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Sylvia Castaneda bringing luz
Bringing Luz 1024 683 LA County Library

Bringing Luz

In the 1920’s, Luz Solís was living in San Diego with her husband and their two young children. Luz was raised in Tijuana and had crossed the U.S. – Mexico border daily to attend grade school in San Ysidro. read more
Celia Viramontes braceros hands
Bracero’s Hands 1024 683 LA County Library

Bracero’s Hands

Don Luis tucked his work contract into a small bag and boarded a bus at the U.S-Mexico border near Texas. It would be a long trip to Nebraska – a place closer to the Canadian border, a rancher’s representative warned the men on board. But to Don Luis, distance didn’t matter. read more
Daryoush, VJ, Simón and Al 1024 683 LA County Library

Daryoush, VJ, Simón and Al

In 1984 I returned to L.A., my hometown, after being away for almost 17 years. With my 3-month old son Tomás in tow, I arrived from Mallorca, Spain with the clothes on my back, and a few battle scars from a tumultuous relationship with his father. read more
Fabiola Manriquez echoes from the past
Echoes From the Past 1024 683 LA County Library

Echoes From the Past

One day, when I was in second grade at Brooklyn Avenue School, I was at lunch, which they called nutrition. I happened to put back a cookie that I didn’t want and decided to get another one. Before I knew it, my teacher, Ms. Childs grabbed me by my shirt, threw me against the wall, and called me a dirty Mexican. read more
Sarah Alvarado Tia
Tia 1024 683 LA County Library


Joanie was the firstborn of nine – the love child of a young girl and an adulterous older man. Her mother, Rosana, had two more children with this man but finally left him when she accepted he would never leave his wife. read more
Jasmine De Hora okay dad
“Okay, Dad” 1024 683 LA County Library

“Okay, Dad”

I never lived in the same home as my father. Or at least, when I did, I was too young to remember. My mom removed my siblings and me from his home when I was 10 months old. What remains of my life with him are bizarre moments. read more
Miguel Roura Un Mitote Mas
Un Mitote Mas 1024 683 LA County Library

Un Mitote Mas

One Saturday in the summer of 1970, I boarded a Tres Estrellas bus and headed south, down the International Highway taking me on my first in depth exploration of Mexico. read more
Felicia Howell Liberian Kids
Red Dust and All 1024 683 LA County Library

Red Dust and All

I lay in bed early one Friday morning as the radio crackled with the voice of Liberian President Samuel Doe. “This is your President speaking. Anyone caught on the streets after 7:00pm will be executed, ” he said. “Do not challenge me. There will be consequences.” read more
Cecella Flores taxi dancer
Taxi Dancer 1024 683 LA County Library

Taxi Dancer

In 1973, I was a single mother of three small children. I was working in a wig distribution warehouse in downtown LA packing wigs in boxes that were sold at major department stores. I was always looking for a better paying job. read more
Cj Salgado the toolbox
The Toolbox 1024 683 LA County Library

The Toolbox

When I was a little boy growing up in East L.A., my father kept a toolbox. It was at the very back of the garage, covered by a blanket, piece of cardboard, or shop towel at the end of each day to hide it from any would-be-burglars. That was my job, to cover it. read more
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