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High School Latinx Counternarratives

Experiences in School and Post-graduation


Juan A. Ríos Vega

This book represents an ethnographic study of the experiences and counternarratives of twelve Latinx young adults. All of the participants in this study are first generation immigrants to the United States, representing different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds and immigration statuses. Drawing from Latino Critical Theory (LatCrit) and Queers of Color Epistemologies as a theoretical framework, this book analyzes the personal experiences of Latinx during and after finishing high school. This book uses a classroom project (dialogue journals) to reconnect with twelve former English language learners (ELLs) from the Southeast after ten years. Through the use of dialogue journals as an English as a second language (ESL) strategy to support writing, the participants in this book document personal and communal experiences as Latinx immigrants in the United States. This book will represent an excellent asset for teachers, school administrators, counselors, staff, preservice teachers, practicing educators, graduate students, scholars, and policymakers.

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Chapter Three Navigating High School


Navigating High School

The Day People Made My Family Feel Unwelcome

One day that my mother, my little sister, and I went to McDonald’s, while my little sister was playing around with one of her friends that she had found there, at the other side of the fast food restaurant, there was a White woman eating her meal. My sister kept talking to her friend and joking around with her. The White lady turned around and said to my little sister “shut up.” My mom got so mad that she was speechless. The only thing that she said was, “Vieja grosera” (old and rude woman) that lady didn’t even understand what my mom just said to her, but she didn’t care. She told my mother that if she didn’t like the way things were in this country, then to go back from where she came from. Those words made me, and my family feel unwelcome, unwanted, and disrespected. That old lady kept running her mouth. I got really mad that I couldn’t take her insults anymore, so I told her to shut the f*** up. That lady got so mad that she didn’t even get to finish her food. She left say to us, “you are a bunch of stupid speaks.” We didn’t even pay attention to her, so we kept eating like nothing had happened. While she was walking out of the restaurant, some thoughts came to my head. I was thinking if people disrespect...

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