In Search of the ‘Tomato King’: Finding a Mexican Migrant Politician, Rooted in California Soil, by Prof. Adrían Félix

In Search of the ‘Tomato King’: Finding a Mexican Migrant Politician, Rooted in California Soil, by Prof. Adrían Félix

Ethnic Studies professor Adrían Félix recently published an essay, titled “In Search of the ‘Tomato King’: Finding a Mexican Migrant Politician, Rooted in California Soil” in Zócalo Public Square. Here is an excerpt:

I am writing a biography of Bermúdez, and I am drawn equally to this complex and contradictory figure by his larger-than-life character—in his signature all-black cowboy ensemble—and by the unprecedented transnational movement he ignited. Bermúdez gave migrants a voice in the politics of their homeland. He also reproduced the strongman tendencies and political bossism he fought against, not to mention machismo.

He is both rule and exception: so much like millions of fellow Mexican migrants who anonymously toil in this country, but also remarkable for transcending strictures of citizenship and borders. Tracing his California path through rural swaths of the state is a reminder of how Bermúdez, and others, have made it their home while maintaining lifelong ties to their ancestral motherlands.

You can read the full article on Zócalo Public Square. Image above: Tomato King Andrés Bermúdez by Be Boggs.

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