According to 71 percent of Latinos polled by the Pew Research Center, you don’t have to speak Spanish to be considered Latino. Hooray! (And duh.) However, that leaves 28 percent of Latinos who think you’re not Latino if you don’t speak Spanish.
“Among Hispanics, views on speaking Spanish and Hispanic identity differ,” Mark Hugo Lopez, director of Hispanic research at the Pew Research Center, wrote in a Pew blog. “Though majorities of all key subgroups say speaking Spanish isn’t necessary to be considered Hispanic.” Well, duh.
So, yes, views on whether or not you’re Latino if you speak or don’t speak Spanish differ. But, one thing that 95 percent of the people polled agree on is that it’s important for future generations to speak the language.
Spanish, nevertheless — even though usage differs — is still what unites the group: “About three-quarters of Latinos, no matter where they are from, speak Spanish at home,” Lopez said.
Tomato, tomate. Don’t let your language skills stop you from celebrating your Latinoness, we have more than just language in our beautiful Latino culture.
Read more about the Pew Research Center poll here.
If you’re a Mexican-American from Southern California, there’s a pretty good chance you know someone who puts Three Flowers pomade on their dome. It’s great if you’re on a budget. Well, Pete Adame really liked a product out of Japan called Cool Grease, but at over $20 a can, it was too pricey. He and his buddy J-Bird were like forget that. They grabbed some five-gallon buckets from Home Depot and started experimenting with ingredients to come up with their own concoction.
After brewing up buckets of homemade pomade, they started giving it away to friends. “I thought … if there’s a way I could figure out to make it, I can just give it away to all of my friends and where they don’t have to buy it – cool. I’m happy with that,” recalls Pete.
Their friends loved it because it wasn’t sticky. And barbers around Southern California started to notice.
When their friends would go to barber shops, barbers would notice the distinctive smelling, water-soluble pomade with a wax-like hold. It was a lot like Three Flowers, but bettah, so they wanted to know more about it.
When the demand for the product grew outside of the freebies they were giving to friends, J-Bird started bringing up the business possibilities. At first Pete was all chale and resisted selling the pomade because, according to him, “It was never a business. We just got this gnarly kick out of it. We were just working stiffs.” But people want what they want and you can only resist for so long.
Believe it or not, the Great Recession was kind of great.
Pete had been working as a machinist, but in 2009 he lost his job because of the Great Recession. He and J-Bird, who worked as a cook, wanted to open up a hot dog restaurant. Well, they couldn’t get a loan, so instead, Pete took his severance pay ($1,000) and invested it in their pomade production gig.
They had built up quite the underground following…then sh*t got serious.
Now that Suavecito has built a huge fan base, they could probably charge more money for their products. But they won’t. According to Tony Adame, “We want kids from our neighborhood to have the chance of looking good. We want to keep our pomade and clothing so affordable that even we could have afforded it when we were kids.”