La Raza

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This article is about the term as a concept of Latin American ethno-racial identity. For other uses, see La Raza (disambiguation).

La Raza is a Spanish language term translating to "The Race, Spanish raza having the meaning of "race, ethnicity; breed, strain, lineage". The term expresses ethnic or racial pride, and is used with somewhat different shades of meaning in Spain and in Hispanic America.

In Spain, raza denotes specifically Spanish or European Christian (Roman Catholic) heritage. The Francoist film Raza, from 1944, which celebrates ideally Spanish national qualities, is an example of this usage.

In Latin America, la raza may emphasize Native American heritage, or it may express Latino (Hispanic) identity (La Raza being short for La Raza Hispánica). Día de la Raza marks the arrival of Christopher Columbus to America. The term is also used by the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group in the United States. "La Raza" is a popular song among Mexicans and Mexican-Americans recorded by the Mexican-American rapper Kid Frost and released in 1990.

In his 1925 book, La Raza Cósmica (English: The Cosmic Race), Mexican writer José Vasconcelos described La Raza Cosmica as the product of gradual racial mixing that was already underway in the Hispanic world. Vasconcelos believed that eventually all of the people within the former Spanish Empire would be completely mixed into a new race (see also The Race of the Future).

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