The Importance of Validating Cultural Ethnicity

Essay by GloriamaUniversity, Bachelor'sA, June 2007

download word file, 8 pages 5.0

My interest in reading began with colors and drawings were assigned to me in first grade. I wanted to read the story by age the age of four. My mind would be captivated for hours. In wanting to read the story behind the picture, I was developing cognitive skills by the age of four. The colors came off the page and were transformed into life-like characters that I wanted to get to know. I would practice drawing and writing my own tales of princesses, witches, and fairies. This practice continued until the age of thirteen. Although I always loved the fables, legends, and stories I read, I realized I had nothing in common with Cinderella, Snow White, nor any other fantasy typical characters in the books I had previously read. I seemed isolated and alienated from the reading texts available to me, so I stopped reading for the next ten years.

There were no books available, I felt, that were relevant or significant to me. It wasn’t until my early thirties that I found books by authors such as Sandra Cisneros, Gary Soto, Kathleen Alcala, and Pat Mora, to name a few. I couldn’t stop reading the books from these authors. I found a connection with all of them. They have stories and characters similar to my own personal experiences growing up. I started reading again. Where had they been? What kind of a difference would it have made when I was thirteen? On a grander scale, what kind of a difference could it make now to many adolescents and teenagers in the Valley to read books by authors that they can identify with culturally? If an adolescent from the Rio Grande Valley can have his or her world validated in a book, their interest to continue reading will help...