Cemeteries of Ambivalent Desire
Unearthing Deep South Narratives from a Texas Graveyard
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: Texas A&M University Press
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This book reflects the influence of a number of individuals. The most significant of these is my father, Jos� F. Hern�ndez, who began telling me stories of the history of Fort Bend County before I even began grade school. His experiences as a mexicano in a Jim Crow county came forth as poetic narratives. ...
Introduction: “A Land Right Merry with the Sun”
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In 1903 W. E. B. DuBois wrote The Souls of Black Folk, in which he describes a “land right merry with the sun,” where “children sing and rolling hills” are full of plenty. The highway of the King passes through this place of bounty, yet on the side of the beautiful road there “sits a figure veiled and bowed.” ...
Chapter 1 Cementerios
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What is encased in the tomb, grave, or monument stretches from the individual who has died to the descendants of those who buried her. Stories of their relationship parallel the larger story of the land that holds the cemetery itself. The dead do not exist in isolation. They remain not only in their graves but also in the imaginary of all those connected with that piece of land ...
Chapter 2 The Manifested Destiny of History
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Michel de Certeau explains that, before we can know what a “history says about a society,” we have to study how “history functions within it.” The “historiographical institution” (which in Texas could be the Texas State Historical Association or the Institute for Texan Cultures) permits “one kind of production and prohibits others”; ...
Chapter 3 The Colonel
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In the foyer of B. F. Terry High School once hung an oversized oil portrait of a Confederate officer, the handsome Colonel Benjamin Franklin (“Frank”) Terry.1 County people greatly admire his numerous exploits and acknowledge his importance to the successful economy of Fort Bend. ...
Chapter 4 River of the Demonic
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In 2005 the last Fort Bend County acreage available to developers was sold. The Texas Department of Corrections sold most of its county land. Master planned suburban developments will soon be built, and the Brazos River bridge on U.S. Highway 59 is being expanded. The old Brazos Bottoms will decorate the new communities. ...
Chapter 5 The Warrior
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During the 1950s and 1960s a dramatic image of an Aztec warrior holding his dying (or sleeping) lover circulated in thousands of calendars distributed in Texas. In the scene he looks noble, distinguished, and powerful. He is taking a moment to hold an irresistibly beautiful woman who lies in his arms with her eyes closed. ...
Chapter 6 Litigation
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Twenty years after Garcia broke up the Richmond Drive-In, two developers bought land from Sugar Land Industries with plans to build the Sugar Creek subdivision, an exclusive area for residents with six-figure incomes. By 1970 the land had more value as lots for new homes than it did producing cotton and sugar cane. ...
Chapter 7 Re-Membering in the Land of Oz
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The Sugar Land Town Square, built in the new millennium, evokes an eerie resemblance to the yellow brick road in Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz. It has a path of bricks about four feet wide that meanders from the fountain in the middle to the front steps of city hall. The trail along Baum’s yellow brick road is full of adventure and tragedy. ...
Conclusion: Monticello in Texas
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When I spoke with Fort Bend County district attorney John Healey in 2002, he recommended that I locate a copy of Fort Bend County, Texas: A Pictorial History, by Sharon Wallingford.1 It was a helpful suggestion since very little history has been published on the county. ...
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Page Count: 252
Illustrations: 17 b&w photos.
Publication Year: 2008
Series Title: University of Houston Series in Mexican American Studies, Sponsored by the Center for Mexican American Studies