By Fabiola Manriquez
"... Teenagers and elders alike chanted Viva La Raza and Chicano Power outside Al’s Produce and across the street at El Gallo’s Bakery, at Our Lady of Soledad Church, and at neighborhood gatherings. But years passed and things changed. East LA was 80 percent Hispanic, mostly Mexican-American then; now it is 98 percent, and many folks are from Mexico. The police and teachers are mostly Hispanic now; most of the businesses Hispanic owned. ..."
By Andrew Ramirez
"... Before long the entire village and platoon was surrounded. Bullets rang from every direction. More grenades. Men were cut down left and right. The Vietnamese commander looked to his American advisors and yelled for an air strike. Ramirez grabbed the microphone. ..."
By Louie Flores
"...The mural that summer was funded by the county, which wanted to beautify the East L.A. area. The fire department donated the paint and the Kiwanis Club lent us the scaffolds. A mural was better than graffiti, they figured. It turned out to be a mural showing how long VNE had been there and how long we were planning on staying. ..."
By Eric Franco Aguilar
"...The journey up north was made easy by the human smugglers who were then abundant in her town. Laura, a woman from her hometown, met her at the bus station. Small in stature, large in confidence, the young Laura was an experienced human smuggler, and that day she was Margarita’s guide. ..."
By C.J. Salgado
"... Einstein’s genius was my telescope. His ideas took me away, far beyond the bubble. He showed that a tiny amount of matter could create an enormous amount of energy. Yes, E=MC2 meant that even this little boy’s few atoms were plenty poderoso, a power I found liberating and expanding. ..."
By Araceli Lerma
"...Throughout the past thirteen years, people have come looking for the Leals, some recalling this house full of life and Mrs. Leal bringing out plates of homemade cookies. Others remember going there for business with their grandparents, to meet with Mr. Leal. It was the house where everyone gathered ..."
By Louie Flores
"...Then out I went. I heard the wind all around me. It was quiet. I saw the trucks and trees below, and they looked small. I was nervous but those crucial four seconds were the most important in my life up to then. ... I was in God’s front yard. I steered my chute to the right, left, to the front, and back. I felt as if I was riding a giant swing – a natural high. It was 1974; I was 19 and straight out of East L.A. from the biggest varrio at the time: the Varrio Nuevo Estrada Dukes. ... "
By Yanndery Flow
"... The pool was a safe place, a refuge from all of that. If we could make it there, we were fine. A lot of us inner-city kids were basically raised by the public school system during the year, and, during the summer, by the parks and recreation department who offered free meals and activities for unsupervised children. Unlike many kids in the neighborhood who grew up at the park, I grew up at the pool. ..."