- Goldmine: Root
- Oral History Collections
- Levine Museum of the New South
- Latinos in Charlotte
- José Luis Garcia oral history interview, 2002 September 26
José Luis Garcia oral history interview, 2002 September 26
A native of Mexico City, José Luis Garcia talks about his experiences as an immigrant to the North Carolina Piedmont. Mr. Garcia discusses the factors that propelled him to move to the United States and vividly recalls his entrée into the country via Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, where immigration officials temporarily detained him. He alludes to the importance of kith and kin in his relocation and adjustment to the U.S., yet, he recalls the challenges he faced including the language barrier and the adaptation to a consumption-based culture. Mr. Garcia addresses the changes in the social landscape he's seen during his seven years in the United States, including the rising number of Latinos and the proliferation of Latin marketplaces. As a father of two children born in the U.S., he discusses the opportunities he feels his children have and his desire to instill them with his own native heritage and language. Mr. Garcia heralds the American influence on some traditional Latino practices, however, as he describes how he has embraced a more liberal view of gender roles within the family while in the U.S. Mr. Garcia is ambivalent as he looks to the future for Latino immigrants. While he recognizes a growing acceptance on the part of many Americans, he also sees potential negative fallout as a result of September 11, 2001.