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Yo Soy Joaquin
Transcript of Yo Soy Joaquin
Alonso Caballero Published by Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales in 1967
Widely spread throughout the Chicano Movement
This poem was able to combine various elements that would make up Chicano identity under one name
Until the poem was created, the word Chicano hadn't been used because the word "Chicano" was initially used as an insult, signifying a person of lower status and culture Started the Chicano Literary Renaissance beginning from the late 60's to the mid 70's.
Provided the groundwork for more Chicano poetry to come
After 1967 the whole history of Chicano literature from the 1600s to 1967 surfaced Facts "Gonzales recounts the roots of Chicano identity in the long history of Mexican miscegenation through Spanish and Indian contact on up through the U.S. occupation and annexation of northern Mexico. The poem also displays the mytho-cultural icons of Chicano identity growing out of pre-Columbian Ameridian cultures. Then the poem surveys the history of Mexican American oppression and ends by imagining the future liberation of the Chicanos and their homeland"
-George Hartley Critics Opinions Juan Bruce-Novoa sees the structure of the poem as a "continual dialectal movement from the present to the past and back to a more enriched and complicated present"
He divides the poem into 3 sections
The first section being a lament and retreat into the people, la Raza
The second being a dialectical transformation of Mexican Americans through the interplay of past and present
Third being the declaration of a new revolutionary identity-the Chicano-which will transform the future At the end of the poem the word "Chicano" is seen as a cultural manifestation.
Gonzales can refer to Joaquin as "a revelation f myself and of all Chicanos who are Joaquin." Neither he or anyone was Joaquin or Chicano prior to the poem's existence. Yet after this moment, extending into the past and out toward the future, we can see the Chicano fighting for cultural existence in a hostile and alien land that was once his nation and his homeland. Summary Discussion Questions Thank You -Do you think this poem was too peaceful? Could Corky, the author have created a more aggressive approach or would that have negative effects? -By being Mexican in America is it insulting to no longer want the title "Mexican" but allow to use the, what was a demeaning term, "Chicano" as your cultural title? If not of hispanic background use your own cultural background and think of what would be best to do if another country who didn't respect your views or beliefs, who did not give your culture a chance would label you, what would you do? -Do you think the poem would have been more effective if it was only written in spanish and that the only English speaking people of the community would actually have to take their time to fully translate this powerful poem into their own language so they can understand it?