“One day I will pack my bags of books and paper. One day I will say good bye to Mango. I am too strong for her to keep me here forever. One day I will go away. Friends and neighbors will say, What happened to that Esperanza? Where did she go with all those books and paper? Why did she march so far away? They will not know I have gone away to come back. For the ones I left behind. For the ones who cannot get out.”— Sandra Cisneros (from The House on Mango Street)
“my mother told me that if you have a choice between being respected and being loved, always choose being respected. because if you someone respects you love may come, but if they love you without respect it will go.”—(via dieprettygypsy)
Latinos are a key component to business success in the US. And they will be for a while, a new study says. With a buying power of $1 trillion in 2010 that is estimated to grow 50 percent to $1.5 trillion in 2015, Latinos can no longer be seen as a sub-segment of the American economy.
“I will represent the Negro people first,” he said during the campaign in 1944. “I will represent, after that, all the other American people.”
In the decades since, the so-called Harlem seat has been held by only two men, Mr. Powell and the man who unseated him in 1970, RepresentativeCharles B. Rangel, each of whom became among the most influential African-American voices in the nation’s capital, representing a neighborhood known as a center of black arts and culture, scholarship and struggle.
“Their lore was that they spoke for black America, they spoke for Harlem, and they spoke for the Harlems all over this country,” said David A. Paterson, the former New York governor and a Harlem native.
But as demographic change has altered the makeup of Upper Manhattan — Harlem has become less black and neighborhoods around it more Hispanic — black politicians are concerned that they might lose this prized pulpit.
Under new boundaries imposed by a federal court as part of the reapportionment process every 10 years, the district has been extended into the Bronx, and more than half of its population is now Hispanic. In the Democratic primary, Mr. Rangel faces challenges from a Dominican-born state legislator, Senator Adriano Espaillat, who argues that it is time for his community to be represented in Congress, as well as from two African-American candidates: Clyde Williams, the former national political director for the Democratic National Committee, and Joyce Johnson, a former local Democratic district leader.
Mr. Rangel, 81, is well known and has organizational and fund-raising advantages heading into what is expected to be a low-turnout June 26 primary — and the primary will probably be decisive in this overwhelmingly Democratic district. But the race is likely to be tough, not only because of changing demographics and boundaries, but also because Mr. Rangel has faced ethics charges and health problems. And, whoever wins this year, some black civic leaders worry that a black candidate would not be a lock to win the seat whenever Mr. Rangel leaves office.
“It certainly jeopardizes the future of this great tradition,” Mr. Paterson said, “not only for the greater Harlem community, but for all of the many around the country who look to that venue for leadership on key issues.”
Mr. Espaillat seems to be attempting to strike an emotional chord with the Dominican community. His Web site begins with a video showing scenes of Washington Heights while Latin music plays in the background. One of his staffers then speaks in Spanish about the chance to elect the country’s first Dominican-born congressman.
“I find that in the district, there’s a great deal of discontent,” Mr. Espaillat said in an interview. “People want a change.”
Ms. Johnson said the fact that more than half the district was female should not be overlooked, especially at a time when Democrats felt that Republicans were attacking women’s rights. Though she is primarily promoting her background in politics and community advocacy, Ms. Johnson said, “there is a benefit, too, that I’m a woman at this time.”
Mr. Williams, who has worked for Presidents Obama and Clinton, said he was the only one of Mr. Rangel’s challengers who had worked in Washington politics.
“I think it’s time for new ideas,” he said, “to have someone who has some understanding of how to get things done.”
But many see a tall task for Mr. Espaillat and the other challengers, in part because they could split the anti-Rangel vote and in part because Mr. Rangel, whose mother was black and his father Puerto Rican, already has established support among Hispanics. Mr. Rangel won re-election with more than half the vote two years ago, despite a major ethics scandal that led to his censure for violations including failure to pay taxes and improper solicitation of fund-raising donations. Even before he was censured, Mr. Rangel was forced to relinquish his cherished role as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.