American Me Essay, Research Paper
American Me is a movie, made in 1992, directed by and starring Edward James Olmos. This movie based on a true story, about a Mexican-American male spinning over half his life in prison. He grew up in the street of East Los Angeles, were he joined the local neighborhood gang. He and his friends got sent to prison at the age of sixteen for breaking and entering. In prison he did what it took to survive, which got him more years in jail. He started the biggest click in prison, Mexican Mafia, which gave him and all Latinos, away to survive the prison life.
Santana is the name of the person the movie revolves around. His parents were Zoot Suitors in their day and not like by society. Sailors, during the Zoot Suit Riots raped Santana s mother and beat up his father. Santana grew up with his father resenting him, because he was not his real son. But Santana did not find this out until much later in his life. Santana stay in the street, during his childhood to get away from his father.
Santana killed his first person at the age of sixteen, which gave him respect and power. Santana love his newly find power. From his power and respect, he started the Mexican Mafia, which later expanded in and out of prison. They used the Mexican Mafia the keep Latinos united and to stop people, who were stronger, from taking anything away from his people. Santana used he power to grantee Latino people s safety by making them pay rent. Santana and his counter parts, JD and Mundo, ran everything in Folsom State Prison. They had control of gambling, drugs, and prostitution.
In prison the Mexican Mafia was up against the Black Gorilla Family (BGF) and the Arien Brotherhood. They did deal with everyone but it was a constant battle to keep the power and respect. There was nothing the system could do to keep Santana from running things. The warrant put him in solitaire and sent people in his Mafia to different prisons, but all that did was help Santana expand the Mexican Mafia. All they had to do is get their lawyer to subpoena everyone and they could have a meeting.
When Santana got out of prison, he still ran the Mexican Mafia but he had to adjust to the outside world and still had to battle opposing gangs like the Italian Mafia and the BGF. When Santana was out he met a woman, named Julie that changed his life; she showed him a different side of himself. The side that did not know anything; that did know how to dance or make love. She saw the kid in him but hated who he was, a drug dealer.
Santana got since back to prison for have drugs in his possession that was not his. And the person that the drugs belong to got put on a list. Santana request that the name get taking off the list. This was seen as a sign of weakness and his own people killed him. Santana learned that everything he worked for did not really stand for anything.
American Me shows a little bit about how Latinos grew up in East Los Angeles back in the day and what prison life was like and is like. It also shows the some of the things Latinos went through and go through live in East Los Angeles. It also shows Latino culture and history. This is a good movie to show things that Latinos went through with the police, the judicial system, and want they had to work with.