Borderlands is an “Old Mexico” symbol which reminds

Borderlands is a
concept that does not have to be seen to be considered borders and can often be
placed subconsciously by ourselves. These borderlands are unsettled and unclear
and are consistently changing. The famous singer Rosita Fernández was born in Mexico but spent majority of her life in
San Antonio performing music. Rosita was very popular in the San Antonio music
scene and eventually was inducted into both the San Antonio music hall of fame and
the Tejano Music Hall of Fame. Rosita’s induction into both of these halls
demonstrates her diversity border including her Texan connection as well as her
Mexican connection since she is considered half Mexican and half Texan. City
leaders requested she become San Antonio’s unofficial cultural ambassador,
which is an “Old Mexico” symbol which reminds us of the border of her culture
always being present. What truly shows a border for the Mexican American singer
is her popularity outside of San Antonio. Rosita is more prevalent in San
Antonio than anywhere else in the United States. Rosita had an incredible
career, being one of the most active performers of her culture, she performed
until her retirement in 1982, yet, she still seems to be less appreciated in
other areas. This lack of broader appreciation could lead us to question the
borders we place on others and if it affects situations such as this one. Although
she was beloved in San Antonio, Rosita Fernández lacked the world
recognition she so truly deserved in that eras tough, masculinist industry of
music. The singer’s music can act as a borderland as well. When observing just
her music, you will see that Fernández’s music appears to conflict with Chicano
musicality. She didn’t seem to be perfectly labeled to just a Mexican musician
or a American musician. That borderline then was created between both parts of
herself and merged to create the beautiful sounds of Tejano music that she was
able to share with several people. It is hard for Rosita to be appreciated to
the fullness that she deserves since she is barely mentioned within Chicano
history of music. In the book, “Divas in
Chicana Music”, the author, Deborah Vargas, says, “Following the sounds of
her career requires us to open our ears to less stable sonic imaginaries of the
borderlands and of Tejano representations and subjectivities.” This captures
the uniqueness that is Rosita Fernández and how even if she has to deal with
borderlands. She used them to help make her a better musician that is proud to
be called a Mexican American Tejano singer.

The phrase
“Remember the Alamo” has deep history meaning that is now known and studied by
people all over the world. This was the battle cry heard at the Battle of San
Jacinto, to remember the Texans lost all of their fighters devastatingly in a
frantic fight at the Alamo. The battle took place because Texas was trying to
depart from Mexico and it lead to Texas earning their independence. This battle
cry reminded Texans that they should not surrender and could achiever victory against
great odds. Tejano music was very popular in Texas in the early 20th
century, especially among the Mexican migrants. 
This type of music, Tejano music, is known for its instrumentation and
orchestration and originated among the Mexican-American populations of Central
and Southern Texas. Another typical notation of Tejano music of that time
period was that is typically consisted of mostly male musicians and singers.
These were some of many stereotypes that Rosita Fernandez would overcome during
her long career.

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Rosita Fernandez began
singing as a child in a family band, which for a
female was very rare, even among family bands. This was one stereotype she
broke early in life. In her early teens, Rosita began singing on radio and all
over San Antonio. During an era that was mostly dominated mostly by male
performers, Rosita became known for her poblano
dresses and ballads. A favorite spot for Rosita’s performances was the
Arneson River Theater on the San Antonio River near the River Walk. She was a
true attraction for the city and in 1982 a nearby bridge was named in her
honor. Another milestone achieved by Rosita Fernández was her many recordings
of Tejano ballads which made her an early pioneer as one of the first female Tejana
singers to record during that time period. 
She sang for many notorieties in her life including Lady Bird Johnson,
who named her San Antonio’s First Lady of Song. She married at age 20 and continued
performing under her maiden name which was also went again the norms of the day.
The author states that women in the borderlands have been aligned against race,
class, sexuality and gender. “Remember the Alamo” can be applied to Rosita
Fernandez as she did not back away from these challenges but instead pursued
her passion which helped lead to a sexist free music industry.