Feb 28 2011

caramelo cover

Each morning Uncle rolled out huge dusty towers of fresh flour tortillas for his boys and served them hot with butter and salt for breakfast, or if he was feeling daring, with peanut butter. —Nothing like a hot peanut butter taco and a cup of coffee, Uncle said.


In 1915 more than half of the Mexican-American population emigrated from the Valley of Texas into war-torn Mexico fleeing the Texas Rangers, rural police ordered to suppress an armed rebellion of Mexican Americans protesting Anglo-American authority in South Texas. Supported by U.S. cavalry, their bullying led to the death of hundreds, some say thousands of Mexicans and Mexican Americans, who were executed without trial. The end result was that Mexican-owned land was cleared, allowing development by Anglo newcomers. So often were Mexicans killed at the hands of the “Rinches,” that the San Antonio Express-News said it “has become so commonplace” that “it created little or no interest.” Little or no interest unless you were Mexican.

From Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

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