You know it doesn't seem like it was that long ago.
I was 16 years old sitting in my Guidence class at Abraham Lincoln High in 1966. My teacher was a young Latino. He dressed hip, always had a big smile, could relate to everybody and could have easily passed for everyone's big brother.
His name was Sal Castro.
Nobody ditched or fell asleep in his class. He had everyone's attention. He awoke a spirit and made me look around and question the world around me. He made me realize that you were going to need certain tools to be successful in life.
Problem was the level of preparation we were receiving wasn't enough. The college gates had not fully opened yet and even if we were lucky enough to get in we most likely would have had a hard time competing.
We were being geared to become soldiers and blue collar workers, not college graduates.
He made you recognize the prejudice and inequality that existed. He wanted to make you angry enough to get up off your butt and do something about it in a positive way.
Be a top student, create and demand more and better from the powers that be.
Well, that was the tumultuous 60's. Three years later, in 1968 I was getting ready to graduate. I was a long haired kid down with la causa, boycotting grapes and yelling "?íViva la Raza!
Didn't take much to make me and my friends and the student body of Lincoln High walk out and say, [/1]Ya basta.[/i] We are not satisfied, we want more, we want better.
Like Sal Castro said, "It was a great day to be a Chicano."
Mr. Castro is gone now but he is not forgotten. He was a pioneer in the movimiento and he touched a lot of people.