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The term originated in the 1925 book, La Raza Cósmica (English: The Cosmic Race) by the Mexican writer José Vasconcelos. He described la Raza Cósmica as the product of gradual racial mixing that was already underway in the Latin world. Vasconcelos believed that eventually all of the people within the former Spanish Empire would be completely mixed into a new race.
The term expresses ethnic or racial pride, and is used with somewhat different shades of meaning in Spain and in Latin America. In Spain, raza denotes specifically Spanish or European Christian (Roman Catholic) heritage. Francisco Franco wrote a novel under the pen name "Jaime de Andrade" which was turned into the film Raza of 1944. The film, which celebrates ideally Spanish national qualities, exemplifies this usage. In Central America and Mexico, la Raza emphasizes an Amerindian or mestizo heritage, or it may express Latino (Hispanic) identity (La Raza being short for La Raza hispánica). In the Southern Cone, it denotes a Spanish or European origin. Día de la Raza marks the arrival of Christopher Columbus to America.
- Race and ethnicity in Latin America
- Raza Unida Party
- National Council of La Raza
- Bidal Aguero
- The Clash of Civilizations
- Romero, Dennis (7 June 2016). "Dear Trump Fans: La Raza Is Not a Racist Term". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 7 June 2016.