"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Monday, November 21, 2005

El Plan de San Luis Potosi

The Mexican Revolution of 1910 began on November 20, 1910 when Francisco I. Madero issued his Plan de San Luis Potosi. My great-grandfather, Adalberto Mesta Cerda, fought in the revolution eventually becoming a Lt. Col in the revolutionary calvary. He died sometime during 1914 in a nameless grave. When or exactly where he died has been lost to the family and to history. Only stories and pictures exist. I wonder what type of man he was and what caused him to join the revolution. Did he join because of ideology? Was he wronged by rich hacienda owner? Que occurio? My relatives look at his photos and say he lives on through me.

Men and women like him were caught up by history and changed it. Recuerdos.

Link: English Translation of El Plan de San Luis Potosi.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

El Paso's Writers Spotlight: Theresa Melendez

I never met professora Melendez, but I've traded email with her.

I also hear good thing from the Chicano(a) student in Michagan. She currently teaches at Michagan State University in their department of English.

But most of us know her when she was tenured faculty at UTEP's English Departement. For a long time, she was the only tenured Chicana/o in that department. Not much has changed there.

But she was there as several writers passed through like Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Benjamin A. Saenz, and Manuel Velez. I'm not sure if Melendez was there when Olga Garcia passed through.

Melendez was very active at UTEP in the Chicano Faculty Association, back when Dr. Haddox, Norma Hernandez, Cesar Caballero, Oscar Martinez, among others were active in it. Melendez was always a supporter of UTEP Chicano Studies, even through its tough times.

I know she was director of MSU Chicano Studies Program. Take a look at this article: "Melendez finds history, destiny". I know she was also on the board of the local ACLU. I know she also has been taking a stand againt military recrutiers in schools. See The Blitz. Melendez attended Burgess High School in El Paso before getting her B.A. and M.A. from UTEP. She went on to get her Ph.D. at the University of California at San Diego. Currently Coordinator of Latino/Chicano Studies at Michigan State University, East Lansing.

She's co-edited several books including "Race in 21st Century America" and "Racial Liberalism and the Politics of Urban America."