O'Brien Writes About Racial Beating That Ended in Death

CNN excerpted a section of Latino in America (Celebra Books) written by Soledad O'Brien with Rose Marie Arce that focuses on Soledad's visit to Shenadoah.

The morning I drove to Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, the air was crisp with the end of winter. The mountains were brown and the trees were bare. Few mining towns are what you'd call beautiful, but it's especially hard when the earth is cold and colorless. Enormous metal windmills punctuate the empty landscape as you drive into Shenandoah and you realize you're not entering one of those picturesque American towns that sells taffy and still has rotating barbershop poles on Main Street...

...I had come to Shenandoah to tell the story of how residents were so frightened by immigration that a young man named Luis Ramirez ended up dead. Luis came to Shenandoah looking for work and found the town friendly enough that he invited his mother to visit him from Mexico one year. He had distant cousins working at the local restaurant and friends close enough to be called "best friends." He was undocumented, but he was making a life in Shenandoah...

read the complete excerpt online at http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/

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