Your typical Latino male
Your typical Latino male
By Jan Peña-Davis — Latinas- we come in all shapes, sizes, colors and stereotypes. Some true and others simply ‘entertainment’- or so many believe. But where would we be, ladies, without our males- our counterparts- our sons, brothers, fathers, abuelos, tíos and best friends? And...
Who are you calling fat?
Who are you calling fat?
By Jan Peña-Davis — One of the few jokes still acceptable to chuckle out loud over are ‘fat’ jokes. And with media bombarding the public with images of the ‘perfect’ body, it’s no wonder American adolescents are depressed. And fat too. And what does one do when depressed-why...
Shades of identity
Shades of identity
By Jan Peña-Davis — “My bad, girl, I thought you were black.” Fifteen-year-old Delisha Lopez recounts as she remembers how her new locker partner greeted her at the start of this school year. A sophomore student at Roberto Clemente Community Academy in gentrified Humboldt...
Latina funeral director breaks stereotypes
Latina funeral director breaks stereotyp
By Jan Peña-Davis — Located on the corners of Armitage and Kimball Avenues, the Caribe Funeral Home has served the mainly Spanish-speaking community of Humboldt Park since 1965. It is believed to be the first Latino-owned funeral home in the state of Illinois. Most of Rebecca...
Jesus Wept
Jesus Wept
By Jan Peña-Davis — Light bounces from building to doorway to woman, changing each from brown to gold and back to brown as evening prepares to settle in. Juliette-balconied buildings, some with shuttered windows to close out the heat, snuggle closely to its neighbor, allowing...
Susana Baca is Blatina
Susana Baca is Blatina
By Jan Peña-Davis — Susana Baca from the University of Chicago archive Blatinas, Hispanic women with obvious African roots (darker skin and kinkier hair), are few and far between in the entertainment industry, unless playing the maid in telenovelas or the espiritista or la...
Latina works to diversify transportation field
Latina works to diversify transportation
By Jan Peña Davis – An eight-hour day and five-day work week is foreign to Maria Teresa Roman. She juggles two positions in the public transportation field. She is the government and community relations officer at the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), where one of her responsibilities...
Life lessons
Life lessons
By Jan Peña-Davis — “Thank you for coming today,” was my daily greeting to my class of high school juniors and seniors at Roberto Clemente Community Academy in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. I know that the simple of act of getting to school requires enormous...
Going Home
Going Home
By Jan Peña-Davis — My mother’s only wish before she died was for her children to visit Cuba and meet our family. Ten years ago, I took my only son, who thinks he’s boricua and my youngest daughter, who’s often asked if she’s Brazilian to Cuba. I finally understood...