Maggid ben Yoseif / Jerusalem Torah Voice in Exile

13 Iyar 5766 / May 11, 2006

The Spirit of the Chicano

Luis Valdez from his book, "Aztlan:  An Anthology of Mexican American Literature":

No Statue of Liberty ever greeted our arrival in this country ... We did not, in fact, come to the United States at all. The United States came to us.

We have been in America a long time. Somewhere in the twelfth century, our Aztec ancestors left their homeland of Aztlan, and migrated south to Anahuc, "the place by the waters," where they built their great city of Mexico-Tenochtitlan. It was a long journey ... the elders of the tribe died en route and their children grew old. Aztlan was left far behind, somewhere "in the north," but it was never forgotten.

Aztlan is now the name of our Mestizo nation, existing to the north of Mexico, within the borders of the United States. Chicano poets sing of it, and their flor y canto points toward a new yet very ancient way of life and social order... The natural revolutionary turn of things is overthrowing outmoded concepts in the life of man, even as it does in nature; churning them around in the great spin of Creation, merging the very ancient with the very new to create new life forms.

The rise of the Chicano is part of the irrevocable birth of America, born of the blood, flesh and life spirit of this ancient continent ... "