history


Tequila — real tequila — can only be made from the blue agave. This short British documentary explains the process.

But wait, there’s more. How about the 1952 Ralph Adams documentary Maguey: Plant of a Thousand Uses: [Mas…]

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kidsellisislandIn 1892, the first immigrant to enter the U.S. at the new Ellis Island immigration facility was an unaccompanied 15-year-old minor.

Not only was she not greeted by howling racists, their faces distorted with unfathomable rage, but she got a certificate and a gold coin.

Bill Moyers reports:

An unaccompanied child migrant was the first person in line on opening day of the new immigration station at Ellis Island Her name was Annie Moore, and that day, January 1, 1892, happened to be her 15th birthday. She had traveled with her two little brothers from Cork County, Ireland, and when they walked off the gangplank, she was awarded a certificate and a $10 gold coin for being the first to register. [Mas…]

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For generations, Americans have revered The Star-Spangled Banner as their National Anthem, singing it at baseball games, karaoke nights and Fourth of July celebrations around the country.

It may come as a surprise, however, that the song’s author, Francis Scott Key, was actually a Mexican immigrant named Francisco Scott Quiñones and that the song was written to his friend and fellow immigrant Jose Canusi after witnessing the storied defense of Ft. McHenry on Sept. 16, 1814.

According to records in the National Archives, the original manuscript (image, below)  begins with the words: “Jose, can you see by the dawn’s early light?”

Long a source of pride in the Mexican-American community, the subject of Francis Scott Key’s true identity is taboo in academia and historical re-enactment circles.

“The National Anthem’s Mexican roots are America’s best-kept secret,” says UCLA Musicologist T. Gray Del Norte. ”And it makes perfect sense if you consider that the Statue of Liberty is French and the U.S. Constitution is based on the Iroquois Confederacy.” [Mas…]

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luxAvoid Offending. Girls who want to be popular never risk “undie odor” – they whisk undies through Lux after each wearing. Click on image to enlarge. [#TBT image via the Kitsch Bitsch. Thanks!] [Mas…]

cucadonner

imminowThese days in Aztlan — and across lots of the United Estates — most immigrants come from Mexico, but it wasn’t always that way. A hundred years ago or so they were from Germany.

The Pew Research Center reports: [Mas…]

illegals
In my family, they say that Abuelo Abraham Saenz, wearing his WWI U.S. Army uniform, “smuggled” one of his sisters (photo, above) into the country via the Port of Philadelphia, wrapping the girl up in a fur coat so she looked like a rich lady.

The scheme was “dress to impress” so the MIGRA wouldn’t think to question her bonafides. She was illiterate, the story goes, and that wasn’t kosher for poor Jewish would-be immigrants from Ukraine in the early 1900s. The rich bitch trick worked, my great aunt got through immigration and everyone lived happily ever after.

Our family story, it turns out, isn’t unique. There were poor Jews who sneaked across the Mexican border near El Paso, and families smuggled in the cargo holds of ships packed with illegal Cuban rum during Prohibition.

Tablet Magazine explains: [Mas…]


Los Angeles “Paisley Underground” band The Bangles’ tune September Gurls gets a remake by History Teachers to tell the story of The Olmecs and those big stone heads.

Mira the History Teachers’ lyrics:

The Olmec heads
From long ago
Where they came from
No one knows [Mas…]

Legend La India Maria returns as ‘La Hija de Moctezuma’ (trailer)

by Moctezuma Cortés May 6, 2014 Cultura
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ESPANOL: La India María debe encontrar a toda costa en lo recóndito de una montaña, El Mágico Espejo Negro de Tezcatlipoca, pues el espíritu de su bisabuelo Moctezuma Xocoyotzin así lo ha ordenado para evitar la destrucción de México. Alonso, un atractivo arqueólogo español, Bianchi, un tramposo busca-tesoros y Brígida Troncoso — una ambiciosa gobernadora, […]

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La Cucaracha: What did Cinco de Mayo teach America? (toon)

by Lalo Alcaraz May 6, 2014 Cartoons
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La Cucaracha: The actual true story of Cinco de Mayo (2001 toon)

by Lalo Alcaraz May 5, 2014 Cartoons
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PochOpinion: Here’s what I thinko about Cinco

by Lalo Alcaraz May 5, 2014 Cultura
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White folks in sombreros and serapes. Spanglish beer commercials every few minutes. Yup, pretty ridiculous, señor. I agree with most of my friend Gustavo Arellano’s Cinco de Mayo video rant, mas o menos. He says it’s ridiculous, only serves some limited purposes as far as educating about the evils of Imperialism, or the promotion of self-determination, […]

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Shock confession! Local man doesn’t care what Cinco de Mayo is about

by María Purísima May 5, 2014 El Now
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(PNS reporting from EAST LOS) Ruben Covarrubias astounded family and friends here Sunday night when he admitted that the meaning of Cinco de Mayo didn’t concern him and he’d always thought “May 5 was Mexican Independence Day, so like so what?!” “I don’t care what it’s about,” he told everyone within earshot of the backyard […]

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Cartel street fight in Puebla, MX crushes French gang invaders

by EDUARDO BURRO May 4, 2014 Cultura
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(PNS reporting from PUEBLA, MX) Federales have finished cleaning up the streets of this southeastern city after a three-day battle between area gangsters and a French gang left 83 locals and 462 gabachos dead, PNS has learned. The  Marseilles gang (“La Eme”) — sent to collect a drug debt allegedly owed by the Puebla-based Ignacio Zaragosa clika […]

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Jay Smooth: The multi-layered racism of Donald Sterling (video)

by Lucida Grandé April 29, 2014 El Now
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WBAI (NYC) DJ Jay Smooth analyzes the Donald Sterling tape chingadera and wonders why adjudicated racist Sterling needed to get caught saying something before people got pissed. East Los homeboy Sterling has been an evil guy for years. And what about the the girlfriend? PREVIOUSLY ON DONALD STERLING:

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Mexicans + Lexington, Kentucky = ‘Mexington’ (photos, audio)

by Bronco del Camino April 21, 2014 Audio
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Steven Alvarez, POCHO amigo and Assistant Professor (Writing Rhetoric and Digital Media, Latin America Studies, English) at the University of Kentucky, teaches a course called Mexington, about the growing community of Mexican Americans in UKY’s hometown, Lexington. Here’s a student podcast interview with the Profe (he’s on the Twitter, too) and a few selected photos […]

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La Cucaracha: The world according to Creationists (toon)

by Lalo Alcaraz April 11, 2014 Cartoons
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Don’t call me a ‘Mexican,’ America! Also, I’m not a ‘Latino’

by Comic Saenz March 24, 2014 Cultura
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It’s a phenomenon older than the United Estates of America. We’ve named it Looking Down On More Recent Immigrants Syndrome: In 1751, Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, a North American colonial with British roots, disparaged “stupid” and “swarthy” recently-arrvied German immigrants, who, he wrote, were too dumb to learn English, and did we mention they were […]

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The Irish heroes of Aztlan: The San Patricio Batallón (music videos)

by Soy Capitan March 17, 2014 Cultura
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This corrido by Orange County Celtic-rock homies The Fenians tells the brave and tragic story of the San Patricios, the St. Patrick’s Battalion, formed and led by Jon Riley, a unit of 200 or so mostly Catholic Irish immigrants who fought as part of the Mexican Army against the United States in the Mexican–American War. […]

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Valdemar Puto and Tio Sam do the Crimea River Dance (toon)

by ERIC J. GARCIA March 12, 2014 Cartoons
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How popcorn (hecho en Peru circa 4700 BCE) pops [video]

by MOSCA MEXICAN March 4, 2014 Cultura
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Popcorn — palomitas de maíz — was discovered-invented-perfected in Peru circa 4700 BCE, the very first domesticated corn product. Watch how the corn pops, up close and personal.

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Chicanos: How did we become America’s new slave culture?

by Emiliano Villa February 26, 2014 Cultura
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Who are we? In my journey as a community activist and Chicano advocate, I’ve experienced many fascinating elements that have inspired me but also scarred me to my very soul. I have fought the Chicano politician who capitulated in the selling out of his community, broke bread with the “Old Man” whom lent the little […]

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Gustavo Arellano tells radio about all about tacos (video)

by Barney Asada February 20, 2014 Cultura
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Sonali Kolhatkar of Uprising Radio asks Gustavo Arellano about his book Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America and Gus is full of answers. PREVIOUSLY ON TACOS:

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Know Your Racist Deportation History: Navajo Long Walk (toon)

by ERIC J. GARCIA February 6, 2014 Cartoons
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PREVIOUSLY ON AMERICAN INDIANS:

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