Author: Dr. Ricardo Romo

Latinos Also Inspired by Dr. King’s Dream

By Dr. Ricardo Romo Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke before 250,000 demonstrators for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in August of 1963, the largest protest event in American history. He awakened the nation to its constitutional obligations of fairness and justice for all. While his legacy is secure, there is less known about King’s indirect contribution to a rise in Latino awareness of injustices, discrimination, and violence against minorities of color. Here is a part of the Latino historical and legal link to King’s American dream. During King’s generation, Texas, and all the Southern States, successfully...

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Latinos Can Find Benefits From Art and Music

By Dr. Ricardo Romo Latinos benefit by engaging in the arts, and not just for the obvious reasons of enjoying beauty and creativity. In many Latino communities we too often celebrate the arts and music largely as spectators in seasonal social activity such as Fiesta, Dia de los Muertos [Day of the Dead], or a Mariachi serenade for a birthday event. It turns out, this is not enough if we desire a longer and happier life. A recent scientific study has found that museums and music concerts are actually good for our very survival. In a January New York...

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Juan de Dios Mora

By Dr. Ricardo Romo Juan de Dios Mora is a native of Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico who emigrated with his family to the United States at age 14. His parents settled in Laredo, Texas where they found employment in the service industries, mainly working in hotels and restaurants. No one in the family spoke English when they arrived in Texas and young Mora started school in ESL classes. Mora learned English quickly and developed a passion for painting and sports. He participated in track and soccer and his initial goal in life was to become a coach. However, he also excelled in painting and by the time he had completed his degree at Martin High School in Laredo in 2003, he had decided to study art. He enrolled in art classes at Laredo Community College and Texas A&M International University. He transferred to The University of Texas at San Antonio [UTSA] in 2007 and enrolled in painting and drawing classes. Upon completing his UTSA Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2009 with an emphasis in painting, he enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts program specializing in Printmaking. With two degrees from UTSA, he received an offer to teach printmaking in the art department at UTSA as a Senior Lecturer. Mora concentrates in the relief printmaking technique to create narratives of Mexican-American experiences. Mora credits his experiences living along the...

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The End of Segregation in a Southern Town

By Ricardo Romo A story that is not well known is how San Antonio Tech High School was a prime model of racial harmony and ethnic tolerance in the city during the years 1955-1965. In these years many southern cities experienced racial strife associated with the struggle by Black Americans to gain equality with other Americans. Conflict was the norm rather than the exception in the civil rights struggle made famous by Martin Luther King and thousands of his followers. We are familiar with images of police suppressing peaceful demonstrations with tear gas, at times sending vicious dogs to...

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Cesar Martinez

By Ricardo Romo Cesar Martinez grew up in Laredo, Texas and attended Texas A&M University at Kingsville. While at the Kingsville campus he formed friendships with several Latino artists who like himself, expressed in their paintings and drawings their own South Texas experience. Together these South Texas artists constituted the early creative developers of the Chicano art movement. These artists included Carmen Lomas Garza, Santa Barraza, Amado Pena, and Jose Rivera. After graduation, Martinez moved to San Antonio, Texas where he joined San Antonio College art professor and artist Mel Casas in forming the famed Con Safos art group. Con Safos is widely considered the first Chicano art organization in Texas. Martinez’ borderland environment greatly influenced his early artistic subjects. As a young teen Martinez crossed the border nearly every weekend to visit family, shop at the Gran Mercado (an open market that dated back to the 19th century), as well as attend bullfights at the Plaza de Toros. In some of his early works, Martinez painted a jaguar, which represented Pre-Columbian Indigenous culture, in confrontation with a bull, which represented the Spanish newcomers to Mexico. Martinez considers himself a Mestizo, a blend of Indian and European cultures, an identity commonly accepted by Mexicans. In a well known self portrait, his facial features are divided: one half features a jaguar, while the opposite half is that of a bull....

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