Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Héctor L. Delgado
La Raza translates literally to “the race,” but a more accurate or colloquial translation is “the people.” The term la raza cósmica (the cosmic race) was coined by Mexican scholar and politician José Vasconcelos to refer to the mixing of the races and, consequently, to the birth of a new race, latinoamericanos (Latin Americans). According to Vasconcelos, over time various races mix with one another to form a new type of human. La Raza was used sparingly prior to the 1960s, but during the 1960s political activists, especially Chicano movement activists, used the term increasingly to refer to themselves and other people of Latin American descent who shared the cultural and political legacies of Spanish conquest and colonialism and U.S. imperialism and internal colonialism. The term is similar to the panethnic terms Latino and Hispanic insofar as all three refer to the same group, although raza ...