Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, And Identity

1553 WordsApr 13, 20177 Pages
Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945 The immigration story of the United States includes groups of individuals from many different countries, one such group was that of the U.S.’s southern neighbor Mexico. In the book, Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945, George J. Sánchez writes about the Mexican immigrants’ experience migrating to California and settling there, particularly in the Los Angeles area. Sánchez argues that many Mexican immigrants felt “betwixt and between” their homeland and the United States, and his book examines the forces pulling them in both directions. On the one side, Americans wanted the Mexicans in the…show more content…
(pg. 99) American public schools were another way to try and Americanize the Mexican Immigrants. In 1915 California passed the Home Teacher Act which allowed teachers to go into the homes of immigrants and to teach adults and children such things as the English language. Which essentially was as Sánchez puts it, “the most potent weapon used to imbue the foreigner with American values”. (pg. 100) Later the Home Teacher Act would be integrated into public schools after WWI. There were also other things besides American progressives that were shaping the Mexican immigrants identity in America, and these included new religions and pop culture/consumerism. A vast majority of the Mexican’s migrating to the U.S. were Catholic. However, very few Catholic priests from Mexico migrated to the United States, so the Mexican Immigrants were going to churches that were led by Irish priests, and as Sánchez puts it, "Irish American priests were rarely found to be sensitive enough to the needs of a working class people from a different culture". (pg. 165) This gave other religions an opening to convert the Mexican immigrants to their religion. One such example is
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