Tomás Ybarra-Frausto grew up in the 1940s, just outside of San Antonio, Texas, on a ranch that belonged to his grandfather. He was raised in a bilingual family, but when Tomás started elementary school, he was told that he and his classmates could only speak English — not Spanish.
At StoryCorps, Tomás told his longtime friend Antonia how the land he grew up on, coupled with his family’s emphasis on language and culture, helped him appreciate his Mexican American heritage.
After spending more than two decades in New York, working as a Chicano arts historian, Tomás returned to his roots and settled back in San Antonio, Texas.
Top photo: Antonia Castañeda and Tomás Ybarra-Frausto at their StoryCorps interview in San Antonio, TX on March 23, 2012. By Anaid Reyes for StoryCorps.
Bottom photo: Tomás Ybarra-Frausto at his StoryCorps interview in San Antonio, TX on March 23, 2012. By Anaid Reyes for StoryCorps.
Originally aired July 31, 2020 on NPR’s Morning Edition.