living in the academic world has its privileges and its limitations.  in some ways the anonymous birth of this blog is a reflection of the academy’s limited scope.  on the other hand, without the opportunities that have been presented during my time as a chicano historian and scholar, i would not have had access to some of the amazing individuals with whom i have crossed paths. these opportunities, birthed in the struggle of the Chicana/o Movement, have afforded me the good fortune, of traveling to barrios throughout these occupied lands, now known as the “united states” interviewing chicana and chicano activists, who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of our gente.  thus, i see it fitting that i begin this blog as a link between the ways of community knowledge that have always existed among us and the world that i navigate as a scholar.

in that vain, i humbly offer this reflection, which serves as a compilation of interviews i conducted with some of the (cis-gendered) Chicano male activists, during my travels, many of whom shared both stories and tears.  I also offer these words as a bridge between the spirit of my peoples and my craft.

Collecting Recollections

Roads Traveled,

Into Hearts and Minds,

Seeking Stories,

And Tales,

Which seemingly have no end.

Memories of pain,

Deeply imbedded,

In shame,

Debasing,

Dehumanizing,

Bringing tears to the eyes,

Of the craziest Vatos.

Because even the hardcore,

Don’t give a fuck,

Heat packing,

Ass kicking,

Lay it out on the line,

Toughest of Men,

Are stopped dead in their words,

When remembering Los Muertos.

Recollections halted mid-sentence,

Trying to remain stonefaced,

Lips quivering,

Offering a silent tribute,

To the unknown many,

Of any given Barrio,

At any given time,

Who gave a life,

For La Causa.

“Locos” shunned all around,

Even by La Gente,

Who paradoxically fear and revere,

Still you ride,

Like Villa’s horse,

Shoes on backward,

Willing to die,

Because no amount of,

Triumphant resistance,

Can take away the pain and humiliation,

Levied when an 8 year old,

Gets slapped in the mouth,

For speaking the language,

De nuestros padres.

Fast Forward,

And one finds,

There is equally no cure,

For being laid out,

Spread Eagle,

Like a Siqueiros Mural,

By some pinchi gringo,

With a badge and a superiority complex,

In your only nice suit,

Worn especially that night,

After your sweetheart,

Finally said yes to a movie.

Because your rank in ‘Nam Señor Officer,

Don’t mean shit back home,

Still a dirty Mexican,

In Gringolandia.

So you resist,

Not sure how,

Nor for yourself,

Deep down feeling broken,

Because change ain’t gonna come,

In this lifetime,

No matter how hard Sam Cooke tries,

To sing it into existence.

Yet remaining absolute.

With Anger to Give,

A Last Gasp of Rage,

For something “good.”

Searching for an alternative,

To wasting it at the cantina,

With fists to the face of un hermano,

Who is equally fucked.

Hoping your life’s work,

Will leave a legacy por La Gente.

In a collective effort to ensure,

That Las Ninas y Los Ninos,

Will never know,

The ways in which,

You suffer.