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The Latino Culture in America

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The Latino Culture in America


Latinos have struggled to discover their place inside of a white America for too many years. Past stereotypes and across racism they have fought to belong. Still America is unwilling to open her arms to them. Instead she demands assimilation. With her pot full of stew she asks, "What flavor will you add to this brew?" Some question, some rebel, and others climb in. I argue that it is not the Latino who willingly agreed to partake in this stew. It is America who forced her ideals upon them through mass media and stale history. However her effort has failed, for they have refused to melt.

The struggle to find a place inside an un-welcoming America has forced the Latino to recreate one. The Latino feels out of place, torn from the womb inside of America's reality because she would rather use it than know it (Paz 226-227). In response, the Mexican women planted the seeds of home inside the corral*. These tended and potted plants became her burrow of solace and place of acceptance. In the comfort of the suns slices and underneath the orange scents, the women were free. Still the questions pounded in the rhythm of street side whispers. The outside stare thundered in pulses, you are different it said. Instead of listening she tried to instill within her children the pride of language, song, and culture. Her roots weave soul into the stubborn soil and strength grew with each blossom of the fig tree (Goldsmith).

The adolescent rebelled. "Speaking out is an exercise of privilege. Speaking out takes practice. Silence ensures invisibility. Silence provides protection (Montoya 282)." Graffiti tagged cracks seeped in blood, it remind the young of their battle with an invisible division. In Octavio P...


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...wler-Salamini and Mary Kay Vaughan, eds Creating Spaces, Shaping Transitions: Women of the Mexican Countryside, 1850-1990 Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994.

Montoya, Margret E. "Masks and Identify," and "Masks and Resistance," in The Latino/a Condition: A Critical Reader New York: New York University Press, 1998.

Paz, Octavio. "Pachucos and Other Extremes" in The Labyrinth of Solitude and The Other Mexico New York: Grove Press, 1985

Bradbury, Ray. "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" (originally published in 1958) in The Chicano: From Caricature to Self-Portrait New York: A mentor Book from New American Library, Times Mirror, 1971

*meaning garden, the experience of gardening in central Mexico (Goldsmith)
*Many of the juvenile gangs that have formed in the United States in recent years are reminiscent of the post -war pachucos (Paz, 14).

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