The Student Voice Of Contra Costa College, San Pablo, Calif.

The Advocate

The Student Voice Of Contra Costa College, San Pablo, Calif.

The Advocate

For the first time, ‘American Homeboy’ is coming to CCC

Last year a faculty member saw the film and after pulling many strings, the film will be shown at CCC this Friday.

This Friday, April 12, “American Homeboy” – a documentary film highlighting elements of Mexican American culture –  is set to screen at Contra Costa College’s Knox Center theater. The college’s La Raza Studies and Automotive Services programs, along with the support of Extended Opportunity Program Services and Disabled Students Program Services, are hosting the event.

Counselor and La Raza studies faculty member Lorena Gonzalez went to see the film last September at the Brava Theater in San Francisco and instantly knew she had to bring it to CCC. With it being only shown in selected cities and theaters around the country, Gonzalez says it’s a real treat for the community.

According to Gonzalez, the event is also bringing multiple departments that aren’t often seen collaborating. 

It’s a beautiful demonstration of cross-collaboration across departments, connecting the silos between student services and instructional, we need to be seeing more of that happening at CCC,” she said.

In August 2023, the director of the documentary film, Brandon Maxwell, released “American Homeboy”, showcasing the complex origins of pachuco and cholo culture that started here in the U.S. as a response to discrimination. 

During the 1940s, pachuco culture emerged in El Paso, Texas, among Chicanos as a form of resistance against social alienation. These Mexican American young people often wore zoot suits,  but  discrimination against their culture led to the Zoot Suit Riots in 1943. Young Mexican Americans were beaten and stripped from their clothes by  military servicemen due to the clothing being seen as un-American. The Pachucos spoke a unique slang with a mixture of Spanish and English, calling it Caló. Back then, “cholo” was a term that was often used to criminalize Chicano people as gangsters. The term was then reclaimed as a way to express Chicano pride by the Chicano movement in the 1960s. 

Gonzalez made it clear that her goal for the event is to bring the college closer to the community surrounding it.  

“We are called a community college, but there’s a disconnect between us as a college and the community that we serve, and this event is a starting point to bridge in that disconnection so that we move on beyond being Contra Costa Community College but Contra Costa the Community’s College,” she said.

Prior to the film screening, a low rider car show presented by San Pablo and Richmond car clubs. Doors to the Knox Center will open at 5:30 p.m., where the car show will begin and limited edition shirts will be handed out for the first 50 attendees. At 6 p.m., the film will start, and a Q&A discussion with the director and cast members will follow.

For those who are interested in attending, there may still be a limited amount of tickets left. Tickets are free. Visit this link to snatch a ticket.

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Brenda Maldonado, Editor in Chief

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