By Maria Garcia
Read the full article from WBUR here.
“My biggest gripe with Cinco de Mayo is not the cultural appropriation, as off-putting as I find it. The real tragedy for me is that a day that once represented Black and brown solidarity — and resistance against colonialism — has been mired by a commercial whitewashing. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Battle of Puebla in 1862, when a rag-tag army of mostly indigenous Mexicans defeated French forces who attempted to conquer the independent country…At the time, Mexican-Americans in California opposed to slavery felt that the success of the Union could hinge on the Battle of Puebla and upon hearing that Mexican forces had prevailed, they celebrated with fireworks and drinks. Cinco de Mayo was born…In the ’60s, Chicano activists in the U.S. revived the holiday, using it as a call to solidarity for Civil Rights.”