Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Raymond Rodriguez, presente

My family came to the United States between 1903 and 1906.  I'm sure I've relatives in Mexico, but I wouldn't know where to look to find them.  I know so many of their stories; to a one they all take place in the U.S.

I feel we are lucky that we know our stories and that we can go to the places where our family lived.  To my knowledge none of our family members went back to Mexico as part of the Mexican Repatriations that took place in the 30s and 40s.

There were approximately 1,000,000 people that were deported to Mexico.  Of that million, it's estimated that 60% were U.S. citizens.

Two men, Francisco Balderrama and Raymond Rodriguez, studied this event and wrote their groundbreaking book "Decade of Betrayal".  It is filled with intimate stories that come from oral interviews of those who lived through the experience.  First hand history, with a shot of scholarly perspective, if you will.

Mr. Rodriguez passed away June 24th.   We are lucky we still can read his work.

The links below will take you to some reflection regarding his passing and a few blogposts I wrote.
I wrote about this a while back after attending a dedication ceremony at LA PLAZA DE CULTURA y  ARTES in Los Angeles.


  1. And some people would have us build a wall. It's like for them this never happened.

  2. Every time I hear about the wall, my memories zoom back to the Berlin Wall.

    I also think about how much it's going to cost and what it will do to the delicate eco system it will undoubtedly rip through.

  3. The story of the "Decade of Betrayal" was not taught in my school. I learned about this after moving to California, probably in the 1990s. I don't know if they're teaching it now, but they should.

    I agree. The money, the ecosystem...even if Mexico was a land of giant vampires it wouldn't be worth the trouble. And as we know, Mexico is not such a land.

  4. I remember being touched when I read about the young teens. Young women in the states they wore lipstick and hose. Most families were sent or "chose to go" to rural areas. When these teens arrived they were quickly categorized as being loose, since in those areas the only women who looked as they did were streetwise. Or the young people who only knew English and were plucked in areas where folks only spoke Spanish.
    The clip of Mr. Rodriguez that is a part of the NPR story is so touching for so many reasons.

  5. I heard the piece on NPR, so naturally thought of you. You're the one who introduced me to him. And your links are wonderful, but they are not linking directly to your blogposts. If you have time, try again. For anyone else, if you google pasadena latina and some key words to the blogpost, you'll find them.

  6. He and Francisco have done amazing work.

    I'll check into the blog post issue as soon as I can.

  7. I've fixed it so that you can go to the first of the three posts about the Deportados, then you can go from that post to the next two.