Great Storytellers

Angel Montero
Professor Ary
Speech 145
29 September 2015


The life of author Luis J. Rodriguez is truly an amazing story of perseverance, Luis Rodriguez persevered through all sorts of struggle, addiction, and hatred. He definitely overcame the odds of the average Chicano male from the San Gabriel Valley in the late 1950’s (one of the poorest neighborhoods of Los Angeles). Luis Rodriguez was a gang banging, drug addict and alcoholic teenager who was always in and out of prison but happened to overcome the odds by using his life lessons in his tremendous writing skills. All the adversity and obstacles Luis persevered through contribute to the outstanding writer, poet and artist he has become today.
Luis Rodriguez was born at the border of El Paso, Texas but his family was from Chihuahua, Mexico. A few years past when Luis and his family moved to the San Gabriel Valley, a poor neighborhood that was predominantly filled with other immigrant families. Rodriguez’s young life quickly took a turn for the worse, “At 11, he joined his first street gang. By 12, he indulged in drugs and drinking, including sniffing toxic sprays, dropping illicit pills, LSD, and heroin. At 13, police started to detain Luis for steeling and fighting”. It seemed like Luis was digging himself into a whole that even he couldn’t get out of. At the age of 18 Luis faced one of his biggest obstacles, facing six years in prison for assaulting a Los Angeles Sheriff’s officer. That could have been the end of Luis, but he persevered.
It wasn’t until the early 1980’s when Luis started putting his best foot forward. He began writing and doing photography for an East Los Angeles newspaper. Later that same year he also began doing articles for the L.A. Weekly where he was given a journalism award for a powerful piece on immigration raids in elementary schools, this piece sparked a nationwide debate and later ended these raids. By now...