By Carlos Kevin Blanton
Carlos Blanton has released the 1st biography of this complicated guy of striking contradictions. the writer honors Sánchez’s efforts, hitherto as a rule unrecognized, within the fight for equivalent chance, whereas now not shying clear of his subject’s own faults and foibles. the result's a long-overdue portrait of a towering determine in mid-twentieth-century the USA and the all-important reason to which he committed his lifestyles: Mexican American integration.
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Extra info for George I. Sánchez : the long fight for Mexican American integration
It was a bitter pill for Sánchez to swallow that he had come so far in his life and overcome such large obstacles to then be mostly ignored. Early in his career he rarely allowed feelings of despair or cynicism to show through his scholarly work and correspondence, even in letters to those close to him. But as he aged he found it harder to bottle the edge caused by his unending, daily confrontations with the shadow of racial discrimination. Its burden wearied him by the end. He was no saint and sometimes quite a bit to take.
He was a miner who moved the family throughout New Mexico and Arizona during the 1910s and 1920s. He also ran a regular poker game at local saloons to supplement the family income. According to Sánchez, his father exuded a palpable, physical presence among men; he was a formidable person, respected and maybe even feared in his community. 6 As was the case in many poor, yet proud and ambitious families, education for the Sánchez family became the means for advancement. Telesforo and Juliana were not schooled beyond the third grade, but both were resolute that their children be educated.
In the most interesting job of his teenage years Sánchez boxed professionally in the Albuquerque area under the name Kid Feliz at the slender build of five feet seven and 112 pounds. 11 Though these odd jobs sound almost literary in their exotic, hucksterish nature, Sánchez’s sole motivation was to help his family. He did much of this work during summers and after school, and, in fact, this was how he was able to justify staying in school while his family went hungry. Sánchez recalled that gnawing hunger was an issue for him at this time; sorting through spoiled vegetables and fruit in alleys behind buildings for something to salvage was a common occurrence for the brilliant young student.