“I came into this world on fire.”
California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) had the honor of hosting guest speaker, Rubén Funkahuatl Guevara, on Oct. 9 at the Tanimura & Antle Family Memorial Library.
Guevara came to CSUMB to speak about his book, “Confessions of a Radical Chicano Doo-Wop Singer, and more importantly, the political struggles and stigmatisms that come with the Chicano culture.
The word Chicano is generally seen as a derogatory term. Guevara is working toward reclaiming the word Chicano and turning it into something political, rather than derogatory.
“Ethnically, I’m a Mexican American; politically, I’m a Chicano,” said Guevara during his discussion.
In his youth, Guevara became an artist-activist. He wrote musicals, made art and most notably, got in to doo-wop music – as the name of his book would suggest. Now, in his 77th year of life, Guevara continues to avidly work as an activist.
In 1987, Guevara helped in the production of the movie “Born in East LA.” The movie focused on immigration and paired a human face to the immigration issues.
Of course, that is only one chapter of his life. Throughout his entire adult life, Guevara has worked as a musician and activist, making a difference one step at a time.
“I survived it all and now I’m here with you,” said Guevara.
Guevara has a clear passion for his line of work, whether it’s when he is singing doo-wop music or taking a stand against social issues as an activist.
“Confessions of a Radical Chicano Doo-Wop Singer” is the 51st book in a series written by multiple authors about different social issues. Guevara is a musician and artist, so writing a novel was not the easiest task for him.
“Writing this book was the hardest composition I ever made. The process of writing was like an exorcism,” Guevara said.
However, Guevara’s book is about something he clearly is very passionate about, which makes the work worth it.
“I’m talking about love for your culture,” he stated.
Guevara’s passion for this is truly inspiring and it will certainly continue to help change the world, one step at a time.