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Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:24 PM

The Invisible Iowans

The Invisible Iowans

Throughout the entire semester, as Omar Valerio-Jiménez taught a UI class on Mexican-American history, one shy young female student didn't utter a word. Then, inspired one day by the unexpected sight of a familiar face in a slide presentation, she finally broke her silence.

"That woman, that woman there," she said. "That's my grandmother."

The time-worn image of a Hispanic woman in Iowa, along with the student's surprise at seeing her relative, perfectly captured a theme of Valerio-Jiménez's course: Latino immigrants are a long-standing—yet often invisible—part of Iowa history.

In fact, when Valerio-Jiménez, an associate professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, joined the UI in 2006, even some of his colleagues in academia asked, "Are there Latinos in Iowa?"


Read the rest: http://www.iowalum.com/magazine/feb13/invisible.cfm

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