Entertainment

Here’s Why One Professor In San Diego Started A Course On Selena And Latino Media

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Students at San Diego State University might want to brush up on their Selena history as a new class focused on the Late Tejano star is set to be offered next spring. Tuesday, on what would have been her 48th birthday, SDSU announced it will offer a new course dedicated to Quintanilla and her influence on Latino culture. The class will be called “Selena and Latinx Media Representation”and students can begin registering for the course on November 1.

The course will explore Latino identities and socio-cultural representations through Selena’s music and career.

The class will be a celebration of Latino culture and what the Tejano Queen means in terms of representation.

Credit: @nate_sdsu/Twitter

Dr. Nathian Shae Rodriguez, an assistant professor of digital media at SDSU, advocated for the course and will be the one teaching it. He says the class is more than just about Selena but an overall exploration of her influence on Latino culture.

“She just has this influence on different generations that is still being felt today,” Rodriguez said. “Not just in pop culture but in Latinx culture and I feel that it’s important to have a course that highlights her influence.”

Rodriguez says the class will be divided into two segments, Selena’s life and her influence as a whole. He stresses the cultural impact that she is still having on today’s pop culture scene, most notably in music and in fashion. The timing for the class was also perfect, Rodriguez points out students in this socioeconomic atmosphere are looking representation now more than ever.

“Look at TV and film and she is still being talked about, Netflix is releasing a show on her this year and our students will be dissecting it in real time,” Rodriguez said. “Whether it’s marketing. fashion and music festivals, Selena is more popular than ever.

For students, getting to learn and discuss a star like Selena is important because of the lack of Latino representation today.

Rodriguez, who grew up in Texas just like Selena, says getting to teach the course is special to him. He learned to speak Spanish by listening to Selena’s music and was one of the few mainstream Latinos growing up. The hope is students taking the course will be able to have to critical discussions and lessons on not only Selena but her influence on pop culture as a whole.

Rodriguez adds that the class is important for college-age students, many of them 18-20 years-old, because they didn’t get to experience, first-hand, the peak of Selena’s stardom. He says they may know her music and have seen her film but haven’t had a chance to dissect Selena as an influence on the mainstream scope.

“She was ahead of her time. Her fashion, her music, her personality was so contagious and now people are looking back now and realize how important Selena was,” Rodriguez said. “Her fashion is still relevant now. Cardi B and Bruno Mars just covered her music, She has yet to go out of style.”

This will be the first course in the country that is focused on Selena and her impact.

Rodriguez says the course will be on a trial run next spring will plans to make it a permanent course at SDSU. The class is a collaboration between SDSU’s School of Journalism and Media Studies and the university’s Digital Humanities Initiative.

News of the course being offered has been nothing short of positive from students. Rodriguez says many have told him how important it is to them to see the class being offered.

“People were commenting left and right about how excited they are to learn about themselves,” Rodriguez said. “They’ve basically told me representation matters and this class being offered in a way shows just that. This class isn’t just about a celebrity, its about representation and students being able to see themselves in our world.”

READ: Netflix Is Looking To Cast Roles For Their Selena Series And It Could Be You

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Julián Castro Walked Onstage To Selena, Struggles With Spanish, And Other Ways He Lives The Latino Experience On The Campaign Trail

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Julián Castro Walked Onstage To Selena, Struggles With Spanish, And Other Ways He Lives The Latino Experience On The Campaign Trail

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Last week, the 2020 presidential election officially kicked off with the Democratic debate featuring ten politicians — and another ten the following night. It’s a bit subjective to say who came out on top as the clear winner because there were definitely a couple of them. Sen. Elizabeth Warren was good, as was Sen. Kamala Harris — but without a doubt, there was one breakthrough star.

Less than a week after Julián Castro delivered a commanding performance at the debates in Miami, yesterday he returned to Texas and walked onstage to Selena’s “Baila Esta Cumbia.”

Credit: @SawyerHackett / Twitter

The former San Antonio mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (under Obama), was in Texas over the weekend and made some critical stops including visiting a detention center. He also spoke to potential voters at St. John’s church in Houston.

This is not the first time Castro has played Selena during a campaign stop. He began this tradition since day one of his candidacy for president.

Credit: @cristela9 / Twitter

We love that he’s a fan of Selena! Honestly, it would be more surprising if he wasn’t since he is from Texas, the homeland of the queen of Tejano music. It just makes sense that Selena would be a part of his campaign since she is so important to his home state.

Castro and Selena have a lot in common so it makes sense that the presidential hopeful would play her music.

Credit: @KasieDC / Twitter

Yes, they’re both from Texas and are of Mexican descent. Most importantly, they represent a future of their times. Selena gave Latinos a mainstream representation in music they had never seen before. Castro is offering a future that young Latinos want and deserve.

Selena and Castro were not brought up speaking Spanish in their house.

Credit: @shoshochristine / Twitter

Castro’s speech in San Antonio included several talking points that he made during the debates including that undocumented immigrants should have the right to health care, dealing with climate change, and women’s rights.

“People coming to this country in these ways are desperate. I don’t believe in criminalizing desperation,” he said about immigration reform.

He also added that his first task as president would be to deal with undoing Trump’s mess. “My first executive order as POTUS will be to recommit the United States to the Paris Agreement.”

Like Selena, and many other Latinos, Castro admits that his Spanish needs work because of the need to assimilate.

“I guess the best place to start is to say that there are Latinos who have lived here for generations,” he said. “My grandmother that I grew up with got here almost 100 years ago in 1922. In my grandparents time, in my mom’s time, Spanish was looked down upon. You were punished in school if you spoke Spanish. You were not allowed to speak it. People, I think, internalized this oppression about it, and basically wanted their kids to first be able to speak English. And I think that in my family, like a lot of other families, that the residue of that, the impact of that is that there are many folks whose Spanish is not that great.”

Check out the video below to watch Castro’s Selena entrance.

Honestly, this is the kind of entrance we want more politicians to take part in. Who doesn’t like a Selena jam to listen to?

READ: Julián Castro Did Not Hold Back When Democrats Debated Immigration During The First Debate

The Sixth Annual Selena Quintanilla Fan Gathering Happens This Weekend

Entertainment

The Sixth Annual Selena Quintanilla Fan Gathering Happens This Weekend

Latinos can celebrate Selena Quintanilla on any given day. We can honor her legacy on the day of her birth, on the day she left us, and any day of the week. That is why we’re totally down to go on a Selena cruise, or going to Corpus Christie or dressing up as her on Halloween.

But, let’s be real, we don’t need a birthday, or anniversary or Halloween to come around to celebrate the Tejano queen. And that’s exactly why we’re looking forward to an event right here at home.

The sixth annual Selena Fan Gathering is taking place on Saturday, June 1 in Los Angeles.

The day event is filled with so much love for the Queen of Tejano including live performances, vendors, giveaways, contests, raffles, DJ, impersonators, art, and a life-size photo prop.

Special guests includes Mario “Scar” from Cholos Try.

We know what you’re thinking? You want to show up and recreate the “Anything for Salinas” scene, right? Yup, us too. Organizers suggest showing up super early if you want a photo op with Scar.

Muralist Levi Ponce will also be there to talk to fans and create a new Selena mural.

Ponce has created some of the most stunning murals featuring Latino pioneers. Click here to see some more of his incredible work.

The Selinas independent vendors will be there selling the cutest Selena merch.

The Colombian vendors are coming a long way to meet L.A. fans, and we cannot wait to get our hands on these cool items.

The Como La Flor band will also be there.

Saturday’s event will be poppin’ with the best Selena tribute cover bands.

Here’s the break down:

Where: Plaza De La Raza. Park Parking lot on Mission Rd.

When: June 1, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. You are advised to show up early.

Click here for more information.

READ: A Quintanilla Family-Approved Selena Series Is Coming To Netflix And People Are Freaking Out

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