Alejandrez vividly portrays his childhood experiences by remembering events of what used to take place in the cotton fields. He describes memories of the discriminations he used to face being an immigrant black child. Being a kid, he could not understand the reason as to why the blacks and Mexicans had to go to different restaurants and schools, and for their case, an immigrant child could attend five to six schools within a year. He remembers how his father used to bow down to his boss so he could feed him and his siblings but he vowed never to undergo the same treatment as his father. Alejandrez's story brings out the idea of black slavery and racism. The perceptions held by Alexandre towards 'slave' work, saw him taking a different survival approach which included committing violence, murder, and drug trafficking to be in control. Later on, in his adulthood, he recalls some voice empowering migrants on better living conditions through seeking for sufficient pay. The voice gave Alexandra the courage to advocate for the rights and justice for his fellow immigrants.
Alejandrez uses the technique of observation in his childhood years as his father works on the farms. He observes how his father used to work and bow down to his boss as a way of showing his role as a servant in the fields. In adulthood, he gets to remember all these events vividly and relates its impacts to the era of slavery whereby African Americans were used as laborers in the farms and paid low wages. Another issue that he observes is the mass incarceration being practiced towards the people of black color. He relates this association of black youths with gangs, drugs, and alcohol to the high rates of violent arrests and imprisonments. Alejandrez remembers how his childhood years were vicious as he stabbed a kid at 13 and shot a guy at 15 and almost committed murder (Alejandrez 45). He attributes this aggressive behavior to the childhood memories he had, as he remembers that blacks and Mexicans were isolated in eating areas and schools, and his father having to bow for the boss brought anger in him. He attributes this behavior to the harsh conditions for survival he faced as a migrant. Alejandrez's use of dialogue with Laura breaks the monotony of the story and makes it more capturing as the conversationsheighten the reader's expectations from both parties make it more vivid.
Alejandrez sets up scenes of youths engaging in rowdy activities, violence, and illegal business of drug trades to explain the issue of poverty, racism and mass incarceration being experienced today among the black Americans in the United States (Alejandrez 45). He tries to bring in an understanding of Martin Luther's idea on the use of nonviolence and observation of peace among the Whites and Blacks. According to Alejandrez, what happens is that majority of the migrants find themselves falling into alcohol and drugs addiction and therefore have to see a spiritual attachment to find healing since dealing with gang members is painful. For this reason, individuals who have been given long sentences in prison for non-violent drug involvement ought to be treated rather than being incarcerated since incarceration would only lead to more violence and negativity towards life. He explains that blacks end up in prison as a spiritual and cultural group
Westby, Carol. "Promoting Personal Narrative." Word of Mouth 27.5 (2016): 12-15.
Daniel, Alejandrez. "Essay: Cesar Chavez Saved My Life." 45.
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