The Upcoming ‘Anything For Selena’ Podcast Is For Latinas In Search Of Belonging

Twenty-five years after Selena was murdered, the Queen of Tejano Music remains a profound cultural icon. Her discography is belted out in parties and bedrooms, the 1997 biographical musical drama about her life still brings people to tears and her memory remains foundational to the building of some Latinx identities even today.

In the upcoming podcast Anything for Selena, Maria Garcia embarks on a journey to understand the late artist’s cultural impact and how she symbolizes our bicultural community’s desire to belong. 

Launching in January 2021, Anything for Selena is a nine-episode narrative podcast produced by Futuro Studios and Boston’s NPR station WBUR, where Garcia works as the senior editor of arts and culture.

Unlike media projects centering on the singer in the past, the podcast isn’t biographical. Instead, the program weaves journalism, cultural analysis, history, politics and artful storytelling to explore the cultural duality Selena exemplified and how, more than two decades after her death, she remains a vessel for understanding Latinx identity. The project will also consider how Selena as an embodiment of Latinidad has excluded many Latinxs.

“What I’m most interested in is how this apolitical, working-class, beautiful girl from South Texas changed Latinidad and how we talk about race and belonging in this country as well as how the symbolism she sparked is as relevant and utilized today as ever before,” Garcia tells FIERCE.

The journalist aims to accomplish this by exploring Selena’s contributions to music, body politics and identity through several interviews, including some with Selena’s relatives. She also shares her own experiences as a queer first-generation immigrant from the Texas-Mexico border. 

Growing up, Selena was foundational to Garcia’s identity formation.

Maria Garcia

Born in Mexico, Garcia moved to El Paso, Texas, when she was three years old. She spent her weekdays north of the border and her weekends in Ciudad Juárez. In school, she was Mary. At home, she was Maria. Even as a child, she noticed the duality of her being and felt a need to compartmentalize herself. Then she discovered Selena, a Mexican-American talent and beauty commanding attention in a male-dominated musical genre and presenting the complexities of her identity and culture with pride and flamboyance. Her brown curvaceous figure intoxicatingly swayed on stages to traditional Mexican rhythms; her roaring laugh shadowed her imperfect Spanish during interviews. She wasn’t apologizing for what some might have considered linguistic faults. Instead, she embraced the fullness of her pocha identity and demanded her place in Latinx and U.S. entertainment as she was.

“Selena was truly the first example I saw in mass media of someone who embodied these qualities of myself who I thought, in my young easily influenced brain, were flawed. She was the first example I saw who celebrated these parts of myself I was still trying to make sense of. That was profound for me, and it stayed with me,” Garcia says.

Even after leaving Texas, where the Tejana star’s face graces several public spaces, she continued to be influenced by the singer. While in graduate school in New York, Garcia wrote scholarly essays about Selena. Upon graduating, she returned to the U.S.-Mexico border as a journalist, and the cultural icon took on new meaning and inspiration. Upon moving to Boston and joining the team at WBUR three years ago, she pitched an idea to finally investigate questions about Selena’s cultural, political and social legacy through longform radio storytelling.

Anything for Selena is the manifestation of this lifelong quest.

Maria Garcia

While Garcia recognizes that some of the themes of the podcast, including family, body image and acceptance, could appeal to many listeners, she emphasizes that Anything for Selena is written and told from a personal lens that will most resonate with fellow Latinxs and children of immigrants.

“I’m writing this for people like me, people who would naturally gravitate to something like this, human stories, survival stories, by a first-generation fronterista who is not trying to translate myself or be legible to a general white audience,” she says.

In fact, each episode will be accompanied by Spanish-language commentary that reacts to the show, a component that Garcia admits was as important to the project as it was intimidating for her. Like the subject of her podcast, Garcia also doesn’t speak fluent Spanish. While recording these segments have sometimes made her uneasy, remembering Selena’s pocha-accented Spanglish allowed her to overcome her trepidations and, she says, helps legitimize the experiences and language of first-generation Latinxs, a core objective of the podcast overall. 

“Deep inside all of ourselves, we have an inherent need and desire to belong, no matter how much we think we do or don’t. Selena’s story, her legacy and a lot of the movements that she has spawned, elucidate, or help us make sense of, our own quest to belong,” Garcia says.

Anything For Selena debuts in January 2021. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or anywhere you listen.

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Missouri Woman Seen Holding Pelosi Sign Faces First Judge In Series Of Court Dates For Federal Charges

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Missouri Woman Seen Holding Pelosi Sign Faces First Judge In Series Of Court Dates For Federal Charges

homegrownterrorists / Instagram

Update January 21, 2021

A Missouri woman named Emily Hernandez had a court hearing in St. Louis after her involvement in the Capitol riots. Hernandez, 21, is facing several federal charges after participating in the deadly Capitol riot.

Emily Hernandez is facing the music after storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

According to KSDK, Hernandez, who is from Sullivan, Missouri, has been released without bond after her first hearing in St. Louis. She has been ordered to stay in the Eastern District of Missouri until her next court date in Washington. Part of the terms of her release is that she is not allowed to travel to Washington other than for her court date.

During the hearing, she was recorded saying, “I’m sorry, I’m nervous.”

Hernandez is facing the following federal charges: knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct which impedes the conduct of government business, steal, sell, convey or dispose of anything of value in the United States, disruptive conduct in the Capitol buildings, parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol buildings.

Original: After a group of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Jan. 6, people immediately started identifying the intruders. Videos have been circulating and people are steadily contacting the FBI to expose them. Instagram page @homegrownterrorists is one of the leading forces in identifying the rioters.

On Jan. 6, people stormed our Capitol building and the American people are demanding justice.

Images of people storming the Capitol building and looting the offices of members of Congress startled people around the world. One of the safest places in the world was overrun by far-right Trump supporters attacking the democratic process. Americans are demanding justice and working together to identify and report as many people to the FBI that were at the Capitol.

The Instagram page is unapologetically encouraging followers to identify people at the Capitol.

Five people died as a result of the riot, two of them were police officers. The Instagram page, run anonymously, is encouraging people to share the photos to their stories to increase the reach. The account might not have any legal power, but it is having some success. There has been more than one person identified through the IG page that has led to people losing jobs and being arrested by the FBI.

The account has disappeared multiple times but always comes back.

The mystery person running the account has expressed concern over their safety. The account has been suspended by Instagram after being reported by multiple people. There has even been some talk about them receiving threats of violence via DMs.

The person who runs the account has mentioned it randomly on their stories but with no real detail. According to recent stories, the person behind the account doesn’t want to antagonize the people sending threats.

The owner of the account did say that they have been contacted by Instagram about the account.

A tweet from HomeGrownTerrorists caught Instagram’s attention and the account was reinstated. However, there was a backup account to keep functioning in case the original got deleted. IG and the account owner reached an agreement where they get to keep the main account and the backup account was permanently banned. No questions asked.

If you want to help or be connected to the cause, you can follow this page on Instagram.

There are a lot of people left to identify and the nation’s law enforcement is bracing for more violence. Capitols in all 50 states are on alert for possible attacks and the National Guard is being mobilized in big numbers for the inauguration. We are not out of the woods when it comes to the threats that have been made.

READ: After Last Week’s Riots, A Black Woman Has Been Appointed to U.S. Capitol Police Chief

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Photo courtesy Forward Latino

An unnamed UPS delivery driver has been fired after being caught using racist language when delivering a package to a Latino household. The incident occurred on December 17th.

The video, which was caught on a doorbell camera’s security footage, shows a white UPS driver appearing to be angry when delivering a package.

“Now you don’t get f—–g nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—–g English language,” he says while writing a “failed to deliver” notice and pasting it on the house’s front door.

The Aviles family says that the footage shows that the UPS worker never even attempted to deliver the package in the first place. He never rang the doorbell or knocked on the door. Based on that, the family has come to the conclusion that the driver intentionally withheld the package from the family out of prejudice and spite

They believe that the only way the driver could’ve known that the family was Latino was by making assumptions based off the name on the package.

“The only information this driver had that could serve as a trigger for this deep-seated hate was the name on the package,” said Forward Latino President Darryl Morin at a press conference addressing the incident.

“So what we have here is a very intentional act to ruin Christmas for somebody, for someone to spew this hateful rhetoric, and quite honestly to deceive their employer,” Morin continued.

Per UPS, the employee has now been fired. “There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry or hate. This is very serious and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment. UPS is wholeheartedly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” UPS said in a statement. They also said they contacted the family to apologize.

But the Aviles family is still rattled that such bigoted people are out and about, letting their petty prejudices effect other people’s lives.

“The package was a Christmas gift that we eventually received after Christmas Day, but what if it happened to have time-sensitive content like an epipen or a book I needed to take a final,” said Shirley Aviles, the mother of the man who lives at the address, told NBC News. “I don’t get it. It’s just sad.”

Aviles seemed disturbed about what this incident says about human nature. “This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them. That’s important because that’s when you see people’s true colors and that’s what’s scary,”

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