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What Makes You You Essay

2369 words - 10 pages

For this paper, I decided to interview Jonathan Delgado, who I met in my writing class last semester. During our time talking, the three main themes that we discussed were family, education, and identity, so I will be talking about those things. The first thing that we started to talk about during the interview was about college and how he had gotten here. That lead to talking about his supportive family. Last, we talked about his identity, and why he doesn’t consider himself to be ‘Chicano’. These three themes were the ones I noticed that Jonathan really enjoyed talking about and had a great stories to tell.

Literature Review

As seen in the film ‘La Mission’ (Peter Bratt, 2009), family ...view middle of the document...

As discussed in the presentation series about education, there are many points that impinge on Chicanos pursuing college. Family, again, is one of the main influences. A lack of income is something that affects Chicanos negatively. No money means that they have to work in order to help support their family, and they also have college tuition to worry about. (‘Issues Surrounding Chicano Males in Higher Education’, 02/14/2014). The support, or lack of support, that the Chicano students receive also greatly affect Chicanos with furthering their education. Mrs. Maes’s research on Latina high school seniors from a Denver public school (2000) showed that the students “stayed in school rather than...dropping out” because of many reasons, such as their “strong ethnic identity, caring school officials, parents investment in their education, & involvement in extracurricular activities” (“Overview of Chicanas/os and Latinas/os in the US Educational System”, Dr. Maes, 02/10/2014). This also ties back to the important role that family plays.

Furthermore, as seen in the film ‘The Walkout’ (Edward James Olmos, 2006), Chicanos face a lot of discrimination. They are differentiated by their race, skin color and accent, and are made fun of for that. In the film, the students were discriminated in many ways. For example, they was a lack of college preparation and counselor/teacher support. The teachers, counselor and principal had very low expectations for the Chicano students and didn’t presume that they would want to apply to colleges. The students were also punished by being swatted at school, and were denied basic student rights, such as using the bathroom at certain times.

In the same film, we also saw how the students began to think about and to develop their identities during the beach scene, when the poem “I am Joaquin” by Corky Gonzales is read. The poem says, “I am Joaquin...caught up in the whirl of the gringo society. My fathers...have won the struggle of cultural survival. I withdraw to the safety within the circle of life -- MY OWN PEOPLE” (“I Am Joaquin”, Rodolfo Corky Gonzales). By reading Corky’s poem you can see how identity is essential to Chicanas/os. They take pride in being who they are, and having that strong ethnic identity is one of the things that make them successful.


When thinking about who to interview for this paper, I decided to choose Jonathan Delgado, who again, I met in our writing class during the fall semester. Through peer review/editing of our papers in class, I got to know a lot about him, and knew that he was very proud of his identity and also passionate about equality in race and ethnicity, especially when it came to students. I knew he would be the perfect person to interview for this paper.

To get started with the interview, I began by asking Jonathan what his definition of ‘Chicano’ was. He replied that a Chicano is “A Latino individual who lives in the U.S., someone who experiences the American...

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