The Weekly Text, October 7, 2016

Mark’s Text Terminal continues to observe Hispanic Heritage Month. I’ve found in compiling material for posts that I have a paucity of material on subjects appropriate for this month. This week’s Text is a reading on Bartolomeo de las Casas and a reading comprehension worksheet to accompany it. De las Casas, as you may know, was a Dominican friar and bishop (and a contemporary and acquaintance of Christopher Columbus) who protested Spanish imperial policy in the New World, particularly the abuse and eventual genocide of the natives. He set all this down in his classic anti-imperialist tract, A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies. As I searched its title, I was surprised to find the book available as a PDF from Columbia University. I consider this book one of the most important I read as an undergraduate.

In choosing de las Casas as a subject for a Weekly Text, I was momentarily stymied by my lack of understanding of the difference between the terms Hispanic, Latino, and Spanish. Fortunately, there are a number of clear explanations of this nomenclature out there; I knew this because recently, on Facebook, I came across this excellent comic delineating the difference between Latino and Hispanic. By my understanding of these terms, Bartolomeo de las Casas meets the definition of Hispanic.

As always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Post Scriptum: An old high school friend of mine who knows well whereof she speaks forwarded this article about the use of the term “Latinx” as a signifier for people from the Spanish-speaking world.

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