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Title: 1910

Source(s): Chants

Author(s): Pat Mora (Author)

A poem about discrimination along the Texas-Mexico border.

In Mexico they bowed their heads when she passed. Timid villagers stepped aside for the Judge's mother, Doña Luz, who wore her black shawl, black gloves whenever she left her home— at the church, the mercado, and the plaza in th...

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Title: A Voice

Source(s): My Own True Name: New and Selected Poems for Young Adults

Author(s): Pat Mora (Author)

A poem describing the narrator’s mother’s struggle to learn English.

Even the lights on the stage unrelenting as the desert sun couldn’t hide the other students, their eyes also unrelenting, students who spoke English every night as they ate their meat, potatoes, gravy. Not you. In your house that smelled lik...

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Title: Dear Brother

Source(s): Columbus, NM: Queen of the Mimbres Valley

Author(s): Mrs. Sarah Hoover (Author); Ray Sherdell Page (Author)

A letter dated March 12, 1916, from a resident of Columbus, New Mexico, to her brother in Kansas, describing Pancho Villa’s raid on the town.

Dear Brother: We have had a most terrible battle here and we were all in the thickest of it. The bullets all came through the windows, they could not penetrate the adobe walls, but went through both walls of the hall and dining room and into Will...

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Title: Crossings

Source(s): Canícula

Author(s): Norma Elia Cantú (Author)

Author Norma Elia Cantú and her family have crossed the US-Mexico border many times to visit their relatives.

Bueli and Mami and Papi crossed the bridge on foot from one Laredo to the other; they took turns carrying me, or maybe only pushing my blue stroller. Chirinola, our dog, came too, papers and all. It was 1948. For Bueli the move brought back memories,...

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Title: El Corrido de Inmigrante (Ballad of an Immigrant)

Source(s): Alambrista and the U.S.-Mexico Border: Film, Music, and Stories of Undocumented Workers; Mexican Voices/American Dreams: An Oral History of Mexican Immigration to the United States

Author(s): Unidentified (Author); Nicholas J. Cull (Editor); Marilyn P. Davis

A Mexican ballad, or corrido, about how sad people are when they have to leave home to go to the United States.

Mexico, my homeland, where I was born, Give me the benediction of your powerful hand, I’m going to the United States to earn my living, Good-bye, my beloved country, I carry you in my heart, Don’t condemn me for leaving my country, Poverty a...

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Title: El Deportado (The Deportee)

Source(s): Alambrista and the U.S.-Mexico Border: Film, Music, and Stories of Undocumented Workers; El Deportado, Texas-Mexican Border Music, Part I, Arhollie Records (Berkeley, 1975)

Author(s): Unidentified (Artist); Nicholas J. Cull (Editor); David Carrasco (Editor)

A ballad, or corrido, from the time of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920).

Adios mi madre querida, Hechame su benedición, Ya me voy al extranjero, Donde no hay revolución. Goodbye my beloved mother, Give me your blessings, I am going abroad, Where there is no revolution.

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Title: El Venadito

Source(s): Alambrista and the U.S.- Mexico Border: Film, Music, and Stories of Undocumented Workers

Author(s): José B. Cuellar (Author); Nicholas J. Cull (Editor); David Carrasco (Editor)

José B. Cuellar rewrote the lyrics of the second verse of this classic, two-hundred-year-old Mexican ballad, or corrido, to describe people’s experience crossing the US-Mexico today.

I’m a poor little deer who lives In the hills Since I’m not very tame, I don’t Come down during daylight By night little by little and into Your arms my dear I climbed the highest hill to See the plains Where eagles triumph, hawks...

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Title: Chihuahua: Pictures from the Edge (excerpt)

Source(s): Chihuahua: Pictures from the Edge

Author(s): Charles Bowden (Author); Virgil Hancock (Photographer)

A visit to Pancho Villa’s hacienda in Chihuahua, Mexico.

I walk into General Villa’s room and truly the windows are demolished. The roof too has collapsed and out the door local villagers sit in the shade and lean against the crumbling walls and talk with drunken merriment. I know at this very moment in ...

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Title: Immigrants

Source(s): Borders

Author(s): Pat Mora (Author)

A poem describing immigrants’ hope that their children will fit into US society.

wrap their babies in the American flag, feed them mashed hot dogs and apple pie, name them Bill and Daisy, buy them blonde dolls that blink blue eyes or a football and tiny cleats before the baby can even walk, speak to them in thick Engl...

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Title: I’ve Done My Bit on the Border

Source(s): Chapter Four: Revenge and Reprisal; Border Fury: A Picture Postcard Record of Mexico’s Revolution and U.S. War Preparedness, 1910-1917

Author(s): James J. Verhoeks (Author); Paul J. Vanderwood (Author); Frank N. Samponaro (Author)

A poem by a bugler in the 32nd Michigan Infantry, which served on the US-Mexico border in 1916.

I’ve done my bit on the border I wish I was in God’s country again I’ve had my fill of the border Of Greasers and border men I’ve eaten the dirt of Texas I’ve drank of the Rio Grande I’ve grubbed mesquite in the cursed heat (The Lo...

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