Racialization and Racism

The struggle and (im)possibilities of decolonizing Latin American citizenship practices and politics in Toronto

This paper explores the tensions racialized migrants negotiate when politically organizing and enacting citizenship within the context of the Canadian white settler state. I focus on the experiences of Latin Americans in Toronto and the politics surrounding a cultural celebration – Hispanic Heritage Month. While some Latin Americans sought to use this event to gain recognition and assert their belonging to Canadian society, others opposed its naming, objectives and organization, and opted to create an alternative celebration – the Latin-America History Collective’s Día de la Verdad/Day of Truth Rally. I demonstrate that the narratives and practices mobilized around Hispanic Heritage Month and Latin-America History Collective’s Rally reveal how different forms of migrant political organizing can internalize, reproduce and contest white settler colonial social relations. Overall, this paper aims to contribute to and complicate debates on the fraught nature of racialized migrants’ citizenship, politics and identity formation in Canada, by emphasizing the vast heterogeneity of Latin American communities and decolonizing possibilities.

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Volume 38 Issue 2

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