Monday, February 15, 2010
Stories From The Past
I am currently reading a book called Mexican Americans & World War II. One of my uncles, a dean at a local community college, gave me this book, from his collection, to read.
During a visit with my uncle, my mom was with me, the topic of the past came up, as it usually does when family gets together. My uncle's, aunts, and mom were born either right before or right after the second World War.
My uncle tells me many of his stories of the hardships and discrimination that he and his family went through during those years and the many years after. Hardships including the whole family traveling out of state to work as a pickers on a farm at a young age and discrimination including being refused service at a diner for being Mexican-American.
He tells me of a time when were forced to go to the bathroom in the woods near a restaurant because they were not allowed inside of the restaurant.
My mom adds her stories of discrimination that she remembers.
Toward the end of our visit, my uncle gave me the book and said it was something that I should read. The book is a collection of letters and essays written by those who have either lived through that time or interviewers of those people.
As I read the stories and letters in this book, I tend to imagine my mom and her family during that time. Growing up with almost no discrimination towards me, it's easy to forget and really sad to think of what my mom and her family (and other Mexican-Amercians) have gone through growing up.
I think this is a book that all Mexican-Americans not raised at that time should read, especially the youth of today.