Marisol is a young, assimilated hispanic woman in 1990’s New York who works a white collar job in Manhattan and lives in the Bronx. She doesn’t have family or loved ones living close to her except her friend and colleague, June. One night she has an unfortunate
Gloria Anzaldúa was a Texas-born, lesbian, Latina, feminist, that wrote about many of her personal experiences and views of the diverse background she grew up in. Growing up a certain culture at home and being in a country with a different culture, brings along a lot of self-identifying issues. Gloria Anzaldúa uses various strategies and languages to write this powerful piece by code-switching, quoting others, diction, and rhetorical questions. Anzaldúa’s “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” speaks about the social issues that Latinos face involving identity, language, and sexism.
Cristina Henriquez’, The Book of Unknown Americans, folows the story of a family of immigants adjusting to their new life in the United States of America. The Rivera family finds themselves living within a comunity of other immigrants from all over South America also hoping to find a better life in a new country. This book explores the hardships and injustices each character faces while in their home country as well as withina foreign one, the United States. Themes of community, identity, globalization, and migration are prevalent throughout the book, but one that stood out most was belonging. In each chacters viewpoint, Henriquez explores their feelings of the yearning they have to belong in a community so different than the one that they are used to.
To begin, Esmerelda Santiago and her family immigrated into the United States from Puerto Rico. Immigration means, the movement of persons into a non-native country. At this point in time the family only consisted of Esmerelda, her seven younger siblings, Mami, Tata, Tío Chico, and Don Julio. After moving around from apartment to apartment, they finally settled down in Brooklyn, New York. Esmerelda explains that they came to Brooklyn, “in search of medical care for my youngest brother, Raymond, whose toes were nearly severed by a bike chain” (Santiago 1998: 3). Mami hoped for better medical attention for her child than she would have received in Macún, Puerto Rico. Esmerelda also describes the apartment they currently lived in on McKibbin Street, in New York as, “more substantial that any of our houses in Puerto Rico” (Santiago 1998: 6). This shows her level of living back in Puerto Rico was a worse living
As a child, Ermilia was transferred by social services from a foster home to her grandparent’s house. She is horribly mistreated and habitually reminded of how she is a burden to the lives of her grandparents. Ermilia’s character struggles with a sense of purpose and ambition. Although, Ermilia and her friends do experience severe relationship problems as they are caught up in violence in the streets while the Chicano rights movement is at its peak. It is important to examine the dichotomy between Ermilia’s grandparent’s viewpoints and her present outlook on the Chicano people. Ermilia’s grandparents were products of the Spanish conquest that later elicited forms of restriction and racism such as miscegenation laws and construction of freeways. They were conditioned to believe that containment and segregation was a natural part of Chicano life. It was not until the Chicano rights movement in the 1960’s that the Chicano community began to question the laws and legislations that restricted them. Instead of just being contained by the bulldozer, dogs, and helicopters Ermilia and her friends began to question, who were these people that brought these forces of containment and why? Thoughts began to cross Ermilia’s mind such as, “what might happen if the line of people wrapped themselves around the Quarantine Authority officers like a python? Demand. Protest. Organize.” Although, Ermilia may not be the
In this essay, I will discuss the history of tamales; their origin and reason for existence. I will review the traditional tamale and its construction as well as introduce the ever-growing market of new and improved types of tamales. I will entwine different perspectives and narratives of personal encounters with tamales, their production, and how it has come to affect their personal lives in relation to race, gender and family or community roles. Finally I will discuss the differences and similarities in tamales in my native state of New Mexico, and in my new home state of Colorado, and I will introduce tamales from and around the world in Spanish speaking countries, including a focus on such ethnicities as Mexican and Native Americans. I hope to prove that tamales are more than just good food; they belong to a people who work diligently for the sake of their family and their heritage.
Judith Ortiz Cofer a Latin American author of short stories, poetry, autobiography, young adult fiction, and essays, as a young child migrated to Mainland America from Puerto Rico with her family, moving into an apartment complex with other people of Latin descent. Although, she spent most of her years in the Continental U.S. her writings are reflective of the strong latin heritage that her mother undoubtedly instilled in her from a young age. This is clear in her short story “Nada” where the narrator makes references to the hispanic community that live at an apartment complex in New Jersey. Cofer’s style of writing and experiences in her life are brought out in this story as well as many more of her writings. She includes some Spanish words throughout the story and ideals of the hispanic culture.
You can see how Maria’s El Salvador is empty of people, full only of romantic ideas. Jose Luis’s image of El Salvador, in contrast, totally invokes manufactured weapons; violence. Maria’s “self-projection elides Jose Luis’s difference” and illustrates “how easy it is for the North American characters, including the big-hearted María, to consume a sensationalized, romanticized, or demonized version of the Salvadoran or Chicana in their midst” (Lomas 2006, 361). Marta Caminero-Santangelo writes: “The main thrust of the narrative of Mother Tongue ... continually ... destabilize[s] the grounds for ... a fantasy of connectedness by emphasizing the ways in which [Maria’s] experience as a Mexican American and José Luis’s experiences as a Salvadoran have created fundamentally different subjects” (Caminero-Santangelo 2001, 198). Similarly, Dalia Kandiyoti points out how Maria’s interactions with José Luis present her false assumptions concerning the supposed “seamlessness of the Latino-Latin American connection” (Kandiyoti 2004, 422). So the continual misinterpretations of José Luis and who he really is and has been through on Maria’s part really show how very far away her experiences as a middle-class, U.S.-born Chicana are from those of her Salvadoran lover. This tension and resistance continues throughout their relationship.
First of all, the setting of this novel contributes to the Rivera family’s overall perception of what it means to be an American. To start this off, the author chooses a small American city where groups of Latino immigrants with their own language and traditions, lived together in the same apartment building. All these immigrants experienced similar problems since they moved from their countries. For example, in the novel after every other chapter the author
In Pearsall, Texas, the Anglo and Mexican communities were divided to contribute to Elva’s confusion and frustrations of being alone. The immigrant society was lumped together as their own “class” of people:
Currently Sandra Cisneros resides in San Antonio in a purple house and she describes herself as “nobody’s mother” and “nobody’s wife.” Both Frida Kahlo’s and Cynthia Y. Hernandez’s works convey the idea of having one’s culture limit one’s freedom and individuality. Cisneros and Esperanza are both victims of this idea and realize that the only way to live one’s life freely is to defy the roles and limitations created by one’s culture.
Both Ernesto Galarza’s “Barrio Boy” and Joan Didion’s “Notes From a Native Daughter” write about Sacramento’s past. Both authors talk about Sacramento during two different time periods. Joan Didion talks about the mid-century and Ernesto Galarza talks about the early 20th century. Although both author’s perspective of Sacramento differs from era to era, there are differences in certain characteristics described by both authors. Galarza’s essay focuses on an immigrant point of view arriving into Sacramento versus Didion’s experiences as a native decedent of Sacramento. Joan Didion’s Sacramento is a very different place compared to Ernesto Galarza’s , for him it’s an
When one visualizes Latino culture, the prevalent images are often bright colors, dancing, and celebrations. This imagery paints a false portrait of the life of many Latino’s, especially those that are forced to leave their home countries. Latinos often face intense poverty and oppression, whether in a Latin country, or a foreign country, such is true in Pam Ryan’s novel Esperanza Rising. Ryan chronicles the issues that many Latino immigrants face. The first is the pressure from the home country. Many of the countries face turmoil, and many are forced to leave their homes and culture. Once in a foreign place, people often struggle with standing by their own culture or assimilating to the new culture. Latino authors frequently use young adult literature as a platform to discuss the issues they face, as young adults are coming of age they struggle with their identities, personifying the struggle of old culture against the new culture.
The racist connotation that Miss Jimenez associates with who she thinks would “fit in” society’s box is a definite reflection of the hardships Valdez witnessed in his community. For example, the Zoot Suit Riots that occurred in 1944 was rooted by a reaction by young Mexican-American males against a culture that did not want them to be a part of it. Stuart Cosgrove examines this issue when he states, "In the most obvious ways they had been stripped of their customs, beliefs and language.” (*Vargas 317) These youths were going through an identity crisis because they did not know which culture they could identify with. Miss Jimenez is a character that embodies that repression Valdez explains in “Los Vendidos.”
A mother drives her three kids to soccer practice in a Ford minivan while her husband stays at the office, rushing to finish a report. Meanwhile, a young woman prays her son makes his way home from the local grocery without getting held up at knife point by the local gang. Nearby, an immigrant finishes another 14-hour shift at the auto parts factory, trying to provide for his wife and child, struggling to make way in a new land. Later, a city girl hails a cab to meet her girlfriends at their favorite club to celebrate her new promotion over cosmopolitans. These people – the suburban soccer mom, the tired immigrant, the worried mother from the hood, and the successful city girl – each represent the