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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Poetry And Its Political Context / Heroin And Its Policy Context
Program #
Culture, Society

Social Issues
Linda Fregoso
Albert Mata, Ricardo Sánchez
Apr 19, 1980

Poetry and its political context / Heroin and its policy context

In this episode, Linda Fregoso first interviews Ricardo Sanchez about his poetry and then speaks with Dr. Albert Mata about heroin use in the Chicano Community. Dr. Ricardo Sanchez discusses prominent themes in his poetry and his interest in gender, sexuality, liberation and cultural expression. He describes his writing process and explains that he has had to create his own poetic forms and structures. He also explains his disinterest in academia and academics who teach what they cannot do. He then discusses the sensuality that characterizes his work. He also talks about the International Poetry Festival and the difference between Europeans who value other cultures and Americans who do not want to risk learning about others.

Fregoso then interviews Mata, who describes some of the myths and fears associated with Chicano drug use. Scholars have developed three models to explain Chicano addiction. The first explains that Chicano addicts are passive and withdrawn. However, studies show they are more like entrepreneurs. The second explains that drug use is the result of community disintegration; yet, Mata points out, drug addiction is also found within the upper and middle class. The third and most realistic model suggests that Mexican American drug use is one pattern of many. Mata also describes studies that associate drug use with gang membership. Mata argues that scholars need to understand the history and effects of addiction within Chicano communities and believes we need to make policies that deal with the root problems of drug addiction.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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