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They were married in a church, which is also about four or five blocks away. I came to San Francisco and live in this neighborhood quite coincidentally, but my sense of hometown is Sacramento, and that's where all my childhood memory resides.I was a child of the 1940s and 50s; my conscious life begins in the 1950s, within Spanish, the Spanish language, within working class Spanish. My father is from the state of Colima--a small village within the state of Colima.
As an editor for Pacific News Service, Rodriguez scripts broadcasts for the Jim Lehrer News Hour.
In 1997 Rodriguez won television's highest honor, the George Foster Peabody Award, for his News Hour "Essays on American Life." His work in broadcast journalism includes "A Dialogue on Race with President Clinton" and the recent "Danger and Grace--September 11 and America's Religious Movement." Having won the Frankel Medal from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as the International Journalism Award from the World Affairs Council of California, Rodriguez occupies the position of a public intellectual in American life and letters.
The ten-year interval it took for Days of Obligation to appear saw some revisionism of this initial hostile reception, this second work receiving a friendlier, even conciliatory, reception.
Rodriguez's stylistic finesse seems to have won him a more sympathetic audience.
My father is completely unconcerned with Mexico, has no emotional tie to it, has no interest in it, but in some way his darkness is very Mexican and I grew up within these two polarities: my very Mexican-loving mother, my Mexican-hating father.
I became acquainted with some of the works of Richard Rodriguez while listening to National Public Radio and through various textbooks I have used to teach writing, and felt that a more in-depth survey of his works would be of interest to me.Having grown up and lived much of my adult life on the border, I am very interested in the cross-cultural conflicts that continue to trouble the relationship between the United States and Mexico, and Rodriguez' unique point of view provides a direct window into a culture rife with its own conflicts that exacerbate and perpetuate social, political, religious and cultural differences between the two countries.In this research journal, I will review sections of both of Rodriguez' books as well as transcripts of various essays, interviews, and broadcasts from PBS and NPR programs.I conducted this interview with Richard Rodriguez in February of 2000 in his San Francisco Victorian home.Born in 1944, Rodriguez has crafted a career encompassing the production of literary as well as journalistic discourse.He was in Mexico during the revolution, and his disgust with Mexico came out of that revolution and the way he saw Mexican kill Mexican. My mother, on the other hand, is a great Mexican patriot to this day.She grew up in the state of Jalisco and she's always been the patriot in the family, and that side of my conscience which always calls me to the past.It is well-known that the first work did not endear him to the Chicano and Chicana intelligentsia.Rodriguez's conservative stance toward affirmative action and bilingual education spelled a major breach with the ideology that the Chicano Civil Rights movement constructed through its political activism in the 1960s.Writing in the Winter, 1998, edition of Texas Studies in Literature and Language, guest editor Jos Limn states that Rodriguez was at one point "[...] on the verge of becoming a professor of English [...] [but] has chosen the path of the public intellectual [...]" (emphasis added) which he describes as someone who "[...] speaks in an accessible though by no means unintellectual public language" (389).Limn also describes Rodriguez as [...] a distinctive figure in American letters in at least two important respects.