Life Of Ramon Vasquez Y Sanchez San Antonio College/ Mexican American History Research Paper

938 words - 4 pages

It was the summer of 1950, and a 10-year-old boy had walked in into a grocery store looking to find if there was a water fountain. He kept looking and looking to see if there was a water fountain around and at long last saw, not just one water fountain but two. Finally relieved after finding the water fountains the boy took a long sip of the ice-cold water when suddenly a store employee yelled, “Hey little kid you can’t drink from that water fountain don’t you see that its only for whites only”.[footnoteRef:1] The boy was confused on why he couldn’t drink from that water fountain until he turned around and noticed that there were signs above the water fountains in which one read whites only and the other colored only. After being confronted by the store employee the boy walked out of the store and told his mother what had happened, his mother said, “Mijo why didn't you do something about it?” and the boy said, “I don’t know mom”. After realizing what had occurred to him, that told him that there was racism here. This boy was called Ramon Vasquez y Sanchez. This experience with the water fountain would prompt Ramon Vasquez y Sanchez to start becoming active, which later in the future to be a part of El Movimiento, a movement which took place between the years 1960-1985 to achieve Mexican American empowerment. Deeply influenced by previous family generations of activism, Ramon Vasquez y Sanchez sought change in the Mexican community by implementing his art and voice into trying to give Latinos/Mexicans equal opportunities in education and wage rates of that of the Anglo community. [1: Ramon Vasquez y Sanchez, “Life of Ramon”, Interview by Cristina, Sifrido, Adan, and Jesus, Group Interview, February 6, 2018, San Antonio, Texas. ]
His family would be an important aspect of Ramon’s life of activism because he already had that fighting essence in his blood. A significant crucial role model which led Ramon Vasquez y Sanchez to become an activist was his mother Olivia Sanchez (98 years old). Olivia Sanchez during her earlier years dropped out of school in the eighth grade, but that didn’t stop her in the future to become a precinct chair and work on a campaign for Henry B. Gonzalez.
Olivia Sanchez would soon become an inspiration to Ramon Vasquez y Sanchez because, on Sep 15, 1939, Olivia took part in an event for the Native American Voters League to improving rights such as being able to vote and have a voice[footnoteRef:2]. She also sought to be able to go anywhere without being discriminated and improving better working conditions for the Mexican people. Ramon says in this article written by Elaine Ayala, “She taught me la politica”. These contributions Olivia made during her time around the late 1930s are important because it would later inspire Ramon Vasquez y Sanchez to become politically aware of what was happening as he was growing up to becoming an activist. [2: Elaine Ayala, Local Chicano Movement archive begins with indigenous roo...


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