Culture

USPS Unveils New Stamp Featuring A Latino

Credit: USPS

USPS will now stamp and deliver mail in honor of renowned East LA teacher, Jaime Escalante. (Sorry, we couldn’t help it!)

Wednesday, the USPS followed suit, honoring him with the unveiling of his very own commemorative stamp. The First-Class Forever stamp debuted at the 87th conference of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in Washington, D.C.

Jaime Escalante began teaching in Bolivia before coming to the U.S. in 1963. Instead of declaring inner city and at-risk students lost causes like some teachers, he made it his life mission to teach them math and ensure they excelled. Edward James Olmos brought has character and story to life in the 1988 classic film, “Stand And Deliver.” As you may know from watching the film, students responded incredibly well, many even went on to study calculus and college – something that didn’t seem obtainable before Escalante.

The U.S. Postal Service dedicated a Limited Edition Forever Stamp to Jaime Escalante, the East Los Angeles high school math teacher immortalized in the 1988 film "Stand and Deliver," in a ceremony. Actor Edward James Olmos was among those who spoke at the ceremony at a Washington hotel. http://4.nbcla.com/MSUSgnR

Posted by NBC LA on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A ceremony took place at Garfield High School to unveil the special edition stamp.  Edward James Olmos delivered an inspirational speech, “I don’t know one president, one pope, one engineer, one sports giant, one astronaut, that could have done it without a teacher. If it wasn’t for teachers, none of us would be where we are today.”

Jaime Escalante Jr. also gave a poignant speech and hugged fans of his father.

Even U.S. Education Secretary John B. King, Jr. attended the event, “I am here today and I am alive today because teachers like Jaime Escalante believed in me. His students had a different sense of what was possible for them because they had a teacher who believed in them. This is a wonderful remembrance of him.”

Jamie Escalante died in 2010, but will continue to be remembered as one of the most inspirational Americans in history.

Escalante is the second Latino to be honored in the ‘Distinguished American’ series of stamps honoring great Americans. José Ferrer was the first.

We leave you with one of el profesor’s iconic quotes:

“There will be no free rides, no excuses. You already have two strikes against you: your name and your complexion. Because of those two strikes, there are some people in this world who will assume that you know less than you do. Math is the great equalizer… When you go for a job, the person giving you that job will not want to hear your problems; ergo, neither do I. You’re going to work harder here than you’ve ever worked anywhere else. And the only thing I ask from you is ganas. Desire.”

15 Reasons Everyone Should Watch Stand and Deliver Again

Did you have a teacher that changed the course of your life? Tell us in the comments below then share on Facebook and Twitter!

30 Years After Being Released, Here’s Where The Cast Of ‘Stand And Deliver’ Are Today

Entertainment

30 Years After Being Released, Here’s Where The Cast Of ‘Stand And Deliver’ Are Today

Thirty years ago this year, “Stand and Deliver” was released to the masses and nobody could have predicted the explosive success of the movie. Cuban born Ramón Menéndez was passionate about finding real high school students in el barrio to play the parts. After a disastrous attempt at getting high school students to become instant stellar actors, someone suggested using existing Latino actors who had only been given the opportunity to play one-dimensional violent gang members on screen.

This film gave Latin America some decent racial mirroring for one of the first times, and gave Latinos in Hollywood an opportunity to have range. Also, it gave us a go-to favorite movie you just expected to watch when you had a math sub.

The resemblance between real life Jaime Escalante and Edward James Olmos was uncanny.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Latin Heat. 2 October 2018.

The real story goes that Jaime Escalante became a math teacher at James A. Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. In real life, he started teaching AP Calculus to a group of 14 students, of which only five students stayed the course through the end of the year. Only two students passed the AP exam.

Edward James Olmos as Jaime Escalante

CREDIT: “Edward James Olmos in Stand and Deliver (1988)” Digital Image. IMDB. 2 October 2018.

Unlike in the movie, Escalante realized he needed to give students years of preparation before taking the AP class. He offered intensive seven-week summer sessions every year to the same students until the infamous class we all know and love.

Edward James Olmos Now

CREDIT: @edwardjolmos / Twitter

The actor is now 71 years old, and that’s what his face looked like after Mexico beat Germany this year. He was the first Mexican-American to earn an Oscar nomination. He’s known for his roles as Lt. Marty Castillo in “Miami Vice,” Selena’s father in “Selena,” Detective Gaff in “Blade Runner” and the voice of Chicharrón in “Coco.”

Rosana DeSoto as Fabiola Escalante

CREDIT: “Stand and Deliver” Digital Image. Listal. 2 October 2018.

DeSoto played Jaime’s supportive wife, Fabiola, in the film. Fun fact: the boy who played Jaime Jr., their son, was the actual son of real life Jaime Escalante.

Rosana DeSoto Now

CREDIT: ai.pictures / YouTube

Born in San Jose, California, DeSoto is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and spent most of her childhood handpicking fruit. She was one of nine siblings and went on to graduate from San Jose State University in Spanish Literature and Drama.

We last saw her as Sonia in “Once Upon a Wedding” in 2005.

Lou Diamond Phillips as Angel Guzman

CREDIT: @stfoodcinema / Twitter

Angel was the toughest cookie to crack. He was a member of the Maravilla gang, and while he definitely showed up as a tough guy that got him kicked out of the class, he’s thirst for learning took over. He begged Escalante to stay in the class and proved that he had a natural talent for math.

Lou Diamond Phillips Now

CREDIT: @LouDPhillips / Twitter

Lou Diamond Phillips is actually not Latino. He was born in the Phillipines and is a mix of Scottish, Irish and Filipino. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in “Stand and Deliver.” Before that role, he made it big in “La Bamba,” but just the year before he was an uncredited terrorist in “Time Bomb.”

Vanessa Marquez as Ana Delgado

CREDIT: @xochster / Twitter

In a LA Times article, we learned that Ana Delgado “was the only teenage character in the film based on a real person.” Her name was changed, but the shy girl who was almost forced to drop out to work in her father’s restaurant. Escalante really did show up at her house and talk with her father, and she was able to stay in school.

Vanessa Marquez Now, deceased

CREDIT: @SPHStiger / Twitter

Vanessa Marquez was tragically killed by a Pasadena police officer on August 30, 2018. She went on to lead a successful career in film and TV and was a key player in the “ER” family. Unfortunately, she suffered from mental illness and was having a seizure when police showed up to her Pasadena home to conduct a welfare check. Ninety minutes into a conversation with authorities, she pulled out what we later learned was a BB gun and pointed it at police, who then opened fire.

She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Ingrid Oliu as Guadalupe “Lupe” Escobar

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. TV Tropes. 2 October 2018.

Lupe started out literally protesting Escalante’s educational tactics (i.e. giving quizzes), but eventually became the mother hen and urged her classmates to take the class seriously.

Angel also called her gordita and the queen laid it out, “Don’t call me gordita, pendejo.”

Ingrid Oliu Now

CREDIT: @CaveWoman1963 / Twitter

We know Oliu from “Stand and Deliver” but we also adore her as Estela, America Ferrera’s sister, in “Real Women Have Curves.” We last heard from her when she voiced the role of Officer Renee Montoya in “Batman.” Whatchu up to girl?

Patrick Baca as Javier Perales

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. TV Tropes. 2 October 2018.

Javier was the stereotypical nerd of the class, but he was in no way shy. He was a total know-it-all and the class got hella annoyed with him. His ego was taken down a notch when he got a low grade from Escalante and was given no special treatment for his previous smarts.

Patrick Baca Now

CREDIT: @PatrickBaca / Twitter

Baca won the Michael Landon award for his performance in “Stand and Deliver,” and has since been nominated for his roles in short films ever since. He’s been busy and we expect to see him in four films that have yet to be released including “Road to Redemption,” “Offer and Compromise,” “Santa’s Boots” and “Hunting Season.”

 Will Gotay as Francisco “Pancho” Garcia

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. TV Tropes. 2 October 2018.

Pancho is here for the money. He’s a young mechanic, eager to get to work and start making money, and easily discouraged by complicated math problems. Over time, Escalante convinces him that his education is the key to a successful career and he digs into the problems, solving them over time.

Will Gotay Now

CREDIT: @gotaywill / Instagram

Today, Gotay is an Executive Chef. He did go on to perform in “Dolly Dearest” and “Liberty & Bash,” but is living his best life in the kitchen.

Lydia Nicole as Rafaela Fuentes

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. TV Tropes. 2 October 2018.

Rafaela is a recent immigrant to the U.S. and is pretty quiet for the majority of the film. She doesn’t quite fit in with the overly feminized girls that grew up in East LA, and is more of an androgynous, quiet beauty with brains.

Lydia Nicole Now

@iamlydianicole / TwitterNicole grew up in the Spanish Harlem neighborhood of New York. Her radio work brought her to California where she worked in entertainment. Today, she’s best known for hosting the “Common Sense Mamita” web series, where you can find her gathering some “Stand and Deliver” cast members today for reminiscing.

Fun Fact: Senator Rand Paul has plagiarized from the “Stand and Deliver” Wikipedia page.

CREDIT: @drrandpaul / Instagram

Yup, he just straight up read the Wikipedia page of the movie on a speech on immigration in June 2013. Thank you, Rachel Maddow, for giving us this fact.

South Park spoofs Escalante in a 2008 episode, titled “Eek, a Penis!”

CREDIT: Hulu

It was a bit of a twofer. The movie tells the true story of how the students were mistreated with suspicion from the AP Board after they all passed and were forced to retake the exam to maintain their scores.

In this bit, it was also spoofing the NFL controversy around Patriots coach Bill Belichick being caught cheating.

Either way, long live “Stand and Deliver,” and may math teachers request many subs in it’s 30th year anniversary.

CREDIT: @coffee_and_street_art / Instagram

In December 2011, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry for it’s “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” values offered by Latino filmmakers.

Thank you Escalante for your own perseverance in changing the story of those high school students, and inspiring all of us.


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Here’s Why One Latina Is Asking For White Educators To Stop With The Whole ‘Stand And Deliver’ Screenings

Things That Matter

Here’s Why One Latina Is Asking For White Educators To Stop With The Whole ‘Stand And Deliver’ Screenings

Stand and Deliver / Warner Bros.

Adriana Heldiz, a writer for Voice of San Diego, is tired of educators showing the movie “Stand and Deliver” at predominately minority schools. In a commentary piece titled “A Latina Student’s Plea: Please Stop Talking About ‘Stand and Deliver,'” she expresses her frustration at white educators who don’t take the time to learn who their students are and instead try to “inspire” them to overcome problems with a movie.

Heldiz isn’t saying the people who use the movie to inspire students are bad at their job — they’re just tone deaf and quite possibly lazy. Heldiz does think people should watch the movie at least once because it is an inspiring story.

Here are Heldiz’s five main points about why it’s time for some educators to abandon “Stand and Deliver” and actually work with their students.

1. “It’s old, cliché and downright offensive.”

CREDIT: LOUIE / HULU / GIPHY

Heldiz argues that white educators at minority and low-income schools use the movie to calm themselves down when dealing with students that have been deemed poor, violent, or dumb. She also argues that by using the movie to try and motivate themselves and their students, these teachers are creating a “white-savior complex” to orchestrate some kind of inspiring result.

2. Instead of inspiring students, the movie shows them that the teachers thinks less of them.

CREDIT: Women’s History Month / GIPHY

“By showing this movie, it confirms your students’ worst fears: that their teacher thinks less of them and defines them by the struggles they face,” Heldiz argues.

3. “Not to mention, ‘Stand and Deliver’ conveniently sidesteps some of the bigger reasons students struggle, like being labeled as English-learners.”

CREDIT: watchthaqueenconquer / Tumblr

She argues that by allowing for kids to participate in bilingual education, they can take advantage of learning more in their native language while learning English instead of being relegated to a class that leaves them behind the curve so they learn English.

4. Jaime Escalante, the teacher who inspired “Stand and Deliver,” was also against bilingual education in California schools.

CREDIT: Women’s History Month / GIPHY

“Unfortunately, a vast majority of your students probably didn’t have access to bilingual classes, thanks in part to the fact that the teacher who inspired ‘Stand and Deliver’ fought alongside those on the conservative right to keep bilingual education out of California schools,” Heldiz wrote.

5. She offers some advice on how to get through to these same students without relying on a dated movie: get to know them.

CREDIT: Miami Open / GIPHY

“Engage them,” Heldiz wrote. “Learn something more about them than their names and test scores. I guarantee they’ll be more willing to learn from you.”

Read Heldiz’s full piece here.

(H/T: Voice of San Diego)


READ: 15 Reasons Everyone Should Watch ‘Stand and Deliver’ Again

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