xicano Tag

Character 116 – Tito (Stand and Deliver)

Tito was the coolest dude in Jaime Escalante’s class. I wondered what kind of a band he played in and what his character did on the weekends when not in school. Of course, he looks like he was in his twenties. Tito is a character from a late 80s a film called “Stand and Deliver” that gave me a gift. As a child watching this film I recognized some of the characters, but didn’t know so many of them.  This is a rare portrait of latinos in East LA at the time. In Hollywood films Latinos were and still are tropes, stereotypes, and tired shells of characters if they are seen at all. Most of the time Raza are invisible in film, but in “Stand and Deliver” we get to see a variety of nuance, layer, and subtlety because the teens in Mr. Jaime Escalante’s class were not one type. They were jocks, nerds, princesses, rockers, thugs, students, and kids who could not be categorized. If you have never seen the film, or if you haven’t seen it since you were a kid I recommend re-watching it. The genius portrayal of a Bolivian math teacher who challenged and inspired a generation. The effects of his work to teach algebra than calculus are still being felt. 

Did you see my version of Angel” from the film?