something similar specifically on social media during the time of the protests. Many latinx people were distancing themselves when we should all come together. Great topic!

  9. Excellent and important work, Natalia! Your analysis of the “mestizaje” trope in Latinx culture, and of the constructs of race and their difference from U.S. modes, is especially relevant today. Also important is your attention to Spanish-speaking media, which is so influential in our communities. Looking forward to what you will do after Wooster!

    1. ¡Muchísimas gracias Dr. García! Usted ha sido una inspiración en su trabajo con la comunidad Latina en Wooster, estoy muy emocionada para ver el crecimiento que Wooster ha iniciado con nuestra comunidad.

  10. Excellent work, Natalia. Thank you for sharing your unique perspective on the BLM movement.

  11. Hola Natalia!
    Me relevante me parece tu estudio and very well done as well! I was especially touched by the results from the one light-skinned participant of Mexican origin. One of my results in my IS touched on something similar in that when outward characterizations of people fail (like the high school race identifications test you mention) current language trends like Spanish/Spanglish in the US “reveal[] how race has been remapped from the body onto language” (Zentella 2017, pg 210). I really like how you bring attention to this.

    One point I would just like to know more about is how younger generations can educate their parents on the issue of race? Do you think that they might have a greater understanding of the many levels of race that go beyond just skin color? (like language above)

    And sorry this question was so extensive haha, I just really had a lot of overlap with my study!

    1. Thank you so much for this question! And as an immigrant, I have encouraged my family to view and understand race from the American binary of race. It is true that the Latinx perception of race and ethnicity is very different from the one in the states, but I think it’s crucial for Latinx immigrants to not accept but UNDERSTAND the binary of race in the US. And in turn, see where the Latinx community stands in relation to that binary. I was able to help my family and myself better understand this concept by encouraging my family to watch historical American films and documentaries that represent the African American experience, especially since I also didn’t completely understand it at a younger age either. Also, while parents are watching Spanish-speaking media it’s crucial that when the immigrant child hears information that is not correct, for them to call it out and start a welcoming and understanding conversation with the parent. I also think it’s important that Spanish-speaking media begin to change their rhetoric towards the African American community. But overall, immigrant children need to be patient and understanding with their parents because they didn’t grow up with this system of race embedded with their identity as we have. Thank you again for this question, Justin!

  12. This is really interesting, Natalia. When you use the term dissociation for your second finding, do you mean it in the same way that we discussed how dissociation is used in political rhetoric? I’m just curious. Congratulations on completing your project!

    1. Hi, Professor Bostdorff ! Thank you for this question. I think it is a similar concept because I am referring to the disassociation of the Latinx community’s identification of race from the U.S’s concept of race. A great example of this was present in one of my interviewee’s responses to their identification of race in America. Participant Luis who was of a dark complexion and born in Colombia claimed that even though he identified as being of the black race, he didn’t believe that the BLM movement would benefit his life because he was “black-indigenous”. He split the concept of belonging to the “black-Race” into “black-indigenous race” which disassociates with the U.S concept of “black”. This is somewhat similar to disassociation used in political rhetoric but in a more micro level.

  13. This is such an interesting and topical project. I am so proud of you for all your hard work on this IS!!

  14. Natalia, thank you so much for sharing your hard work on this project. Congratulations and kudos, your symposium was amazing.

    1. Thank you! I think my favorite part was interviewing people from my community. It really gave me perspective concepts that I had never thought to question.

  15. So grateful to know you and see you grow over the past 4 years. Thanks for working so hard to bring light to this incredibly important topic! You are brilliant and this project is so well done.

  16. How I can tell that you’ve put so much thought and care into this!! Amazing work!

  17. Congratulations, Natalia; this is great work! It was interesting to see how your research evolved and learn about the full picture of what you were researching.

  18. Great work, Natalia, both in presenting your I.S. and fielding multiple questions about your research so adeptly. Keep your passion for social justice and critical analyses of race flying high always!

  19. YOU ARE AMAZING. Thank you for sharing your work with us. I can’t wait to see all that you do moving forward. You constantly inspire me with your kindness and thoughtfulness!

  20. Great work Natalia! Thanks for sharing! Wish you the best in your future endeavors!

  21. Bravo Natalia, for taking on this topic. Not only is it so timely, it interweaves notions of a generation gap, cross-cultural perceptions of ethnic communities and history, and the Immigrant experience. I found this comment in your summary so interesting:
    “relied on children to educate immigrant parents about racial justice issues”
    Imagine an older generation relying on the younger generation to more fully engage with BLM, which has such a deeply embedded historical context going back generations?
    Thank you for sharing!

  22. ¡Felicitaciones, Natalia! Your approach to the intertwined nature of representation and identity is original.

    Wishing you every success with your future endeavors!

  23. Wonderful and critical work, Natalia! Congratulations and best of luck in your future endeavors!

  24. Congratulations, Natalia! This is a superb IS and a very compelling presentation. Thank you!

    Wishing you all the very best for the future. You are going to make a tremendous impact in the world.

  25. You are so undeniably talented Natalia. I wonder how these results may change with Black Latinx populations, or mixed Black/White Latinx children…so much more to explore!

  26. Felicidades, Natalia! This was such an interesting and relevant topic. It hit very close to home — I still feel uncomfortable answering race questions on surveys when you are pushed to select one. You should be very proud of your work and your presentation. All the best to you in your future — don’t be a stranger and keep in touch!

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