From «Vergüenza» to «Échale Ganas»
Chapter 2. El Que Es Perico, Donde Quiera Es Verde
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EL QUE ES PERICO, DONDE QUIERA ES VERDE (A PARROT IS GREEN NO MATTER WHERE IT IS)
The continued failure of so many young men of color not only increases the likelihood that they’ll end up in prison, permanently unemployed, or dead at an early age, but that our society will accept such conditions as normal. (Noguera, 2012, p. 12)
Room 155 became the nurturing space where my students and I learned to heal our experiences as Latino/Latina immigrants to this country. It was in this ESL room where our Otherness was not questioned, where we could cross-linguistic borders y hablar Español without being asked to speak only the oppressor’s language. In this English as a Second Language (ESL) room my students’ heritage language was valued and nurtured as a cultural springboard to learn how to navigate in two different worlds. In this basement room we freely talked about racism, immigration, parents’ separation, fiestas, future goals, and frustrations. In this ESL room we met Sandra Cisneros, Pat Mora, Julia Alvarez, Francisco Jiménez, Isabel Allende, Pablo Neruda, Victor Martinez, Paul Cuadros, and many other Latino/Latina and Chicano/Chicana writers. These authors encouraged us not only to find commonalities but to create a sense of togetherness and familia as we unpacked our sabidurías de vida (life wisdom). It was in the book A Parrot in the Oven by Victor Martinez (1996) where character Manuel (Manny) Hernandez, a 14-year-old Mexican-American teenage...
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