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Review: College students illustrate battles Latinos face in ‘The Latino Generation’

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Posted: Thursday, June 5, 2014 11:55 pm

The Latino Generation (Voices of the New America) by Mario T. Garcia is made up of 13 oral history interviews with Latino college graduates. Garcia collected the stories over the course of a few years while working at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he serves as a professor of Chicano studies. Garcia was able to dig deeply into the personal and touching stories of these young men and women and share the struggles they — along with their families — face, such as coming into the United States accompanied by financial and cultural problems within their day-to-day lives.

Garcia notes in his introduction how these young Latinos are not accepted as Americans and are usually labeled as lazy right off the bat without anyone giving them a chance. The book makes it clear that the battle against the “anti-immigrant” crowd is one of the hardest challenges to overcome. Garcia mentions that Latinos are the largest minority in the United States and yet they are still the most misunderstood demographic in the country. This is unfortunate because Latinos make up 16 percent of the overall population, and “by 2050, one out of every three Americans will be Latino. … All Americans are being affected and will be affected by this demographic change.” He shares the importance of understanding the influence of Latinos in the country, as well as their history, in order to prevent ethnic tensions.

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