A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 08, 2009
Wise Latina

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1954, from parents of Puerto Rican descent. In Sotomayor’s 2009 Senate confirmation hearing, a 2001 statement that she had made became controversial: “"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” Sotomayor had made similar statements in 1994, 1999, 2002 and 2004; she claimed that the statements were intended to display pride and identity, but were not racist.

The term “wise woman” is a very old and common one. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “Latina” as “a woman or girl who is a native or inhabitant of Latin America” or “a woman or girl of Latin-American origin living in the United States.” The term “Latina” became widely used in the 1990s, with the publication of Latina magazine (since 1996) and the popularity of actress/singer/dancer Jennifer Lopez, who had a starring role in the movie Selena (1997). There are other printed citations of the term “wise Latina (woman)” before Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings made the term famous.

After Sotomayor’s confirmation of August 6, 2009, both the Wall Street Journal and the New York (NY) Times published articles about how the term “wise Latina” was being printed on T-shirts and many other items.


Wikipedia: Sonia Sotomayor
Sonia Maria Sotomayor (pronounced /ˈsoʊnjə .soʊtoʊmaɪˈjɔr/ ( listen), Spanish: /’sonja sotoma’joɾ/; born June 25, 1954) is a federal judge who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States by a vote of 68–31. On May 26, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Sotomayor for appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace the retired Justice David Souter. Her nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 6, 2009. Sotomayor will be the Court’s 111th justice, its first Hispanic justice, and its third female justice.

Sotomayor is of Puerto Rican descent and was born in the Bronx. Her father died when she was nine, and she was subsequently raised by her mother. Sotomayor graduated with an A.B., summa cum laude, from Princeton University in 1976 and received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979, where she was an editor at the Yale Law Journal. She worked as an assistant district attorney in New York for five years before entering private practice in 1984. She played an active role on the boards of directors for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the State of New York Mortgage Agency, and the New York City Campaign Finance Board. Sotomayor was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by President George H. W. Bush in 1991, and her nomination was confirmed in 1992.

Sotomayor has ruled on several high-profile cases. In 1995, she issued a preliminary injunction against Major League Baseball which ended the 1994 baseball strike. Sotomayor made a ruling allowing the Wall Street Journal to publish Vince Foster’s final note. In 1997, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Her nomination was slowed by the Republican majority in the Senate, but she was eventually confirmed in 1998. On the Second Circuit, Sotomayor heard appeals in more than 3,000 cases and has written about 380 opinions. Sotomayor has taught at the New York University School of Law and Columbia Law School.

Early life
Sotomayor in a cap and gown for her eighth grade graduationSonia Maria Sotomayor was born in the Bronx, a borough of New York City.[4] Her father, Juan Sotomayor (born 1921), had a third-grade education and did not speak English. He was from the Santurce area of San Juan. Her mother, Celina Báez (born 1927),[8] was from the neighborhood of Santa Rosa in Lajas, a still mostly rural area on Puerto Rico’s southwest coast. They left Puerto Rico, met, and married during World War II after Celina served in the Women’s Army Corps. He worked as a tool-and-die worker and she as a telephone operator and then a practical nurse. Sonia’s younger brother, Juan Sotomayor (born c. 1957), is a physician and university professor in the Syracuse, New York, area.

Sotomayor was raised a Catholic and grew up among other Puerto Ricans who settled in the South Bronx and East Bronx; she self-identifies as a “Nuyorican”. At first, she lived in a South Bronx tenement. In 1957, the family moved to the well-maintained, racially and ethnically mixed, working-class Bronxdale Houses housing project in Soundview (which has at times been considered part of both the East Bronx and South Bronx). Her relative proximity to Yankee Stadium led to her becoming a lifelong fan of the New York Yankees. The extended family got together frequently and regularly visited Puerto Rico during summers.
(...)
Nomination to the United States Supreme Court
(...)
The strongest criticism of her nomination came from conservatives and some Republican senators regarding a line that she used in some form in a number of her speeches and that became best known for its use in a 2001 Berkeley Law lecture: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” Sotomayor had made similar remarks in other speeches between 1994 and 2003, including one she submitted as part of her confirmation questionnaire for the Court of Appeals in 1998, but they had attracted little attention. The rhetoric quickly became inflamed, with radio commentator Rush Limbaugh and former Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich calling Sotomayor a “racist” (although the latter later backtracked from that claim), while John Cornyn and other Republican senators denounced such attacks but said that Sotomayor’s approach was troubling. Backers of Sotomayor offered a variety of explanations for and defenses of the remark. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stated that Sotomayor’s word choice in 2001 had been “poor”. Sotomayor subsequently clarified her remark via Senate Judiciary Committee chair Patrick Leahy, saying that while life experience shapes who one is, “ultimately and completely” a judge follows the law regardless of personal background.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Main Entry: La·ti·na
Pronunciation: \lə-ˈtē-nə\
Function: noun
Etymology: American Spanish, feminine of latino Latino
Date: 1983
1 : a woman or girl who is a native or inhabitant of Latin America
2 : a woman or girl of Latin-American origin living in the United States
Latina adjective

Wikipedia: Latina (magazine)
Latina, a magazine for Hispanic women, is the flagship property of Latina Media Ventures, LLC. The magazine is dedicated to Latinas and serves as a reminder of their beauty, strength and pride as well as symbolizing to them and to others all of the important work, talent and culture that Latinos continue to deliver in the United States.

History
Latina was founded in 1996 by Christy Haubegger, a native Houstonian. She is a graduate of St. John’s School, the University of Texas, and Stanford Law School.

Google Books
The process of identity development among Latina lesbians
By Olivia Bravo
Thesis/dissertation
2004
Pg. 53:
On the other hand, Renee identified herself as a “strong wise Latina woman.”

RPG-SanDiego.org Forums
01-21-2005, 01:59 PM
devlin1
Wise Latina Woman


CQ Politics
June 4, 2009 – 7:34 p.m.
Sotomayor Made ‘Wise Latina’ Remark Several Times
By Seth Stern, CQ Staff
Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor delivered multiple speeches between 1994 and 2003 in which she suggested “a wise Latina woman” or “wise woman” judge might “reach a better conclusion” than a male judge.

Those speeches, released Thursday as part of Sotomayor’s responses to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s questionnaire, indicate that her widely quoted October 2001 speech at the University of California at Berkeley — in which she said she “would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life” — was far from a single, isolated instance.

CNNPolitics.com
Sotomayor’s ‘wise Latina’ comment a staple of her speeches
updated 1:39 p.m. EDT, Mon June 8, 2009
WASHINGTON (CNN)—Judge Sonia Sotomayor has spoken for years about how her experiences as a Latina woman have influenced her public and private life.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor has been meeting with lawmakers in advance of her confirmation hearings.

In her speeches, she often discussed her “Latina soul” and explained how even the traditional dishes of her Puerto Rican family shaped her views.

And she often said that she hoped those experiences would help her reach better judicial conclusions than someone without such a varied background might reach.

The line was almost identical every time:

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion.”

That sentence, or a similar one, has appeared in speeches Sotomayor delivered in 1994, 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2001. In that speech, she included the phrase “than a white male who hasn’t lived that life” at the end, which sparked cries of racism from some Republicans.

New York (NY) Times
Sotomayor Fans Claim the Phrase ‘Wise Latina’
By MIREYA NAVARRO
Published: August 7, 2009
THE phrase by itself was a compliment.

Then it became a term of derision for some political commentators, bloggers and senators.

And now, “Wise Latina” is a catchphrase emblazoned on T-shirts, mugs and baby bibs, and a moniker for any number of new Facebook groups.

The author, Sonia Sotomayor, who on Thursday was confirmed as the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, may have distanced herself from the term at her confirmation hearings, but other Latinas are running with it, adopting it as a rallying cry and wearing it as a badge of pride.

The Wall Street Journal - Speakeasy
August 7, 2009, 11:30 AM ET
“Wise Latina” Comment Cuts Through Pop Culture
By Rachel Dodes
During Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s Senate confirmation hearings, she had to defend a comment, from a 2001 speech, in which she expressed her opinion that “a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”
(...)
Latina Magazine has produced a “commemorative” $22 t-shirt featuring the phrase in a bold pink Sex in the City-style font to celebrate the achievement. Proceeds from sales of the shirt will be donated to the Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls, a charter school in New York.

“A lot of senators tried to turn that phrase into something negative, but wise Latina is a beautiful thing,” said Latina’s editor-in-chief Mimi Valdes-Ryan in a video about the t-shirts.

For those who live in cooler climes, Zazzle.com is offering an “I (Heart) Wise Latina Women” sweatshirt for $27.55.

(Trademark)
Word Mark WISE LATINA
Goods and Services IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: Full line of clothing, footwear, and headgear, namely, aprons, bandanas, bathing suits, bathrobes, beachwear, belts, body shapers, bottoms, caps, coats, dresses, ear muffs, earbands, footwear, gloves, hats, head wear, infant wear, jackets, jeans, lingerie, neckwear, nightwear, pajamas, pants, rainwear, robes, shirts, shoes, shorts, skirts, sleepwear, slippers, socks, stockings, suits, suspenders, sweaters, swimwear, tops, undergarments, underwear, and vests. FIRST USE: 20090724. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20090724
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Serial Number 77789338
Filing Date July 24, 2009
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Owner (APPLICANT) Cultural Communications LLC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY ILLINOIS 4701-F South Woodlawn Ave. Chicago ILLINOIS 60615
Attorney of Record Erin J. Fox
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWorkers/People • (0) Comments • Saturday, August 08, 2009 • Permalink