Jimmy Santiago BACA

Immigrants in our own land

Bio of Jimmy Santiago Baca

Jimmy was born in Santa Fe county , New Mexico , 1952 .Left alone/abandoned by his parents at age 10.At age 21 he was charged with drug position and served 6 and half years in prison. He started doing poetry in prison for only cigarettes at first than one of his inmates insisted that he should publish it on the magazine. That is when he started a movement through his poetry and writing, which was the beginning of his journey.

A copy of jimmy's most famous poet.

Immigrants in Our Own Land


We are born with dreams in our hearts,

looking for better days ahead.

At the gates we are given new papers,

our old clothes are taken

and we are given overalls like mechanics wear.

We are given shots and doctors ask questions.

Then we gather in another room

where counselors orient us to the new land

we will now live in. We take tests.

Some of us were craftsmen in the old world,

good with our hands and proud of our work.

Others were good with their heads.

They used common sense like scholars

use glasses and books to reach the world.

But most of us didn’t finish high school.

The old men who have lived here stare at us,

from deep disturbed eyes, sulking, retreated.

We pass them as they stand around idle,

leaning on shovels and rakes or against walls.

Our expectations are high: in the old world,

they talked about rehabilitation,

about being able to finish school,

and learning an extra good trade.

But right away we are sent to work as dishwashers,

to work in fields for three cents an hour.

The administration says this is temporary

So we go about our business, blacks with blacks,

poor whites with poor whites,

chicanos and indians by themselves.

The administration says this is right,

no mixing of cultures, let them stay apart,

like in the old neighborhoods we came from.

We came here to get away from false promises,

from dictators in our neighborhoods,

who wore blue suits and broke our doors down

when they wanted, arrested us when they felt like,

swinging clubs and shooting guns as they pleased.

But it’s no different here. It’s all concentrated.

The doctors don’t care, our bodies decay,

our minds deteriorate, we learn nothing of value.

Our lives don’t get better, we go down quick.

My cell is crisscrossed with laundry lines,

my T-shirts, boxer shorts, socks and pants are drying.

Just like it used to be in my neighborhood:

from all the tenements laundry hung window to window.

Across the way Joey is sticking his hands

through the bars to hand Felipé a cigarette,

men are hollering back and forth cell to cell,

saying their sinks don’t work,

or somebody downstairs hollers angrily

about a toilet overflowing,

or that the heaters don’t work.

I ask Coyote next door to shoot me over

a little more soap to finish my laundry.

I look down and see new immigrants coming in,

mattresses rolled up and on their shoulders,

new haircuts and brogan boots,

looking around, each with a dream in their heart,

thinking they’ll get a chance to change their lives.

But in the end, some will just sit around

talking about how good the old world was.

Some of the younger ones will become gangsters.

Some will die and others will go on living

without a soul, a future, or a reason to live.

Some will make it out of here with hate in their eyes,

but so very few make it out of here as human

as they came in, they leave wondering what good they are now

as they look at their hands so long away from their tools,

as they look at themselves, so long gone from their families,

so long gone from life itself, so many things have changed.



Title : The racism i face

Paraphrase :Its about him going through neighborhoods and school with people that were prejudice and disrespectful to him as he mentions throughout the story.

Connotation: Positive words:Families,life,future,soul, & heart. Negative words: Hate,die,gone,shoot, & poor.

Attitude: The tone in the story is very serious and inspiring because of the fact that hes writing this poem and still strong and alive.

Shift: The shift in the story "But in the end, some will just sit around

talking about how good the old world was." His tone is just showing hes rapping it up &

indicates that no matter what you say at the end of the day everybody will make their own decision.

Title: Don't judge a book by its cover.

Theme: Racism and judgement . Don't judge nobody , get too know them because you'll never know how great an individual can be even if they seem and look different at first glance.

3 peaces of art during that time period!

The first picture connects to how enslaved they felt during that time period and its a straight image to describe Latinos felt.

The second picture describes how much pride Latinos had.

The 3rd picture is very unique and shows lots of pride and can relate to Jimmy poetry.

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The Chicano Movement form 1960's to Today
Chicano Movement of the 1960s

How it connects with my author?

It connects with my author because it shows an exact description how he saw things and what every Latino was going through at the time . Even shows how much pride they had just like the poem.
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