When Americans Lynched Mexicans

This latest op-ed post in The New York Times stands in conversation with recent articles posted about lynching history in the States. 

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4 thoughts on “When Americans Lynched Mexicans

  1. You might find the story of Gregorio Córtez interesting. He escaped lynching in 1901 by successfully eluding local posses and sheriffs for twelve days, travelling hundreds of miles on foot and horseback while doing so. He is a folk hero in the Rio Grande Valley and is the subject of a song, “El corrido de Gregorio Córtez”. Américo Paredes wrote a wonderful book about him and how the song still sung along on both sides of the river, came to be. It is called “With Pistol in His Hand” and is available on Amazon as a Kindle book. (I also have an extra copy of the paperback I would be glad to send you, if you like.) His work is a study of the times and relates very well to the subject of the NY Times piece.

    There is also a 1982 feature length movie about him, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, starring James Edward Olmos. The movie is hard to find (I have it on VHS) but is well worth the effort. It is in both Spanish and English, with NO subtitles. (The incident that caused Córtez to run resulted from a mistranslation. This become apparent to monolingual viewers only at the end of the movie, when an interpreter is brought into the jail to help a lawyer interview Córtez.) I used to show it to my elementary students and my HS Spanish students every year.

    • Sorry for my delay in response. I’m in the third quarter slump at work and am trying to stay afloat! I just read the Amazon summary of the book and purchased the e-book. Thanks for offering to send me a copy! It’s amazing how I was born and raised in Texas and never heard of Gregorio Cortez. I’ll tell you my thoughts when I read it!

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