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The Chicano Movement in the United States

ItĂs hell to look like a foreigner in your own country÷ (Chavez 2004, 44).

In the poem I Am Joaquin, we see the same kinds of sentiment and emotion over the loss of oneĂs land and identity due to the dominating influence of other cultures. The poem is a heartfelt rendering of the injustice and pain felt by one Chicano whose title of the poem underscores his struggle to retain his identity in spite of the devaluing influence of a dominant ethnocentric culture. As Gonzalez (2004) writes of such influence:

I, of the same name, Joaquin. In a country that has wiped out all my history, stifled all my pride. In a country that has placed a different weight of indignity upon my age old burdened back. Inferiority is the new load (101).

In Yo Soy Chicano, we see similar emotions and attitudes of the destructive forces of imperialistic cultures. However, we also see that women tend to be subjugated by not only the dominant culture of the imperialists, but also by the dominant male forces in their own culture. As one women reports, ˘Women have been conditioned not to speak out÷ (Trevino 2004, 87). Nevertheless, we see the same integrity, perseverance and determination of many ChicanoĂs to endure and survive with their identity and culture in tact, despite the often devastating impact of dominant cultures. As one individual expresses, ˘We are a poor people, a humble people, but a people of action. We are the ones who make human history. The history of the world has alway


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