mi abuela. circa 1970's
mi abuela. both her parents, and their families, sailed from spain to the united states searching for a better life. they worked hard, provided for their loved ones, worked the jobs that many were not willing to do and their community greatly contributed to the fabric of san francisco's culture.
they were often discriminated against and made to feel as if they did not belong; my granny's grade school teacher would humiliate her in front of the entire class every morning. the teacher would make her stand in front of all the students while she checked her hair for lice, and would make her show her feet to ensure that they were clean- insinuating that spanish children were dirty.
my abuela became ashamed of her name, ashamed of her language, ashamed of her culture and ashamed that her parents were not born in the united states.
now, she's ashamed that she was ashamed of all these things...
the life of the immigrant is one of sacrifice, struggle and triumph.
there is the agony of children being left behind, living far from one's homeland, language barriers, adjusting to a new culture, supporting a life here and family abroad, hard labor and low wages... along with many successes.
across the united states today, children are staying home from school, business are shutting down and workers refuse to labor as a means to show solidarity to the immigrants from all around the world who are working hard and making this nation great.
it is the stolen african- who would become the black american- the indigenous tribes and the immigrant who are responsible for this country's economic dominance- without them we are nothing.