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I Have a Dream of a Chicano......?

The struggle between stone and marmol

By Jimmy Centeno
Published on LatinoLA: August 20, 2012


I Have a Dream of a Chicano......?


The following short essay begins with I have a dream in reference and honor of Martin Luther King, meaning we do today what we want to be tomorrow. I make reference to Chicanos/as, Latino/as and Latin America as cosmic to point out its diverse social, cultural and political content.

When I speak of utopia I mean working with what is feasible.

Step by step stone by stone penny by penny and outreach by outreach we can…do this and that, given that there is a will (voluntad) and ganas. I paraphrase the following "to know yourself in a new way is to alter in the very same act" from the author of Capital. For those who are not familiar with such terms or names as Chac Mool, Yoruba, Deadalus, Templo Mayor, Cenotes, Oswaldo Guayasamin, Thabo Mbeki, and la Capilla del Hombre, I leave it up to the reader to look up the names and meaning of each word as an interactive exercise. I begin:

I have a dream that one day we will break ground for a new Chicano Museum. The Chicano Museum will be our chac mool it will hold the heart of the Chicano world. This Chicano Museum will consist of art exhibits, cultura and more from Chicanolandia and Latin America.

We will decolonize the gaze from our colonial haze, hence the struggle between stone and marmol. It will assist us in knowing ourselves in a new way and in doing so we metamorphis in the very same act. It will scratch, pull and attempt to liberate us.

There will be no separation like we have today such as in the Museum of Latin American Art were only Latin-born artists can exhibit excluding Latin decedents of Latin America and Chicanos hijos and hijas de Mexicanos. Had it not been for the Pacific Standard Time Art in L.A (Los Angeles), MOLAA would not have hosted the Mex/L.A: "Mexican" Modernism(s) in Los Angeles, 1930-1985. Who knows if Chicano/as and Latino/as will ever again have the doors open to the Museum of Latin American Art once the PST ends?

This utopia of a Chicano Museum will be our sweat log, a place to be cleansed from all the toxic experiences that dehumanize us. It will be our Templo Mayor, with the biggest observatory that will bring us closer to our cosmic ancestry cruise in this forever expanding universe.

It will be our Yoruba prayer and our sublime grito; "ya basta." It will be built by us for us and all; it will be built with pennies, dimes and drops of sweat and funded by children's piggy banks, as their investment, a space created today to be used by them tomorrow.

No politician will take the podium and piggy back of our sweat, nor will they, be it he or she take the glory away, they will stand amongst, at par with all the those who's hard earned effort went into the construction of this unique temple mayor. In this 15 year plan we will have enough drops of blood deposited in a cenote the sacred doors that will guide us to break ground in 10 years and completed in 5 years a total of 15 years in the making.

We will not depend on any money but ours. It will slide of the callous hands of workers; it will drop into a cenote from student fund raisers, tamale and pupusa sales within our communities. It will be our kernel of maiz planted in the heart East L.A to root beneath the asphalt, concrete, and urban noise. It will nurture our soul and cress us with love, it will shout at war and reflect and reject our violence of us against us. It will be our Templo Mayor. our U. S. of A. Tenochitlan.

It will be designed by the cosmic Chicano/a, the cosmic Latin American architects, engineers, and artists. It will be a structure unlike any museum, it will marry the sky and cress our brown mother earth, it will have nine levels consisting of nine exhibiting halls, it will be sister cousin to the "Capilla del Hombre" built in the center of the world by artist, poet and humanist Oswaldo Guayasamin in Quito, Ecuador.

We will no longer be fooled the way our ancestors were with false words and false hope or glass beads, it will not impede us from seeing a Trojan horse be it brown, white or black or a centaur as did our viejos, nor will we allow our dream to be concealed by Daedalus the Greek mythological designer of the labyrinth, built to conceal, hide, and dismember truth and hope.

Nor will the sweat taste of persuasive politicians and investors derail our vision despite "whoever we may be, whatever our immediate interest, however much baggage from our past, however much we have been caught by the fashion of cynicism and loss of faith in the capacity of the people, let us say-nothing can stop us know" as once said by Thabo Mbeki.

It will be an extension of Inca, Mayan, and Aztec wonders of the world. Its acoustic will ripple with pride and sacrifice echoing across sky and earth; it will dive deep down deep in search of truth.

It will be a gift to us by us and for all.

About Jimmy Centeno:
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