Chicano Poet

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Generation

They used to hate the word Chicano
and now they hate it once again,

half of my generation gone now,
Tomas, Ricardo, Cecilio, Max, Lalo, Raul,

I could go on, but why?
You will not listen,

no, you will not listen,
but that’s alright,

we will battle to the very last
of my generation,

till the last one of us has left the building,
and then you can bury the word Chicano,

if that’s what you want to do
with my generation.


At 7:18 AM, Anonymous anisa said...

I like this one. I've been reading Ana Castillo's Massacre of the Dreamers. Somewhere in there she talks about how the movimiento lasted about 20 years, or somthing like that. This reminded me of that.

on another note (or speaking of), there's a CA gig at Gueros in Austin in September. Go here to check it out:

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a little history on how the Chicano word was chosen by the Mexican - American students of the sixties . . . it is August 1968 and I am a young, carefree and happy student at San Jose State. I am a student in the EOP program's summer progrm set up by MASC students and its chairman Daniel Hernandez. It is amongst the first programs aimed at recruiting Chicano students while at the same time there was the Black EOP recruiting Black students. A lot of blacks were brought in from the south.

Forward las camaras - I am standing in front of the student cafeteria talking to Adam Escoto and Danny Valdez walks up to us and starts talking of a meeting held by the National Council of La Raza where it was decided that it was more appropiate to use the word Chicano as a way of definig Mexican-American. Danny handed us each a button that had written on it Chicano Liberation - so off came the Mexican-American Libertion button. it was not a simple redefinition of a people but a sifting of the historical facts to define a people and its strategy for liberation. Notice I do not use the word equality. Such as, equality in a diverse society, as it is said today. I am using the word liberation. After all Tijerina had confontd the fire power of this country at a forest in New Mexico.

Who, historically, uses the word Chicano in this country is an other history lesson for another time. The Chicano historians have so far told the history of the Chicano from a Mexican immigrant viewpoint. We need the actual Raza that has been here forever, whose Indian Indian blood is Hopi, Lipan, Jumaro etc. In other word perhaps from those in the South Valley whose ancestors were present to witness the buffalos migration to the north.

Come 1973 the Chicano movement is dead. Smoked out by the US government. Any Chicano Movement after that is what the US government wants. So congrats to those who have been dragging around a carcass and could not smell the stench of death.

Esmeralda Bernal

At 6:43 PM, Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

The word 'Chicano' is meaningless to me, of course. Oh I've looked it up and I get the gist of it but I've never lived through it so in that was it will always be meaningless. That said, you could take the word 'Chicano' and replace it with any other word. The Who sang about their generation and generation upon generation has slipped away, is slipping away. I feel my own generation slipping away. This is a more universal poem than perhaps you thought writing it.

At 12:19 AM, Blogger RC said...

Wow,thanks for the interesting comments,Anisa,Esmeralda and Jim.Actually,Jim, I wrote this poem after watching a Who marathon this weekend.And,Anisa,I plan to be there on the 20 of September,if my posse is allowed in.And,Esmeralda,great story.Still the Chicano Movement is not dead till the last Chicano is dead.I realized I was Chicano in 1953 when I was first called a Chicano.The other meaning didn't come until later.But we can not declare ourselves dead just because others say we are dead.Long live the dead.

At 6:19 AM, Anonymous anisa said...

reyes, I hope you don't mind...


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