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Mexican-American Texan Writers Span Generations and Genres

LatinaLista — According to the U.S. Census, Texas is home to the second largest Hispanic population in the country. Not surprising since Texas roots can be traced back to when the state was part of Mexico.

Texas has historically nourished many writers, especially Mexican Americans who have lived their entire lives straddling two borders, two cultures.
In the anthology Hecho en Tejas: An Anthology of Texas Mexican Literature, published by University of New Mexico Press, the works of many prominent Texas Mexican-American writers are featured in an attempt to showcase “a story of the Texas Mexican first as a Mexican, then as a Texan, again as Mexican…”

The anthology, edited by Dagoberto Gilb, an award-winning creative writer, features the works of such well known Mexican American Texans as:
Juan Seguín, a defender of the Alamo and a letter he wrote in his defense against suspicious whites in Texas who believed the native-born Texan was loyal to Mexico.
The lyrics from the song “Mal Camino” (The Wrong Path) sung by Chelo Silva who became the most famous Tejana vocalist of the early 20th century.
An essay titled “The Making of a Chicano Militant” by José Angel Gutiérrez, the founder of La Raza Unida Party who spearheaded a nationwide movement to get more Chicanos to vote and participate in politics.
And a memoir entry titled “One Family, Two Homelands” by Macarena Hernández, a journalist who co-produced a PBS documentary and gained national notoriety when her reporting was plagiarized by a New York Times newspaper reporter.
With a mixture of essays, song lyrics, memoir entries, letters and plays, the anthology not just illustrates the words and feelings of these Mexican American Texans but attempts to be

“a cultural and historical resource for Texas aficionados and for literature lovers beyond: a mosaic of the land and its people.”

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