Latino Sun, Rising: Our Spanish-Speaking U.S. World

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Texas A&M University Press, Aug 28, 2007 - Social Science - 272 pages
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Now that Latinos are the most numerous ethnic minority in the United States and a growing part of the middle and professional classes, a Mexican American educator takes stock. Latinos can see that their sun is rising. Marco Portales knows; his life has been lived under that rising sun.

On the beach at Corpus Christi, in class at SUNY-Buffalo, waiting tables in Chicago, traveling to London, teaching at Berkeley, raising a family near NASA headquarters in Houston—Portales gives readers a view of the private world and public significance of Latinos. By vividly recreating his parents’ generation as well as his own, Marco Portales encourages readers to consider Latino progress since the days of his happy youth during the Eisenhower fifties, years that coalesced into the gradual but steady unfurling of his ethnic consciousness.

Working within a traditional Aztec framework of “suns” or days, Portales looks through the window of individual life onto the “morning” (sol naciente) of growing up as a minority member of American society, the “noontime” (sol ardiente) of private adult life and the transmission of identity to a new generation, and the full heat of afternoon (sol radiante), when public business is done and the larger polity is addressed.

In the compelling details of a life truly lived—and a balanced, lively intellect that articulates itself in a society that often asks people such as him to choose between their American and Mexican identities—Portales inscribes himself into his people’s experience. At the same time, he remains fully aware—and helps raise our awareness—that no one person’s story can embody and represent the ancestral histories and the great worth and potential of all U.S. Latinos.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
youth
13
Urban Renewal on the Hometown Block in Edinburg
15
South Padre Isla del Padre Ballí
27
La Virgen de San Juan del Valle
33
The Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi
43
Chicago Austin London Buffalo Berkeley
51
pARENthooD
69
public policy issues
167
On Seeing Giant after Avoiding the Film Many Years
169
Words for Better Lives
174
Reinventing Ourselves
176
Race Should Not Matter
180
Still the Best Idea
182
Diversity Is Natural
187
On the Theory of Bilingual Education
190

Voices Desires Being Wishful
71
First Priority
83
The Caribbean or the Gulf?
85
Apples after School and the Alamo
90
Harvard Visit
99
Fishing at the Point in Seabrook 104
104
An Aztec Reverie
110
Tierra in San Antonio
116
Indian Trails and the Texas AMUT Presidential Corridor
120
Among Mullets One Galveston Summer
123
Disney World Florida Trip
128
The RainBlessed Mountains of Costa Rica
132
Projecting Consciousness in Maximum Security
136
Evoking RimskyKorsakov on the Eve of a Move
142
Leaving the NASA Johnson Space Center Neighbors
147
Rio Grande Valley Meditation
150
Showdown across the Border in Reynosa
158
Latin America and the United States and Mexico
195
Heat Undocumented Workers and the Border Patrol
198
Luis Alfonso Torres the Mexican Rodney King 204
204
NAFTA and the Maquiladora Babies
207
A Realization and a Memory in Southmost Texas
215
Latino Voting and Election Promises
223
Batos Locos
229
El Día de los Muertos in the United States
231
Regarding a Mexican American Holiday
234
War in Iraq
237
Thanksgiving Idyll
240
One Christmas Eve First of the New Century
242
A New Language 244
244
YearEnd Thoughts
247
What Latinos Want
251
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

MARCO PORTALES, a professor of English at Texas A&M, holds a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is the author of a number of works, including the book Crowding Out Latinos.

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