Latin@ Student Experiences of Race, Access, and Belonging at Predominantly White Universities
Chapter 1. Student Portraits
← 12 | 13 →· 1 ·STUDENT PORTRAITS
In this chapter, I provide a portrait (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Hoffmann Davis, 1997) of each of the six students in this book. My aim, through using portraiture, is to help each student “come alive” for the reader and become the multifaceted, complex beings they are before moving into the subsequent chapters that focus on specific aspects of their lives. The portraits are meant to be accessible and free of academic language. As Lawrence-Lightfoot (1997) explains, “The attempt is to move beyond the academy’s inner circle, to speak in a language that is not coded or exclusive, and to develop texts that will seduce the readers into thinking more deeply about issues that concern them” (p. 10).
“So, how would your friends from back home describe you?” I asked Antonio, who was dressed in an oversized white T-shirt, baggy denim shorts, and perfectly clean white sneakers. He fiddled with the large pendant hanging from a thick gold chain around his neck as we wrapped up our first interview in a crowded Collegeville café.
← 13 | 14 → “Funny—like I’m a real funny guy, I guess,” he chuckled. “Uh, cool, laid-back. Calm, ’cause, yeah, I’m not good at rushing into things, so I take my time. Stuff like that. And I’m good to hang around with,” he finished, adjusting the backwards baseball cap that sat atop his dark, gelled hair.
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