April 19th, 2012
10:33 AM ET

Rareview: Sports Illustrated model Jessica Perez on being a white Latina

Sports Illustrated model Jessica Perez is tired of defending her ethnicity.

She is constantly getting question like, “Where are you from really?" and “There’s no way you speak Spanish, right?”

No one believes her when she says “Yes, I am Latina,” because of the way she looks. Perez was born in Costa Rica and Spanish is her first language, but she has pale skin, blonde hair and blue eyes - features people don't typically identify as Latina.

Latinas are diverse, she says, and more than what's on TV or in magazines.

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Filed under: How we look • Latino in America • Rareviews
March 9th, 2012
05:01 PM ET

Rareview: Going natural in corporate America

By Claudia Morales, CNN

(CNN) - Her black, female, co-workers pressured her to re-consider, but Ivy Grant, an associate partner in a marketing consulting firm decided to make the transition from her processed straight hair, to her naturally textured hair twelve years ago, and has no regrets.

Everyone has this fear that you’re not going to be accepted in the work place with this kind of hair,” Grant said referring to her curly afro.
On the other hand, financial executive Michele Chowtai is only eight months into the transition process, and says she is still not sure if she will go “fully natural.” She fears there is a negative stigma she can’t avoid and wonders, “How am I going to be perceived in the work place after I go completely natural?”

More and more black women are grappling with these decisions. The percentage that say they do not use chemical products to straighten or relax their hair increased to 36% in 2011, up from 26% in 2010, according to a report by Mintel, a market intelligence firm.
The desire for healthy hair and an escape from damaging chemical products are two of the reasons why women are choosing to go natural. After years of torturous treatments, scalp burns and high costs, Grant walked into a salon, cut all her hair off and decided she would never go back to chemical relaxers.


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Filed under: Black in America • How we look • Rareviews • Women
February 22nd, 2012
02:59 PM ET

Rareview: finding a place for Yiddish

What happens to a language that has no land?

American Yiddish speakers are asking that about the once popular Jewish language with roots in Hebrew and German.

As some wrestle with this loss –and how it defined who they are and where they come from– a small movement looks to find a new space for their displaced language.

January 19th, 2012
01:19 PM ET

Rareview: Touré: Don't forget blackness, but don't limit it, either

Rareviews go inside the lives of those in America whose stories we don't always hear.

By Claudia Morales, CNN

(CNN) – Writer Touré likes to practice yoga and skydive, and married a woman outside of his race - all things he's been told "black people don't do." In his latest book "Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What It Means to be Black Now," Touré argues that times have changed and there are no limits to the black identity. There is no right or wrong way to "perform blackness" in today's society, he says.

"No one can tell you this is authentic behavior, and this is inauthentic behavior, this is legitimate normative blackness and this is illegitimate non-normative black behavior," he says. " That’s ridiculous."

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Filed under: Black in America • Race • Rareviews • Who we are
January 5th, 2012
12:17 PM ET

Rareview: Going from U.S. soldier to U.S. citizen

By Sari Zeidler, CNN

(CNN) - Dalia Nesmith says she always felt like an American, even as she grew up in a family of illegal immigrants in the United States.

Living between Mexico and the United States, Nesmith held on to her Mexican heritage, but also to her dream of defending the United States, a country where the worries of deportation and a family torn apart were real.

By the time Nesmith joined in the U.S. Air Force, she was a permanent resident - a requirement for her to enlist. For her, the military was a call to action, she said, not the promise of an expedited path to citizenship.


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Filed under: Ethnicity • How we live • Immigration • Latino in America • Rareviews
December 20th, 2011
01:48 PM ET

Rareview: Black Latinos balance two worlds

Rareviews go inside the lives of those in America whose stories we don't always hear.

Imagine growing up and to have your family, friends, neighbors, community look at you as the other - maybe because of the color of your skin or the texture of your hair - even though you saw yourself as one of them.

What if you then tried to identify with someone who looked like you - someone who shared your ancestry - but they said you didn't belong to their community either? FULL POST

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Filed under: Black in America • Ethnicity • Latino in America • Race • Rareviews
December 13th, 2011
03:52 PM ET

Rareview: Protect Native American culture through innovation

Rareviews go inside the lives of those in America whose stories we don't always hear.

“What really struck me, after traveling around and seeing other places, was the isolation,” said T. David Petite, the son of a chief of the Fond Du Lac Chippewa Tribe in Wisconsin, as he recalled his childhood impressions of American Indian reservations.

“I had made a commitment and the commitment was I would go back and help Native Americans.”

Petite, an inventor and philanthropist, last year founded the Native American Intellectual Property Enterprise Council - a non-profit that teaches Native Americans about intellectual property rights and helps inventors bring their ideas to market.


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Filed under: How we live • Native Americans • Rareviews
December 1st, 2011
08:00 AM ET

Rareview: Growing old openly gay

Rareviews go inside the lives of those in America whose stories we don't always hear.

Early on, they didn't know they were gay. Sometimes, they didn't even know what the word meant.

But eventually, they learned. They fell in love. They paired up. Sometimes, they got married. And now, they're the first generation to grow old openly gay.

November 22nd, 2011
06:31 PM ET

Rareview: Race matters at Occupy Atlanta

When Kung Li learned that civil rights activist and Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a Democrat from Atlanta, was denied the chance to speak at an Occupy Atlanta general assembly meeting last month, the former director of the Southern Center for Human Rights decided to respond. In her open letter to Occupy Atlanta, which was later published as an essay on Colorlines.com, Li explains why you can’t talk about the economy without talking about race.

In cities around the country, the Occupy movement is continuing.

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Filed under: Ethnicity • How we live • Race • Rareviews
November 9th, 2011
05:32 PM ET

Rareview: Bringing black voices to Occupy Wall Street

Rareviews go inside the lives of those in America whose stories we don't always hear.

In the earliest day of Occupy Wall Street, Malik Rahsaan wasn't seeing the black and brown faces he expected to be there.  Rahsaan, the "Occupy the Hood" co-founder, and Monica Montgomery, an activist, saw the issues in their community need to have a voice at Zuccotti Park, too. "We've been struggling and now America's getting a taste of what we've been living with and dealing with for generations," Montgomery said. "Let's join and be a part of change for everyone."

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Filed under: How we live • Race • Rareviews