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I am Joaquin by Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales

The poem “I Am Joaquin,” by Rodolfo Gonzales is basically about the Hispanic and Indian culture, the Mexican heroes in addition to the American lives. In this poem, the writer expresses several diverse emotions that he had felt about the world that he was living in. Generally, the poem displays a writer who is in an angry state of mind in regard to how the society was towards his own culture, the circumstance that prevails the writer and he must select between economic and his own cultural identity is one of the major points that are regular in the poem. The most vital aspect that revolves in the entire play is the fact that the writer feels that he does not belong in the typical world for the way ill-treatment that he gets (Rodolpho, 2001).

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What Is the Structure of the Poem I am Joaquin?

The structure of the poem “I Am Joaquín” is a recurrent dialectical movement from the present-day to the past and forth to a present-day that is more enriched and complicated. The poem can be partitioned into three major sections:

  • the first being an expression of grief and withdrawal from the people, la Raza;
  • the second part is a dialectical change of Mexican Americans via the interaction of the past and present;
  • the third part is the assertion of a fresh revolutionary identity by the name the Chicano that is expected to make a major transformation in the present day and in the future.

In the poem, it is vivid that the Chicano movement takes place in the name of Joaquín, he is the Chicano Everyman in the poem who plays the role of a symbolic unity of the people. The application of the word I in the poem does not do not play the role of an individual but plays a collective purpose. Even though the resulting politics of the poem is a blossoming Chicano movement as a 1960s alternate option on Zapatismo, the poem's transformative combined sympathy via the interaction of past and present is the aforementioned separate politics; this can be referred to as Joaquínismo.

In this poem, Joaquínismo is a major factor as it is seen as a vanishing arbitrator, or as a reconciling moment amid the unspecified sense of oppression and injustice of the era of the early 1960s that marks the opening and the identification of the poem that has the philosophical construct of the Chicano. In addition, it also marks the closure of the poem (Rodolpho, 2001).

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Chicano Movement

The poem was a major contributor and inspiration during the Chicano Movement as it widely spread so as to be read during public rallies and organizing movements of what later rose and developed to be referred to as the Chicano Movement. The poem was also an inspiration to the Chicano movement due to the fact that it also played the role as the introductory work of what in the present day referred to as the Chicano Literary Renaissance that lasted from the end of the 1960s to 1975 and thus providing a foundation for all the literary works that had the Chicano movement element as one of their major themes.

In fact, this poem can be referred to as being establishing literary work for all preceding Chicano literature. Before the year1967, Chicano literature did not exist, however after 1967 the entire history of Chicano literature from the 1600s to the 1960s abruptly, retroactively came into existence. Moreover, before the publication of this poem, the Chicanos were not in existence; however afterward, they had been around to the present day (Rodolpho, 2001). The author of this poem has incorporated various elements that would make up the identity of Chicano to come together under the name "Chicano." Before this, all of the efforts for justice, farm labor laws, civil rights, and cultural acknowledgment for Mexican Americans was done by the Mexican Americans.

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The Development and Defining Characteristics of Chicano Rock

Chicano rock was the genre of music that was developed by young people in the Mexican American culture in the city of Los Angeles; they designed their own mixture of cultural position in the 1960s, the Chicano rock was complete as it had a distinctive form of music from the formal American rock. This genre of music was initiated by artists such as Lalo Guerrero; the sound of this music is characterized by an incredible influence on the growth of rock and roll, in addition, it has influences that are current to the present day and are still heard (Gary, 2004).

Chicano rock is the unique technique of rock and roll music that was performed by Mexican Americans from Southern California across most states in the United States that encompasses subjects the cultural experiences. Even though the genre is comprehensive and diverse, encircling a variety of styles and themes, the all-encompassing theme of Chicano rock is its Rhythm and Blues inspiration and integration of brass instruments such as the trumpet and saxophone, the funky bass lines, and it’s the combination of Mexican vocal aspect that are sung in English. Chicano rock, similar to the early rock and roll music, assumed the rhythm and blues-based technique of African American music and employed the electric guitar. It also merged influences music from the Latin American and encompassed subjects of the Chicano philosophies of the southwest region (Gary, 2004).

In the Chicano rock, the African-American audience was very essential to the aspirations of the Latino musicians, and this aspect kept their music linked to the genuine R&B. Indeed, a lot of listeners in the 1960s heard the Sunny and the Sunglows song Talk to me", or the Headhunter song Land of a Thousand Dances and made assumptions that the music groups were black. Dick Hugg was one of the figures that played a key role in the promotion of rock music. Chicano rock music also got influenced by the Doo-wop type of music (Gary, 2004).

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