Author discusses crossing borders

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Retired Mexican-American studies Professor Juan Tejeda plays his recorder while Barbara Renaud Gonzalez read parts of her book “Los Nalgas de JLo’s Booty,” to a crowd in the Fiesta Room of Loftin Student Center as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Reading highlights social injustices Hispanics face.

By Sarah Centeno

More than 50 students and faculty gathered to listen to excerpts from Barbara Renaud Gonzalez’s book “Las Nalgas de JLO’s Booty” during a Hispanic Heritage Month event Oct. 3. in Loftin Student Center.

 Gonzalez is an author with 14 published essays, poems and books.

She is the founder of Alazan Arts Letters and Stories, a nonprofit organization dedicated to writing and publishing Tejano children’s stories about social justice.

Musical accompaniment was by Juan Tejeda, musician, publisher of Aztlan Libre Press and founder of Mexican-American studies at Palo Alto College, according to a flyer distributed at the event.

“I want students to be proud of their heritage and to feel that they are equal with the rest of the world. Also, to recognize they have a leadership responsibility to make the world a better place,” Gonzalez said.

Nursing sophomore Elena Ortiz and daughter Catarina listen to author Barbara Renaud Gonzalez read from her book “Los Nalgas de JLo’s Booty” to a crowd Oct. 3 in the Fiesta Room of Loftin Student Center as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Gonzalez emphasized the struggles some Hispanics are facing today such as immigration laws, deportations and accusations of Mexicans being rapists and criminals.

She spoke about the struggles her mother went through to cross the border to get to Texas in the late 1940s.

“My mother was seeking freedom and love. She crossed many borders in her life and expected all of her children to do the same. My mother learned that there was freedom in love,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez also spoke about another book she has written titled “Golondrina, Why Did You Leave Me?” published in 2009.

It was the first Chicana book to be published by University of Texas Press and was a finalist for the first fiction from the Texas institute of Letters.

“My mother encouraged me to go back to Mexico, to speak both English and Spanish, respect all immigrants, and most of all she told me that there are two sides to everything especially the Alamo,” Gonzalez read.

 Tejeda showed his musical abilities while playing the accordion, flute and singing.

“San Antonio College just began a Mexican-American, studies program a year ago. I urge everyone to take these courses. They fulfill core requirements and help you learn about Mexican-American history, culture, literature and arts. It’s very important to learn about your own history and culture,” Tejeda said.

Johanna Vriones, public administration and Mexican-American studies freshman, attended the event.   

 “I liked that it brought light to the generation that failed us. But now we are given the opportunity to study about the struggles they went through and where they came from,” Vriones said.

San Juana Guillermo, Mexican-American studies and creative writing freshman, sat in the front row.

“I hope to go deeper in depth in Mexican-American studies and my culture,” Guillermo said.

Students were able to purchase signed books.

The Mexican-American studies program offers five courses HIST 2327, Mexican-American History; ENGL 2351, Mexican-American Literature; SPAN 2312, Intermediate Spanish 2; HIST 2328, Mexican-American History 2; and ENGL 2351, Mexican-American Literature.

To find out more information about the Mexican-American studies program, contact Coordinator Lisa Ramos at 210-486-0761 or


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