Hispanic and Middle Class—I grew up in South Texas in the 50’s in a middle class neighborhood. This revelation frequently generates looks of incredulity! Families of Mexican descent lived in neat houses, even if they did not all have the same look. This early observation taught us about the reality of diversity even within our neighborhood. But,we all went to school, and parents worked in office and business settings and, in our case, Garcia Cleaners. My grandfather started the business in the early 1920’s. On mother’s side, the family held on to memories of vast estates that were lost to the Mexican revolutionaries. My parent’s and extended family provided the vision, education, expectations, and sense of social and community commitment that served as the strong backdrop for my brothers and sister as we matured. Going to college was not a decision, it was a given. I am still building on my middle class strenghts.

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