Yo soy Tejano, not “White Washed”

tejanoChristopher A Hernández,
Corpus Christi, TX.

Growing up on the Gulf Coast of Texas, you can always smell the sea; after all: it’s practically in your backyard. But there’s also something else that is constantly in the air that one may not be able to smell, but it’s just as pungent: Stereotypes. I come from a family of proud Tejano heritage; my father is always talking about how we are 10th generation Texans, and should never forget about where we came from. I’ve traveled a lot around the US, and I usually get the “Oh, you’re Latino?” or “You’re like a ‘white-washed Mexican” question/response, very often. I feel like I have to prove myself worthy of my Mexican heritage often because I don’t necessarily ‘look’ like your ‘standard Mexican.’ But, there’s nothing ‘standard’ about any of us! I was very fortunate to learn about different cultures, to attend the opera, ballet, and see Rothko Chapel; just because I’m not ‘brown’, doesn’t mean that I’m not Mexican.


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