The Chicano Movement
Lorna Dee Cervantes (Born Aug. 6, 1964 - Present)
Like wet cornstarch, I slide
past my grandmother's eyes. Bible
at her side, she removes her glasses.
The pudding thickens.
Mama raised me without language.
I'm orphaned from my Spanish name.
The words are foreign, stumbling
on my tongue. I see in the mirror
my reflection: bronzed skin, black hair.
I feel I am a captive
aboard the refugee ship.
The ship that will never dock.
El barco que nunca atraca.
We are not a minority
Congreso dé artistas
Chicanos en Aztlan
Mural Estrada Courts Housing Project
East Los Angeles, (1978)
Gilbert "Magu" Lujan, Serigraph (1977)
Ester Hernandez, Sun Mad (1982)
Aztlan- This picture relates with the Hispanic roots that Luerna Dee Cervantes has. Most Mexican-Americans in the United States get discriminated because of their appearance by other people. They don't get the same type of respect as white people do because of where they come from.
Sun Mad- This last picture goes with the tone and voice of Lorna Dee Cervantes, she feels uncomfortable and disturbed because of the way people get treated. The Sun Mad sceenprint designed by Ester Hernandez also explains what she thinks about the rights that Chicanos do not get. The picture expresses her anger at the human and environment cost of pesticide use in California.
Paraphrase- In "Refugee Ship'by Lorna Dee Cervantes, the poetic subject experiences an identity crisis. She feels something between the United States and Mexican culture, respectively those of her mother and father. By virtue of being brought up in only one of those cultures, she feels the loss of the other.
Connotation- Dee Cervantes literal usage throughout the poem says, "Like wet cornstarch, I slide past my grandmother's eyes." The grandmother serves as a metaphor for tradition, heritage, and familial inclusion.
Attitude- Her attitude's prevents the poetic subject from feeling truly at home from in either culture.
Shift- Her voice thoroughly shifts the she speaks abut her not feeling comfortable with one of her cultures. She feels regret at first and pain towards the end of her poem. For example when she said, " I feel I am a captive aboard a refugee ship. That will never dock." This explains her tone of sadness.
Title- Lorna describes about the way she feels living in both an American and Mexican culture. She feels uncomfortable and separated from one culture than from the other.
Theme- The exploration if the mirror serves not as a source of strength, but as a catalyst that reveals an inner turmoil.
Chicano Movement Music: Maná - Latinoamérica
One of the verse from the song say:
"Están discriminando latinosNo me parece que tienen razón
Somos gente que nunca se raja
Ante cualquier situación
Vamos a mostrar quienes somos
Con coraje y valor"
"They are discriminating against Latinos
I do not think they are right
We are people who never give up In any situation
Let us show who we are
With courage and value"