In the same vein as the theme for the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, “Our People, Our Future,” I’d say that America’s uniqueness is in its evolution. Four years after the first African-American was sworn into presidency, we see a small but significant number Latinos being involved in recent politics and in the ceremony.
So for those who think that President Obama‘s Inauguration Committee is adhering to modernity by creating an app for that, think again. Associate Justice and Remezcla girl-crush Sonia Sotomayor will be swearing in Vice-President Joe Biden on January 20th; that’s modernity. Puertorrican-born Sotomayor is not only the Supreme Court’s third female Justice, but also the first Hispanic Justice, and now, the first Hispanic to swear an oath of office. As this year’s election showed, with Latinos making up 10% of the country’s voting pool, if politicians do not represent and fight for the demographic’s needs, they’re missing out on a big chunk.
Also important in this inauguration is the decision to have Richard Blanco, the son of Cuban exiles, as the inaugural poet. 44-year-old Blanco joins the select group of poets (Maya Angelou, Robert Frost) who have had this task before as the first Latino, first gay man, and youngest person to perform. Frost’s work explores his family’s exile from Cuba and “the intersection of his cultural identities as a Cuban-American gay man.” One of his poems remembers having to recount American history for his abuela, and rejoices with the always present-lechón on Thanksgiving while growing up.
Another Puerto Rican joins the ranks of performers during Inaugural Weekend, and that’s Marc Anthony, who will be playing at Michelle Obama and Jill Biden‘s Kid’s Inaugural Concert. Believe what you want about Marc Anthony gossip, or not; I still believe he’s a great salsero and a great performer.
The decision to involve Latinos from both the political, artistic and literary spheres speaks to the main theme of the Inauguration. If we let our people speak, so will our future. The country’s changing, and that’s not a BAD THING, but this change needs to reflect in all levels. Keep up with next weeks Inaugural Events through their twitter and catch these prominent Latinos pay hommage to our president.