Wendy Trevino, “Brazilian Is Not a Race”

22

1915-1917
The Valley was “a virtual war zone.”
Whether that was the Plan or only looked
Like part of the Plan, the effects reached well
Beyond the Valley, in part, because some
Feared Germany & Japan were behind
It. But Black militancy, on the rise
At the time, “gave the Plan resonance &
Terrified Washington.” It wasn’t just
That Afro-Mexicans & African-
Americans living in the U.S.
Might join the movement. They feared mutiny.
They feared Black soldiers, who were typically
Stationed in the borderlands around that time.

23

No one remembers the Alamo or
Vicente Guerrero or the ban on
Communication between Mexicans
& slaves in parts of Texas. I don’t know
How much it matters, but I imagine
A Valley where you learn about the Plan
Growing up & the “Buffalo Soldiers”
Of the 24th infantry, who marched
On Jim Crow Houston’s predominately
Black San Felipe district & opened
Fire on the police—I imagine
Life in that Valley & how it would be
Harder to not hear these stories in that
Place. It’s hard to imagine but I try.

24

Vasoncelos opened a law office
To support himself in San Diego
California, the same year Black soldiers
Killed cops in Houston. He’d spent quite a bit
Of time in the U.S. by then––even
Before exile. Didier Jaén says
“He lived the Chicano experience”
When his dad was a Customs Inspector
In Piedras Negras & he was going
To school in Eagle pass. Jaén believes this
Explains, at least in part, why Chicanos
Saw “La Raza” in his “Cosmic race” when
The concept had already fallen out
Of favor in Latin America.

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