The lives of a Mexican-American family living in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley during the turbulent 1960’s and 1970’s are the focus of Coconut: Brown on the Outside, White on the Inside. Despite living a middle class life, “The Rodrigos”
have to endure terms like “wetback” and “beaner”– even though they don’t speak Spanish. To top it off, their daughter is a Chicano rights activist who is mixing with the wrong group of militants; their sister-in-law suffers at the hands of an abusive
husband; and their precocious son is gifted and headed for the Ivy League, only his parents don’t have a clue what “gifted” means and are afraid of him deserting “la familia.” Sure, he could be one of the 8% of Latinos to graduate from college
during that time – if racism, marginalization and his parents don’t extinguish his dream first.
“Coconut” takes us back to a time when everything was “groovy,” and bell bottoms, brown power and disco collided with Civil Rights, earthquakes and the quest to be accepted as an American.
If you’ve ever been called a “coconut,” “banana” or “Oreo,” this novel will leave you laughing, crying and better understanding what racism and life were like for people of color then – and why we are who we are today.