East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy

Commentary: The importance of the East L.A. Walk of Fame

Aug. 1, 1997, a day where many people were dancing and mariachis were playing in the streets. A crowd of over 100 people stretching in a small street on Whittier Boulevard witnessed the star of Cesar Chavez made and the beginning of the Latino Walk of Fame started.

Today I see the star of Chavez shining. All around are endless steps on the street surrounded with great smells such as bacon hot dogs, tacos, elotes and so much activity in this street; I hear everyone working hard trying to sell food and many others trying to convince everyone go in the thrift store. They all have the same trait on this street: they’re not giving up until they accomplished their goal.

I feel this pride everyone must feel around this star. We made it officially known that Latinos can make it no matter how much we struggle. This gives me hope and pride to be proud of our community.

As people pass by without looking at it twice, it feels like they were here when this star was created and it’s been conventional to them to see that this symbol is their way of saying I lived here since this was created, and this is what East L.A. is to them.

Seeing the different kinds of people who haven’t seen or read the star would say it’s been there since forever; that’s a landmark I seen since I was born and I pass by there a lot.

My experience with that corridor is limited. But I know some family and their friends who lived here their whole lives tell me about it, even though I didn’t pay attention to it until recently.

This star is the pride for most of the migrant workers of the past, and it serves as a reminder that Latinos can do it and will be here for life in East L.A. Knowing it now gives me pride to be here and a Latino.

This star means a lot to people and if it was taken away, many people would lose their moment and the lessons for the new generation would be gone.