Nicholasa Mohr

The only way to achieve acceptance and a chance to be in the mainstream of this society was to not only embrace the local American culture, but also to reject one’s own Hispanic culture. This attempt at assimilation, this frustrating struggle to fit in, was encouraged. […] All too often, the price of this success was paid by discarding our own history and never seeking the truth of our past. Anglo-American values demanded that we had to reject our parents’ language and change our way of thinking. Even our clothes and food were seen to be foreign. (Mohr 1073-4)

Her experience is similar to Joaquin’s in that they both faced similar difficulties and frustration at this transformation and assimilation process. It is often an alienating and painful one and we see these emotions in actions of having to “achieve acceptance,” “reject one’s own Hispanic culture,” in only an “attempt at assimilation,” which was a “frustrating struggle” endorsed and encouraged by school systems and the US mainstream. In order to be successful in achieving acceptance, one had to give up his or her rich ethnic history and reject half of their identity in the form of rejecting language, customs, traditions, food, and clothing. This method of assimilation was often difficult because that meant rejecting family in a sense. It meant rejecting everything they new and a part of how they identified themselves in order to prove they were worthy of their other identity.

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