Make a connection between Buried Onion's neighborhood or life in which Eddie exists and someone/ some neighborhood with which you are familiar.
[Does his life remind you of a book or movie you are familiar with? Or does it remind you of anything from your personal life or a friend’s life? Is his neighborhood similar or different from yours?]
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Eddie's story is that of the traditional American Dream in which one can rise from poverty to success and a much better quality of life. Another Mexican American who rose from a neighborhood where
Laundry wept from the lines, the faded flags of poor, ignorant, unemployable people.... Still the babies cried, and their crying stirred up our frustration because we were like those strollers going back and forth, back and forth, going nowhere
is Dr. Ricardo Sanchez, poet, teacher, and activist. The Sanchezes moved from Mexico to El Paso before Dr. Sanchez was born. Raised in a neighborhood whose name indicated its danger, El Barrio del Diablo [neighborhood of the devil], the intellectually curious boy became a part of a subculture called pachuco subculture, whose members adopted their own style of dress and created a language called calo which combined idioms from both Spanish and English. Raised in the 1950's, Sanchez encountered prejudices from his teachers whom he told that he would like to be a poet; one replied that people like him did not become poets, they were janitors.
Sanchez was so disappointed with his opportunities that he dropped out of school and enlisted in the military. Although he was accepted into officer candidate school, Sanchez lost his opportunity after learning of the death of two of his brothers because he reacted emotionally and ended up committing an armed robbery. After he was paroled, he married, but his economic situation and peer pressure led him into another armed robbery and a prison term. Nevertheless, Sanchez improved himself in Ramsey prison of Texas by becoming a librarian and teacher. Never hiding his past, Sanchez went on to educate youth against the glorification of the lifestyles that lead to prison. In 1969 he receive a Ford Foundation sponsorship as a Frederick Douglass Fellow in Journalism. With just a G.E.D., Sanchez earned employment as a staff writer and humanities instructor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Of course, he went on to earn a Ph.D. and become a renowned writer and poet, his dream. Like Eddie, Dr. Sanchez overcame the challenges of his racial and economic situation in which he was born.
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