“Beaner. Beaner. BeanerI” are the words which explosively open Manuel Padilla Jr.’s debut novel, “Coconut” Brown on the Outside, White on the Inside.
“Coconut” is about the often humorous, sometimes painful, experiences of a Mexican-American family during the turbulent 1960’s and 1970’s when many Latinos were treated as “wetbacks,” despite being born in the United States — like many during the time, they don’t even speak Spanish. Central to the story is the reality of racism as seen through the eyes of a child.
“Coconut” takes us back to an era 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. Now available at the following: