Yo Soy Joaquin

Yo Soy Joaquín

by Corky Gonzales


Yo soy Joaquín,

perdido en un mundo de confusión:

I am Joaquín,

lost in a world of confusion,

caught up in the whirl of a gringo society,

confused by the rules,

scorned by attitudes,

suppressed by manipulation,

and destroyed by modern society.

My fathers have lost the economic battle

and won the struggle of cultural survival.

And now!

I must choose between the paradox

of victory of the spirit,

despite physical hunger,

or to exist

in the grasp of American social neurosis,

sterilization of the soul

and a full stomach.

Yes, I have come a long way

to nowhere,

unwillingly dragged

by that monstrous,


industrial giant

called Progress and Anglo success....

I look at myself.

I watch my brothers.

I shed tears

of sorrow.

I sow seeds

of hate.

I withdraw

to the safety

within the circle of life


. . . La raza!





Or whatever I call myself,

I look the same

I feel the same

I cry

And Sing

the same.

I am the masses of my people

and I refuse to be absorbed.

I am Joaquín.

The odds are great

But my spirit is strong,

My faith unbreakable,

My blood is pure.

I am Aztec prince

and Christian Christ.




an accomplished boxer, left the ring for a more challenging fight against racial discrimination and social injustice.

In the 1960s, Gonzales was a leading figure in the Chicano civil rights movement, which was born in the agricultural fields and barrios of the Southwest.

His vision led to the creation of student organizations that banged open the doors of higher education to Chicanos. In Denver he crusaded for improved housing and medical services.