La comunidad Latina, the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States, has long been told that assimilation is the only way to succeed in American society. This book challenges that generally accepted view and concludes instead that transformation as a way of life is the only viable option for the Lati community as a whole, regardless of racial, class, regional, or religious differences. It highlights how in the everyday life of la comunidad Latina the members of the community can recognize the underlying ways of life, the stories, and the patterns of relationships that cripple them, and how to break with these ways of life, stories, and relationships to create fundamentally more loving and compassionate alternatives. Along with all men and women, Latis and Latinas face four choices: retaining a blind loyalty to a romanticized past, assimilating, violating each other, or transforming their ethnic and racial group for the better. This examination of the underlying sacred meaning of the stories of the Lati culture attempts to determine whether these stories are destructive or creative. Now coming of age, la comunidad Latina, previously wounded by assimilation, continues to tell its story in art, literature, history, and religion so that the world may, perhaps for the first time, see its personal, political, historical, and sacred faces. The most important story w being lived is that of Latina women and Lati men who are making choices that will determine the ultimate meaning of a new Lati culture in this nation.
DAVID T. ABALOS is Professor of Religious Studies and Sociology at Seton Hall University. He has lectured and written extensively on multicultural and gender scholarship and also on Latinas and Latinos in the United States from the perspective of the politics of transformation. He is the author of Latinos in the United States: The Sacred and the Political (1986), The Latino Family and the Politics of Transformation, a Choice Outstanding Academic Book for 1994 (Praeger, 1993) and Strategies of Transformation Toward a Multicultural Society: Fulfilling the Story of Democracy (Praeger, 1996).