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Designed Words of Raúl Ramos y Sánchez

By Antonio Barrios, La Prensa Correspondent

Sept 21, 2013: Born of Cuban parents during the initial surge of Fidel Castro's Revolution, Raúl Ramos y Sánchez spent most of his life in the United States. As news of Castro’s revolution began sweeping the Cuban  

countryside, slowly, in small groups at first, the campesinoes  joined the Freedom Fighters but as the victories came and Batista’s  regime began to crumble, the men came by hundreds then thousands as young Cubans flocked to  Castro’s side.

Sánchez’s mother was wary of the Castro revolution and out of concerned for her son’s life, she left her husband as he supported the fighting and she and her son immigrated to the United States.

Miami, Florida was still the quite resort town and had not been transformed by the mass exodus of Cuban exiles that came to the US looking to get away from the revolution and the war. At first, the Cuban exiles were of the “upper crust” of the Batista Regime, the wealthy land barons and merchants who lost everything as Castro was to implement a Marxist society.

In Miami, the famous Calle Ocho was still called 8th street, with no Latino businesses. As Sánchez began schooling in Miami his mother found a new love whom she married and moved to Dayton, Ohio with young Raúl.

During his time in Miami and the deep south young Raúl experienced  the segregated life that was instituted by the conservative “Jim Crow” leaders in power during that epoch. He witnessed the “white only” posting on restaurants, public drinking fountains, and schools.

Asked on what he missed the most in the family move to Ohio he stated: “We couldn’t  drive to the beach anymore and it wasn't until 1995 that I finally saw a great body of water—Lake Erie. It wasn’t until 2011 when he was working on the Internet that he finally made contact with the rest of his family in Cuba.
 

Sánchez was not born a writer; he attended Dayton Art College and started working as a graphic designer in the advertising industry.  He was working as a creative director on marketing and advertising campaigns when he  was asked to start writing captions, then  short blurbs, and finally he was asked to write in the body in the ad and thusly he was on his way to becoming a writer. He stated, “I wanted to be a painter but was discouraged at the time.” Moving aggressively in the advertising industry, Sánchez created his own ad agency in 1992 and by 2002 he employed 30 people.

He decided to dedicate more time to his writing, which opened a new saga in his life. He approached writing in a disciplined manner. He would first write his ideas for stories but work on an outline of sorts that would sketch out the whole story then he would go back and fill in the outline with more details of the story.
 

 

He enjoyed writing, knowing where and when the story would end. He noted that many novelists just start writing as an impulse but have no idea where the story will take them; but he on the other hand already knew the ending, in a more crafted manner adding details here and there as he filled in his outline.  

He explained his style of writing: “Do you know how a Chinese cook prepares his food? He has to make sure it can be eaten with chopsticks so he makes his food in small morsels, bite size. They call it page turner—you take the reader in and then out quickly. He builds his story from the storyline.”

When asked what he wanted from writing, he stated he lives comfortably with his advertising agency  and still works on some as graphics, but: “It’s the people I meet, that is the best part; when readers share a bond with his work. That is the terrific part of writing, sharing something with meaning.”

He considers himself a Midwestern Latino, who grew up with the Cuban revolution. He wants to influence the dialog on the typical Latino stereotypes. “The media has always portrayed Latinos as maids, bad guys, with no positive or intellectual roles.” He is involved in the social causes of minorities and wants to change the negative stereotypes to show the great diversity of the Latino population. He said there is interest in movie deals with his book on the Latino Rebellion.

 “America Libre,” once ridiculed on what seemed to be a highly improbable situation, is under contract negotiations for a movie deal and now not so impossible as both sides of the dichotomy between Latinos and non-Latinos continues to fester in the human scars of this nation. He currently has this class trilogy out with: America Libre, House Divided, and  Pancho Land.  

He proposes a not-so-distant future where an ex-combat veteran comes back home to a jobless future and the crushing reality of supporting his family with no means available. That mind-set thrust him onto the stage of a full-fledged rebellion on United States soil to create a new Latino Nation.

So what now? Sánchez is working on another novel, a “coming of age,” staged in Miami; it will be a tragic-comedy—a  very successful journalist leaves Cuba for the United States but runs into obstacles that in the end force his wife to take a job as a maid in a local hotel. The story goes on to tell of the strength, in surviving with humor.

Sánchez came to Lorain after a talk he gave at Oberlin College. The Ohio Hispanic Heritage Coalition, Marcus Atkinson of 360 Media & Marketing, and Oberlin College held a book-signing at the Charleston Café in downtown Lorain. Sánchez spoke with La Prensa newspaper on how impressed he was with the organized Latino population in Lorain Ohio.

Sánchez is also host to a forum where people involved in the immigration crisis come to tell their story.  The author sees the making of wealth as: a matter of prosperity values versus the poverty values. Where the well-to-do make plans on the saving of wealth, growing, investing; and the poverty value that attempts to buy into wealth, spending on status symbols, much less on planning for wealth.

He concludes: “We need to change the values of people with education. It is the attitude that is prevalent in Latino communities of not being able to succeed. There is a lack of higher aspirations and so few role-models for Latinos. There is a huge need for nurturing for young Latinos.”

On the Internet: www.raulramos.com

 
Copyright © 1989 to 2013 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09/24/13 19:32:35 -0700.

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