The scholar and writer Américo Paredes was born in Brownsville in 1915. Even as a youth, he saw that a distinct culture had emerged in the Rio Grande Valley—not just Mexican or American, but a blend of the two. Paredes made the border the focus of his career. He studied and celebrated the distinctive stories and humor of the lower Rio Grande, at the same time fighting to correct prejudice against Mexicans and Mexican Americans. More»

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Américo Paredes playing the guitar. Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries.