Barrio Boy by Ernesto Galarza and A Place to Stand by Jimmy Santiago Baca

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Barrio Boy by Ernesto Galarza and A Place to Stand by Jimmy Santiago Baca are inspired to write an autobiography. Both of these writers defend, reclaim, identify and interpret the meanings of indigenous cultures, and memory. Galarza and Baca grew up in different environments and had different motivations to get their life down on paper for readers to know their life story. Ernesto Galarza was born in Mexico. He decides he wants to tell the story of his journey from a small village in Mexico, to a barrio, a neighborhood, in Sacramento, California. He focuses his story when he was a few years in Jalcocotán and what he did every day, to the decisions his family had to make, and finishing his story with high school. Jimmy Santiago Baca was born in New Mexico. He wanted to get down the “story of his transformation,” and recounts the beginning of his childhood into adulthood by writing a memoir. He focuses on his time of life before, during the period he was in prison, and after the years he spent in a prison. Baca describes his memories, experiences, and feelings and how he categorized himself as a victim of the system to a survivor by writing. Galarza and Baca weave their cultures and memories all throughout their autobiographies. Before writing this paper, I interviewed several of my colleagues. Among the questions I asked were: if they could give me a definition of culture and what their culture was like. Interestingly I got the same answer, just in different words and terms. Culture to them was what was popular in their family when they grew up. And when they answered what their culture was like, they would label it: Mexican, Chinese, American culture, etcetera. This is why I believe it is vital to know the definition of “culture... ... middle of paper ... ...at a big percentage of people don’t have a complete understanding of their culture, but they still embrace it in every form they can. Works Cited Baca, Jimmy Santiago. A Place to Stand: The Making of a Poet. New York: Grove, 2001. Print. Galarza, Ernesto, and Ilan Stavans. Barrio Boy. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame, 2011. Print. Martí, Jose. "Our America." Comp. Jeffrey Grant. Belnap and Raul A. Fernandez. Jose Martí’s "Our America": From National to Hemispheric Cultural Studies. Durham: Duke UP, 1998. N. pag. Print. Rosaldo, Renato. "The Erosion of Classic Norms." Culture & Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis: With a New Introduction. Boston: Beacon, 1989. N. pag. Print. Valle, Victor. "Our America 2nd Lecture." Lecture. Valle, Victor. "Prospero in the 20th Century: A Note-taking Guide for Rosaldo’s “Lone Ethnographer”." 22 Jan. 2014. Lecture.

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