Here is a great example of what it means and what it “feels like” to be Hispanic, Latino… (you’ll get the picture) in America:
Via Tri-Valley Herald Thursday, August 26, 2004
In hyphenated America, where people insist on using ethnic labels such as "Mexican-American" or "Cuban-American," for many the question arises, "What am I?" as in, "Am I Mexican, American, Chicana, Latina, Hispanic or all of the above?"
People ask, "Where are you from?" And when you say, "New York" or "Idaho," they insist, "No, but where are you really from?" -- meaning, why are your eyes so dark or your skin so (pick one) brown, black, cinnamon, white, tan?
Michelle Herrera Mulligan and Robyn Moreno have collected 20 true stories about growing up Latina in "Border-Line Personalities", comprised by essays organized into sections about family, love, identity and work. What holds them together is that little hyphen that connects "Latin" with "America" and signifies a whole new world.