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Interview with David Ramirez




David Ramirez was born in 1936 in North Dakota, delivered by his father in a chicken coop. His parents had come to the United States in the 1920s, and the family came to Minnesota in 1936. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in humanities and did graduate work at the university in industrial relations. At the time of the interview he was director of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department, in charge of La Voz, a monthly bilingual publication, a professional photographer, and producer of a radio program. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Personal history including education, the armed services, and employment - community involvement - La Voz - racial discrimination - ethnic activism in Minneapolis - and the meaning of Chicano.""





World Region





This interview was conducted as part of a series on the Mexican American in Minnesota. David J. Ramirez is a political activist, a social reform advocate, and a man of unlimited energy and imagination. Born in North Dakota and raised in

Minneapolis, David pursued higher education after his tour of duty in the armed services. With a willingness to accept any cha11ange that typifies

David, he went to press with Minnesota's first Chicano news publication "La Voz". He certainly will have written his· deeds and accomplishmentS on

the pages of Minnesota's history. This is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview edited to aid in clarity and ease of comprehension for the reader.

The original tape recording is

the Audio-visual Library of the Minnesota Historical Society.



Mr. David Ramirez, on July 22, 1975.

Do I have your permission to record

your oral history interview as the property of the Minnesota Historical Society, and the literary rights belonging to the Minnesota Historical Society, to disseminate to the public? Ramirez: Yes, you do. The only qualification I would have would be that liLa Voz lI

also have access to some of this material in case we want to reproduce it on behalf of the Minnesota Historical Society. Moosbrugger: Ramirez: Absolutely, this is accessab1e to the public of Minnesota. Good, I think it's a great thing that is being done; long over due. I

think it's in capable hands; Mr. Saucedo and yourself, and we are willing to cooperate in any way that we can. ask me whatever you want. Moosbrugger: Great, maybe you could start off by giving us some of your background history, your personal history, brothers and sisters, where you were born, anything that you have been told earlier? Ramirez: My parents, they were both born in Mexico, my father was from Guanajuato, he came here in the twenties. from La Piedad, Michoacan. He went back and married my mother, she was I was I am leaving it open to you now to a

We have been here a number of years.

born in North Dakota, up there in the migrant stream, delivered by my father in a chicken coop. At that time the doctors were not too receptive to the I've come up the hard way. I am not

idea of delivering migrant children.

ashamed of my migrant heritage, it was the only way that we could keep off the relief rolls and survive. I went through some hard':i.1f:mes::,nyse.ff. =1 I believe that the Chicano I don't believe in the

guess you could call me a militant, an activist.

has not received his rightful place in our society.

-2Ramirez: melting pot theory. culture. I think that we all are entitled to have our distinct

I believe in the rights of Chicanos to have our own culture beSo I guess

cause we are bi-1ingua1, most of us, and we are bi-cu1tura1. you could call me a militant.

I prefer the term Chicano because I feel that It's very common in the migrant

is the term that we have given ourselves.

stream for one Mexican to 100.k upon another one and say "Are you a Chicano?" That's how we can identify ourselves. as applied to myself. America gave us. I donlts like the term Mexican American, I feel that's a name that White I don't

I don't use it myself.

I don't think it's anything we should be proud of.

believe that it should be something to divide us, as some people feel that it should be. I can work with anyone, regardless of what they call themselves. If they choose to use that

I certainly respect my Mexican American brothers. name, that's fine with me.

I think that the common denominator has been opI think that we can certainly work on

pression, poverty, and discrimination. that. Moosb rugger :

Do you have anything else to ask me?

We learned where your folks were born, about what year did they move from Mexico?


Well, of course you know that with us, Grant, we don't have any real written records arid it's difficult because many of our parents could neither read nor write in English or Spanish. We have to go more on what we have heard. I know I came here in 1936. I Now,

understand they came here in the twenties. that dates me I

We were not the first family in Minneapolis, but I think we

were one of the first who came here to Minneapolis and settled here.

Why my

parents settled in this cold country I don't know, but my father said that there seemed to be more opportunity here in getting jobs, in the area of employment, and there was less discrimination here for the Chicano people coming up. I think that this is still the case today. I think the discrimination is I

a little more subtle here.

There are opportunities here in Minnesota,too.

-3Ramirez: really don't apologize for living here. I get chided once in a while from

Chicanos that come from the southwest and say, "What the hell are you doing up here?" Moosbrugger: Ramirez: But I like it here. I think that the people here are pretty nice.

Maybe you could mention your brothers and sisters and the order of their age? I have a sister, she is in her fifties. She has had quite an experience. She

came up through the migrant stream and she recalls the time the family had to pick cotton. She is a very interesting person. She remembers that the Mexican

people were separated and actually segregated according to their physical makeup, in relation to how well they were able to pick cotton and so forth. The

strong ones were put in certain areas to pick cotton and she said they were detained in camps until they were old enough and strong enough to go to the other camps to pick cotton and so forth. done this menial type of work. Moosbrugger: Ramirez: So, it isn't just the black that's

It's also been the Mexican or the Chicano.

What's her name, her married name? Her married name is Margaret Newman. I have a brother, Manuel Samuel, who He is about 39 or 40

works for the city of Minneapolis as a cement finisher. years old, I think.

I think he is the third Chicano cement finisher in the He's been with the city now approximately

history of the city of Minneapolis. 23 years.

Another thing that's been very difficult for the Chicano here is to They are traditionally closed, not only for the We have had a very difficult time

get into the trade unions.

Chicano, but for a lot of other people.

getting in and getting certified and passing the examination and so forth, because you have to be recommended, at least at that time you had to be recommended, very strongly and they just didn't recommend Chicanos for it. He's

done a lot on his own to bring others into it and now there are a number of Chicano cement finishers in Minneapolis. I have worked, because of our sit-

uation I had to leave school early and finish my education, or get my G.E.D. I should say I completed my education in the service. I served two terms in

-4Ramirez: the Army, and I think that was beneficial to me. I am not ashamed of that. A lot of people think

I think that's a good experience for a young person.

that when you're an activist you're opposed to America, but, that's not true. The Chicanos have won more Congressional Medea1s of Honor than any other ethnic group. Certainly I think that it's not something that the Chicanos I think that instead of destroying America, we should try I think there are And that's where I think

have done in vain.

to build it up so we can have something to partake of.

many types of militancy and it isn't all burn and destroy. I draw the line.

Some of the young militants say there is no hope.

that there is a lot of hope.

I have seen things progress from my time; such I think that that's a good

as jobs and educational opportunities f6r people. thing.

I am director of recruiting for the Martin Luther King Program and I We have one of

see that that's one of the only vehicles we really have here.

the only programs in the whole nation of this nature; that just about gives you almost all of your funding to go to school. Moosbrugger: Ramirez: What schools did you go to here in Minneapolis? I went to Phillips Jr. High Schoe1 and from there I went into the service. came out of the service and went to the University, I got my degree at the University of Minnesota. Moosbrugger: Ramirez: What did you get 'your degree in? Humanities. I have done some graduate work in industrial relations, and I I am I

hope to get back to the graduate school soon if my schedule permits it. director of recruting and public relations. Also I have "La Voz", I am a

professional photographer and I have a radio program. Moosbrugger: Ramirez: What were your experiences in the service? Both. Both peace time and war time.

It does keep me busy.

Were you in during peace?

When the other guys were out having a I have always liked

good time, I was studying.

I have always been a reader.

that and I felt that I wanted to get ahead in life.

I guess you could say I

-5Ramirez: was too lazy for manual labor; I knew it wasn't for me. thing better in life. I wanted to get some-

I have visit places like Paris, Spain, Germany and It was strange to

Switzerland and I recieved a taste of some culture there. me, but I enjoyed it. of things in the world.

I knew that I wanted to better myself and be more aware I have always been a student of history and I thought I don't think that these

that this is what I wanted to do; to advance myself. barriers are insurmountable. an education.

I went to the eighth grade and went on and got I don't know how long the doors are

I think it's possible.

going to be open for us, but I think as long as they are there we may as well avail ourselves of them. Moosbrugger: I wan't to point out that there's just Qeen three of you children; your brother, your sister, and yourself. Ramirez: Moosbrugger: Right. I catch the tone that you are an activist. Let me backstep a little bit. It's

interesting to note that you actually verbalized it.

It's very evident to me

that the typical first generation Chicano is certainly not ashamed of his background, of coming from the migrant stream, but rather is proud of it because, as you and I both know, there's no sin in being poor. don't care or don't try to do anything about it. The only sin is if you

Most Mexican American people; Their accomT

first generation Chicanos, feel a pride in their accomplishments. plishments, typically, are great. They're not "have-nots".

It's evident to

me, sitting in your lovely home here. and family.

You have a lovely home, a lovely wife,

You have got not only native, raw intelligence, but also the It's almost

formality of an education which is just frosting on the cake.

paradoxical, or at least a little surprising, to me that you have maintained this activist stature. I say activist rather than militant.

-6Ramirez: I don't think it's too surprising, Grant, in as far as I think that once you have something I think you can do more. For instance, you can take the mil-

itant point of view and you can say, "Learn things from the white man and then you can use them against him." Well, I guess we can use part of that

because we have to learn tbat there are things that are as they should be, and there are things that are as they are. matic rather than being so idealistic. I feel very strongly in being more pragI know that idealistically, I would

like to see more equality for Chicanos and Latinos in general, but I also know that with that equality there has to be some type of preparation. there's nothing wrong with that. I think that

As director of recruiting for our University The school

program, I come in contact everyday with both schools of thought.

of thought; "We don't need it, it's the white mans education, it's the white man's school, you have to be a cop-out if you go there." Well, that's a lot

of bull, because when you go and apply at a company they don't really give a damn how much you know about certain things, straight things. know of what service you can be to them. and tell it to this company. They want to

You actually have to see yourself

I think that many of these people that claim

this is necessary are the real cop-outs, because they don't want to spend the time or the money and struggle to get ahead. Moosbrugger: Ramirez: The effort? The effort, yes. The motivation to get ahead. After all, it's very easy to

say, "Well, hell, I can't get a job because people don't want to hire me", when in fact they haven't tried to get out there and get the job. hand, I do know there's a lot of discrimination against Chicanos.

the other

I feel that

we haven't been part of it as much as we should be, because of the fact that to most of the people around here, whenever you mention minorities they imme-

-7Ramirez: diate1y assume that you are talking about Blacks. A lot of the programs are

geared for that, that's nothing against them but that's just a fact of life. You can see it in any corporation you go to that hire minorities. them are Black there, whether its banking or industry or whatever. the Chicano has made his thoughts known. be called an activist. I don't mind it. Most of I think

I think that's why I would like to I don't even mind being called a

militant because I think we have to be able to address ourselves to these situations you also have to use introspection, because who really is responsible for these things? There are a number of things that have kept us down. They say we spent so A lot

Many people point to the church as having kept us down.

much time on our knees that we can't really deal with a lot of issues.
" ,I

of people feel that the church has told us to expect a better life in the hereafter. after. Well, I believe that we should have a better life here and in the hereLike the old preacher boy said, the only thing he wants to leave the I think that there is something to that. I think that we

devil is his bills.

have to be able to see ourselves in the light of what we really want to do with ourselves. I think that we have to sacrifice ourself for our people. That's

one thing that my father left with us, that we have a commitment to our people. I think this is very important. have misused it. I think a lot of people have used that and

There are a lot of people running around hollering about

Chicano power, but when it comes down to their dealing with the issues, when it comes down to establishing some committees, they are never there. don't show up, except for the cameras and the shouting. that stage now. I think we have


I think we are over

looking inward and saying, "Rey-, we

got ripped off within our own community, we got ripped off here in the area of education, people who got their jobs because of the Chicanos, but aren't doing

-8Ramirez: a damn thing to bring us in these schools, into these not into the vocational thing.

We are

We have people in the vocational field but We

we can't really get into it, to become plumbers, carpenters, or whatever.

are getting to the point where we are asking for some accountability from these people. That's what really gets me sometimes, these people come to us for sup-

port, but when we try to ask them for some accounting in what they have done, they won't reveal what they have done. deal with. I think this is something we have to

I think we are going to be dealing with these things and I think I think it's a good thing, in What I am driving at, I I

we are going to be seeing more of these things.

a way, that we ask one another, "What are you dong?"

guess, is that we can't keep protecting people just because they are brown.

think this colored thing is past now and I think we really have to look and see who in the hell is doing something. Moosbrugger: Who is really producing for us?

I was going to ask you that I think perhaps you have gone on to answer, in part, what I was going to ask you. have seen first hand? What types of discrimation you have witnessed or

Would you say that it's a fairly common occurence for

a qualified person to be passed over for a job or position or an honor that he is qualified for? Ramirez: Yes, Grant, that happens, not frequently, but it does happen. right now we are dealing with womens' rights. For instance

Many firms now are classifying Not only Chicanos, but

women as minority and they are by passing minority men. Blacks, Native Americans and other people. we are talking in color. I don't like that term. color. Some people

Usually when we refer to minorities term "the third world." Well,


Usually when I talk affirmative action, I am talking Women will come in and they will get

This happens quite frequently.

-9Ramirez: the job. I could mention a couple of companies that have hired people that I They are blonde, white girls and they are into

was in graduate school with. the jobs.

I have had a couple of them call me and ask me what they should do They are being paid for these jobs and they are affirmA large

in these situations. ative action managers. people.


here did that.

They hired minority

I think a lot of times they do that, too, because the/don't have to It's really not fair to the women because they put them in

pay them as much.

a "trick bag", and it's certainly not fair to the minorities. Moosbrugge r: They are hiring white women for jobs that perhaps could as well, if not better, be handled by minority people. Ramirez: Right. I attended a luncheon last Friday, in fact, with some Black women who This was definitely brought up. One of my recollections

invited me to come there and talk with them.

These particular Blacks felt very strongly about that.

of personal discrimination was when I went to visit a friend of mine as a school kid. I went to his home and I heard his father say he didn't want him to come I remember one time dating a girl and it was the same

out and play with me. situation.

I recall one time we went to look at a home, a farm or something. My father went to the house and the man asked my father if My father came back to the car and told us he didn't want But I recall my brother and I crying because we wanted In those days

I was quite small. he was half black.

to live. there anyway.

to live on that farm., We wanted to raise chickens and that.

you could raise chickens in Minneapolis, and we did like most Mexicans, we raised chickens. I remember that very vividly. I didn't really realize what

that was at the time. When I went into the service in the '50's, I went to the South. I was in my

-10Ramirez: cab with a black friend of mine from St. Paul. We were going to get into the

cab, this was in Columbus, Georgia, and the cab driver said, "I am sorry, but I can't haul white and colored together." I went to get out cif the cab and That's why this thing,

he said, "no, I can haul you, but I can't haul him." discrimination, is really so ridiculous.

I find now a coalition form, partic-

ularly here in Minneapolis, with the "people of color", as we used to call it years ago, before people started calling us "third world", whatever that means. I see a coalition because there, ·are 'a'number of issues we can certainly get together on. We have had a number of problems with the police, particularly Not too long ago, I had a young

on the West Side, and also in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis boy come to my home to be photographed, he had been beaten by the police. They were going to sue. The city council turned-it down and said

they couldn't sue the police. or what they did.

I don't know if they went to the civil courts,

We have had our problems in discrimination with the police, One of the solutions, I think, is to get more I think there is a lot to it. I have talked

the highway patrol and so forth. minority people on these forces.

to policemen and I have served on boards with them and they say, ''What difference does it make who you get arrested by?" It does make a difference, not so You can relate

much getting arrested, but this "pure" thing is very important. to another Chicano. I think there is a lot to that.

I definitely think that I think it's for

there is a coalition of the minorities are getting together. the good. It is not all negative, all complaints.

I think there are a lot of

things we can do together.

A lot of the problems are very similar, no matter I

if you are Black, Chicano, Asian, American, Native American or whatever. think the common denominator is discrimination.

What else did you want to ask? Do you want to

We have covered my family, we have covered some history of me.


Ramirez: Moosbrugger: Ramirez:

get into "La Voz" or what? Definitely! I had worked for another small paper covering the Chicano issues, and I recall an article I wrote for editor of it. American".


A very, good Catholic woman was the

She didn't like the term "Chicano", so I used the term "Mexican She

She turned it around and changed it and put American Mexican.

said that she thought that we were American first, and so forth.

Then she be-

gan to tell me what I should write, and to me it was like she was trying to define my culture for me. do. I thought that this was -something that she couldn't Well, I

I talked to my wife and she said, "Why don't we start our oWn?"

said, I don't have much experience in journalism and so forth. we can try."

She said, "Well,

I want to say here from the very beginning, I want this published, While I

without my wife "La Voz" simply wouldn't have gotten off the ground. am talking about that, my wife is not Chicana. from a French and English background.

I think she is, but she comes

That seems to be an issue with a lot of I think there are pro's and I think it's not really' Because

people, that you have to marry a Chicana/Chicano. con's to that.

It has never been a problem with me.

being a color or being Mexican:.

I think it's more of a state of mind.

I am an activist, I don't believe that we should say, just because a person is not married to a Chicano ot Chicana, that they can't be active. simply not true. marriage. That, to me, is

I think it's a very personal thing when you are talking about I think She does I think

I certainly don't see anything wrong with intermarriage. She has really contributed to the paper.

that's been over played.

the lay-outs, and evern works with the advertising and circulations.

it's very important that a lot of these people who are married to an Anglo,

-12Ramirez: should give credit to these people. They do a tremendous amount of work. They

take a lot of pressure and crap, working to try to bette·r our people. many times we have a tendency to get all the applause for ourselves.

I think If I

have to speak at a convocation, or I am given an award, my wife is usually in" the audience. instead of me. Many times I feel she should be up there receiving the award She is the one who does all the work. Right now, she is laying

out "La Voz" for our fifth anniversary. a little credit.

Just once, I would like to see her get

What I was talking about was the fact that we saw the need For example,

for something that would print the news from our prospective.

there was a situation on the West Side a while ago, when the Chicano's were beaten1by the police and so forth. The St. Paul and the Minneapolis papers I talked to over thirty-eight wit-

picked it up as a Mexican American riot.

ness and spent all night interviewing them for presentation to the Mayor's office the following morning. It was a completely different picture than the The police carry their reporters with Other people do the

police reporter stated in his articles.

them and they have their particular slant on the news. same thing.

We have cases where the Chicano point of view is not stressed.

We felt the need for some organization or vehicle with whom we could get something printed from our prospective. Five years ago, when we started the magI

azine, I had a call from a very prominent Republican here in Minnesota. talked to one of his aides. Republican. He was very prominent and a very wealthy

He wanted to make us an offer.

He was willing to go as high as

$250.000.00 to invest in our magazine. editorial control.

The only catch was that he maintain

I am almost flabbergasted, when I think of it, that I I was that idaalistie. I never really regrets;

walked away ·from that offerl though.

We maintained editorial control so that we can maintain the conter

-13Ramirez: of our articles. Many times people say, "Why do you print only the bad, why

is it so often that you have pictures of the Chicano's being beaten by police, or mistreated in restaurants, bars, or education?" We certainly don't like As long as these

tO'do that, but we don't make the news, we simply reflect it. things are happening we have to print it. lieve in if I didn't.

I would not be true to what I be-

I think that our advertisers know this and we have They know that we are telling the

never lost an advertiser because of it. truth. We try to do what we can.

We t'ry to help as many Chicano 'people or Even on the West Side, we are so Why

Latinos in their endeavors as we can. lacking in business.

Why is it that there are no Chicano bar's there?

is it that we can't get a license?

Why is it we can't get into manufacturing?

Why is it that the predominance of the Chicano business is usually a restaurant or a taco shack or something like that? be answered. These are questions that have to

Why is it the Small Business Administration has been very neg-

ligent and remiss in helping the Chicano or Mexican American, in giving him seed money or financing for his business endeavor? we have to ask ourselves. These are questions that People say if you

Why iR it we have a community?

get together you have power. together. community. Moosbrugger: Ramirez:

Well, the West Side is an example of people getting

At one time there were two policemen, they represented the Chicano These are questions we have to ask ourselves.

As politicians ,r:i;rght? Yes, right. Why is it that they gerrymander our district so we can't really

get any representation? Moosbrugger: To have a representative in the House of Representatives, a political voice

-14Moosbrugger: Ramirez: for the Mexican American people or the Chicano's? Dh, definitely. I think that the time is right now for us to get together I think

politically and have someone who can reflect our needs and so forth. the time is right. same thing.

I have talked to some people and they have thought the

It's very difficult for me to understand why we never had any I think that, traditionally, most Chicanos are I think the day is over

political representation. Democrats.

I think we have been taken for granted. I think that

when we have been taken for granted.

it's a Republican,

or Democrat, or wahtever, we have to be able to articulate our needs to the party that's responsive to us. Moosbrugger: Ramirez: Which party? "La Raza Unida" Party. It is. very active in Texas. Some people have thought Then you get into the "La Raza Unida" Party.

of establishing one here. that.

I am not so certain that at this time we should do I

I certainly wouldn't vote for a candidate just because he is brown. I am

would like to look at his track record, his credentials and so forth. not advocating that.

What I am saying is that we should become more politiI think we are becoming that now.

cally aware of more sophisticated things.

We are really starting to look at candidates now and what they can do for the poor, because most of us fall under the poverty 1evel. initely look at that. I think we should def-

Education is another area in which we should be better We are the second largest minority in the

represented, but, we are not.

United States, and yet at one time, up until a couple years ago, we only had ninety PHD's in the whole country. educational system. schools. That certainly is inditement against the

As long as we are on education we can look at the law For any

It's very difficult for a Chicano to get into a law school.

-15Ramirez: minority. The University of Minnesota is also guilty of that, of not really The Medical schools, as well, haven't really gone out and Yes, discrim-

recruiting us.

made a sincere effort to recruit Chicanos for their enrollment. ination is there in any field. two Chicano lawyers.

In Minnesota, locally here, there are only

Most of the doctors that are Chicano have been trained I think that's an inditement against the These things we have to look at. I think

abroad, in Mexico or somewhere. system that just excludes people.

we have to prepare ourselves for these fields, and that's why I feel so strongly about education. That's why I have dedicated a part of my life to try and bring I think it is a dyna-

in the young people of all minorities, into our program. mite program and I think that we need it. Moosbrugger: Ramirez:

When you refer to "our program" you mean the Martin Luther King Program? The Martin Luther King Program at the University, yes. program. It is really a good I

We are getting some graduates now, and I think it looks good. I don't know how long I will remain, but I We have got a good basis for

expect more good years there.

think that we are making a good foundation. bringing our people here to partake this.

Like I said before, I don't feel I

that Chicanos really want to destroy institutions in the United States. think that we want to try and change them. Anyone can burn, but not everyone can build. Moosbrugger: Ramirez: Very fine.

Certainly I feel that way strongly.

Let me qualify that, too, by saying that people wonder if Mexicans can have businesses. All they have to do is study our history. We have a long history

of education, of business, of being artisians.

Our crafts that our young

-16Ramirez: people are beginning to appreciate, and know about, our 'dances and music are all indicative of a very fine culture. I think there are something like seven We have a lot

cultures in the world, and the Mexican culture was one of them.

to appreciate in our culture, we are beautiful people, and I think the time is right for us to take our place in America. of us. I think it has been good to a lot

I am very happy Dbr what I have and I certainly wish the best for all I think one of the ways of getting it is in education. That's

my people.

something that no one can take away from you. to me.

I have found it very helpful

It really is a self enrichment thing too, as corny as it may sound. I think you can evaluate things a

It is good for us to know a few things. little bit better. Moosbrugger:

I think that it is really good. I have seen a few examples of

Thank you very 'much for the interview, Dave.

your excellent photography, would you tell us a little bit about how you got into that field? Ramirez: Yes, I got into that through my journalism. an artist, but I enjoy photography a lot. pictures. I don't really consider myself I try to give our readers clear

I think that we are beautiful people and we are interested in Photography is one way r -can express myself. I

bringing out our culture.

have photographed a few people; I did George McGovern, I have done Mrs. Nixon, I recently did Henry Kissinger, I have done Princess Margaret and Ted Kennedy. I think that's an area that really hasn't been explored that well. We really I

haven't had an opportunity to get into it because it is rather expensive. think the Chicano is a very good person for photography, because we have a basic knowledge of color and because we are very colorful people. can do well in that field.

I think we I have

I have been very happy in my photography.

-17Ramirez: done photography from here to Canada. some photography in Europe. good to me. On Mexico and so forth. I have done

I think it's good.

It is something that's been I recall I

I certainly encourage the Chicanos to get into it.

have helped some get involved in it. a local station now. with photography.

One fellow is a T.V. Cameraman here with

I have helped some Black youth get established and started

One of them is with a TV station here and he is done some I think it's important that we help each other.

documentaries and video tapes.

I think that anything we have, whether it be photography or whatever, we should pass it on to our brothers and help them get started in it too, if that's what they like. I think this idea that we can't do anything but manual labor is If you go to Mexico, as

very bad, when we even think these kind of things.

you have been there, Grant, you see so much, so many things in architecture and in murals and so forth. so forth. They depict our culture. I Even in the music and

So we are really very artistic people.

photography has been Its

a field that we really haven't gotten into.

It's important that we do.

expensive to begin, but once you learn, you can always sell a few prints or something and get started in it. get involved in it. picture of her. I certainly encourage all of my "Raza" to

Recently a woman died here, and I think I took the last

This is something that they can't take away from you, pictures I have done everything from live births in It's been important to

of your family and friends.

hospitals to actually photographing people in caskets. me, a part of my life.

I am very happy for the opportunities that I have had. I don't think that being You have to be com-

It's a rough field, but so are a lot of other fields.

a Chicano has kept me from doing my thing in photography.

petitive and you have to be able to bid, and you have to be able to hold your own. I certainly encourage it. I never believed that just because of your

-18Ramirez: race that you are restricted. I think that's a cop-out to a lot of people. I think that you have to strive, no Within limitations I think we can do The time has come when we better Al-

It is very easy to fall into that bag. matter what you are told you can't do.

most things if we really want to do them.

quit blaming white society for a lot of our ills and better ourselves.

though we can't all be college graduates, we can do other things that are productive. Moosbrugger: It sure is. I think the day has passed where we can rely on our color. Thank you for the interview.