Radio

Scholars of Chicana/o and Latina/o studies have long stressed the archival and political role of the oral— testimonios, storytelling, songtelling, and even chisme (gossip)—for communities of color left out of the pages of U.S. histories (Paredes 1958; Herrera-Sobek 1990; Schmidt Camacho 2008; D. Vargas 2012). The voice, either lyrically or narratively, stands in as “flesh” for Latina/o bodies and as sound evidence of past and continued injustices. Oral practices help circulate stories, archive experiences, and strengthen emotional ties for Latinas/os with allegiances to more than one culture, language, or nation. Radio, with its audio feature, is an extension of such oral traditions, modernizing them by playing music from homelands and islands left behind; by broadcasting politics and news updates; by offering  a public space for listeners to engage each other; and/  or by helping listeners learn how to navigate newfound political structures in the United States. In many ways, whether …

This essay may be found on page 181 of the printed volume.

Works Cited
Permanent Link to this Essay

Leave a Comment