i am from struggles

January 7, 2009
By Caroline Morales, Los Angeles, CA

I am From Struggles
I am from Aztec and Spanish roots,
Being confused about who I am,
I am also from not fully knowing one language,
But half Spanish and half English.
I am from two worlds who merge as one,
Both being colonies of the European lords.
I am from an Indigenous culture,
Taken over by greed.
And being stripped of any original beliefs.
I am from loving both of my cultures.
And from having pride in what my forefathers did.
From the writers of the Declaration of Independence
To the revolutionary war heroes who didn’t only care for themselves.
I am from Benito Juarez, Emiliano Zapata, and Pancho Villa, too,
And others like Che Guevarra, Sub. Commandante Marcos
and even the corrupt leaders like Castro, and Batista.
I am from heroes who weren’t scared of using force for what they
Thought was right .
I am from a land that is debatable.
Depending on what you believe,
it was either bought or stolen,
Yet very well protected today.
I am from Operation Wetback, and the Bracero program.
I am from being the scapegoat when the economy is bad.
I am from the Chicanos who fought for our rights.
I am from the 1968 Walk Outs in which we gained many things.
We gained the right to speak Spanish in public,
no corporal punishment, and
Most importantly a class in which we learn our past.
I am also from the Pachucos who were targeted
Because of the clothing they wore.
I am from Cesar Chavez and his gains using no force.
I am from a Mexican family who helped end segregation
In California schools.
And I am from La Raza Unida Party.
I am from Chicanos who wanted change.
I am from more political Chicanos and people with a voice.
I am from my family coming to the U.S. in the 1980’s,
And from coming because of the Amnesty.
I am from a grandmother and grandfather
who came from a small town in Zamora, Michoacan.
I am from being sheltered of my parents’ and Grandparents’ struggles.
I am from a U.S. that considered Mexicans to be bad.
I am from struggles and hard times ,
Not only because of race but also because of economic situations.
I am from living amidst the problems of poverty,
And witnessing it on every trip to Downtown, L.A.
I am from Pride, Culture, and family too,
I am from knowing family is the only thing and the most important thing.
I am from Joaquin who lives from generation to generation.
I am a Chicana who wants change for others,
And I am willing to do whatever it takes to get there.
I am from a hardworking race with hardworking people.
Who will live on now and forever.
WE as LATINOS, OR HISPANICS whatever you want to call us
Should unite and not go against each other,
Because what can we get from being prejudice because of the borders?
When we learn to live amidst each other
and not think one nationality is better than another,
Only Then can we be united and not be put down by others.
I am Joaquin who will live on and thrive,
And I am of a growing race with all nationalities alike.
I am from struggles and pain, but don’t forget this,
We have survived and will gain what we have so dearly fought for,
Liberty, and Freedom is all we want. I am Joaquin.

The author's comments:
I wrote this poem for my Chicano Studies final. That class opened my eyes to all the inequalities and also to the struggles my ancestors went through and minorities still go through -hope you like it!

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