Español 1-2: T.Williams
Answer the following questions based on the film. Some extra research outside class and
reflective thinking will also be necessary to answer all questions. We will discuss the
questions on Wednesday, 2/17/10. All questions should be answered.
Identify the following characters/words:
Selena – Chris -
Abraham - Suzzete –
Abie - Marcela –
Tejana - Chicana -
1. Where was Selena born?
2. How old roughly was Selena when she began playing/singing music?
3. What is Selena’s first language?
4. Define ‘Tejano’ music.
5. Name two songs Selena is famous for singing.
6. In what year did Selena win a Grammy? What category did she win?
7. Explore online. List one interesting website you found for Selena.
1. Selena's father says it is difficult to be a Mexican-American. Why does he say that?
2. Selena and her brother don't seem to be as bothered by the difficulties the father describes.
Why do they not share his feelings?
3. Selena's Spanish is seen as a potential problem for her in Mexico by her father. Has anyone
else ever felt their Spanish/English or other language was being judged, by anyone anywhere?
Why do you think Selena was able to overcome this problem in Mexico? Why was she so
4. What was easier for Selena--gaining acceptance in Chicano/Mexicano/Latino/a culture or
gaining acceptance in Anglo/North American culture? To what degree did she succeed in
"crossing over" or gaining acceptance into both cultures?
5. What accounts for Selena's huge popularity among "Tejanos," Mexican-Americans?
Español 1-2: T.Williams
6. Selena's success as a singer came by singing Spanish-only Tejano music. Was this music her
first love? What kind of music did she prefer as a child? If you are a musician have you had a
7. What reason did her father give her for learning Spanish? What was his own experience at
"crossing over" into doo-wop? Who rejected him?
8. Why is Selena's father so amazed that "for you [Selena], the borders do not exist."
9. If Selena was still making music today do you think she would be as big a star in pop music as
she was in Tejano music? Why or why not?
11. Also consider Selena's husband and guitar player, Chris. Chris was a heavy metal/rock
musician. Why did he agree to play in Selena's band? In what sense is the heavy metal culture
Mexican-American, Chicano, Anglo? Are there aspects of culture in the U.S. which transcend
these kinds of boundaries?
12. In what ways was Selena "American"? How can her Tejana/Chicana aspects also be
considered "American"? From a Mexican viewpoint, which aspects of Selena's life & career are
"Mexican," which are not?
13. Based on her musical and family background, how can we envision the identity construction
of Selena: Norteña, Chicana, Latina, Americana, Tejana, others?
(To answer this question it might first be helpful to define what each identity means and then
think about how Selena fits into each or does not.)
14. Are those of us in this room more like Selena in that we belong to many different cultural
groups without being defined by one of them, or do we see ourselves as definitely within one or a
limited range of cultural groups? Explain your answer.