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The Spanish term La Raza translates as "the People", 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 of 1944, which celebrates ideally Spanish national qualities, exemplifies 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 National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group in the United States of America, uses the term.
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).
- Race and ethnicity in Latin America
- Raza Unida Party
- Bidal Aguero
- The Clash of Civilizations