Corky Gonzalez

Corky Gonzales was a founder of the Chicano movement of the 1960s in the American Southwest. He was also a boxer and a poet. With his poem Yo soy Joaquín, known in English as I Am Joaquin, Gonzales shared his new cosmological vision of the “Chicano”, who was neither Indian nor European, neither Mexican nor American, but a combination of all the conflicting identities. He died at his home in Denver in 2005, saying, “I’m indigenous. I’m going to die at home among my family.”

Soft brown eyes of expectation for a Better life.
And in all the fertile farmlands,
the barren plains,
the mountain villages, smoke-smeared cities,
we start to MOVE.
La raza!
Or whatever I call myself,
I look the same
I feel the same
I cry
Sing the same.
I am the masses of my people and
I refuse to be absorbed.
I am Joaquín.
The odds are great
But my spirit is strong,
My faith unbreakable,
My blood is pure.

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