Latino Americans The 500 Year Legacy That Shaped A Nation Summary

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The validity of the perception that “the United States is a country made of immigrants” has been historically challenged by the government and those in power. In his book, Latino Americans: The 500-Year Legacy that Shaped a Nation, Ray Suarez provides a deep understanding of how the contributions and struggles by the Latinos in the past has shaped the present of this nation. To many “Americans,” Latinos are just new immigrants coming from their land in search of a better future. For those Latinos, however, leaving their countries, cultures, families and communities comprise the most significant sacrifice of their lives. As many other Latinos, my family migrated to the United States with the hope of a better future. My life-changing experience …show more content…

After my arrival, I was placed in a bilingual high school located in midtown Manhattan. My high school was one of the four schools in the building; each floor had its own school. The schools were divided as follow: the first floor; special Ed, second floor; culinary arts (black students), third floor; native English speakers (mostly white students), and fourth floor; bilingual school for newcomer immigrants (Hispanics). The dynamics of segregation experienced in my high school reflects to the reality that many Americans lived in the era of “Separate but equal.” Sadly, more than 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, the United States schools continued to be segregated. In addition, the Government Accountability Office [GAO] (2016) reported: “from school years 2000-2001 to 2013-2014, the percentage of all K-12 public schools that had high percentages of poor and black or Hispanic students grew from 9 to 16 percent” (p. 2). These findings suggest that practices of racially and economically segregating students of color continue unresolved. Sadly, poverty and race are automatic disqualifiers for children of color to have equal access to quality …show more content…

As noted by Suarez (2013), Latino history in the United States began in the sixteenth century under the Spanish colonization. Five hundred nations were established in North America before Europeans settled in the United States. As a result of the European colonization, the United States invaded Mexican Western territories; this conflict is known as the “Manifest Destiny” (Suarez, 2013). In his book, Suarez provides many stories of Latino Americans who fought against the U.S. expansionism over West Mexico and faced discrimination by Anglo-Americans for their Mexican origins. I believe that Juan Seguín’s story perfectly illustrates the past and the reality of many Latino Americans. Juan Seguín was a citizen of Mexico and was elected Senator and military commander of West Texas for his victory of conquering this territory. Juan Seguín experienced discrimination and oppression in his own territory as Anglo-Americans were moving to Texas and displacing Mexicans from their own land. As Anglo-Americans continued to take over Texas, Mexicans were removed from their land and were treated as second-class citizens (Suarez, 2013). Like many other Mexicans, Juan Seguín was forced out of Texas, his land that he fought for; he felt like a foreigner in his own country. During this time, Mexicans in the United States became citizens and

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