Growing up I was taught I am Mexican American...
A brown girl with American pride but Mexican roots
Growing up in South San Jose with all the white kids.
I didn’t speak Spanish so I didn’t think I was like them...
The kids that only spoke Spanish.
But what I failed to see beyond our differences in language
Were our similarities
No matter how middle class I was
No matter how American I was
To the racist I would always be just another border jumper.
To the racist I would always be one of them.
I stopped trying to be like my white friends
And learned to embrace what made me different
My wide feet, my dark skin...
My dark hair and my wide grin...
These things made me just like them.
I began to embrace my identifiers
The features that made me stand out
And I learned to stand proud.
Proud of my features, proud of my culture,
Proud of my heritage, proud of my familia...
My grandparents who were brought here as children of la Revolucion!
Had it not been for them, I might be just like them.
My ancestors didn’t come here so we could be statistics...
Just another bunch of blue-collar Chicanos
They did not come here so we could be ungrateful of their struggle.
I carry their message in my heart
And their courage in my blood.
I am them. And some day their children will be me.
We are the same cultura.