Cuban-born Raul Ramos y Sanchez grew up in Miami’s cultural kaleidoscope before becoming a long-time resident of the U.S. Midwest. After a successful career in advertising that included founding an ad agency with offices in Ohio and California, Ramos turned to more personally significant work.
This began with developing a documentary for public television, Two Americas: The Legacy of our Hemisphere and also creating MyImmigrationStory.com — an online forum for the U.S. immigrant community. Works of fiction by Raul include the Class H Trilogy (America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land), the coming of age novel, The Skinny Years and Mustang To Paducah.
The author and his work have been featured on television, radio and print publications across the country along with a host of online media sources. Read Raul’s personal story below.
In his own words
“January” is the first English word I ever learned. I read it on the calendar thumbtacked to the wall of our apartment in the Bronx. Han-noo-a-ree, I pronounced it. That was in the winter of 1956. My mother had just divorced my father and moved us from Havana to New York City. My father was busy trying to overthrow Batista and my mother thought her prospects for raising a six-year-old looked much better sewing sequins on evening gowns in the midtown garment district than in a Cuban prison. Thanks, mamá. You made the right call.
Since mastering that first English word, their power and joy have become my life. I not only love words, I’ve made a living from them. First, composing them into pages as a graphic designer, and later arranging them into sentences as an advertising writer. After twenty-four years of creating the fiction commonly known as advertising, I decided to start telling my own stories.
Most exiles live on the edges of belonging. So do most writers. Being both has left me with a perspective that I’ve tried to share through my work: Despite a penchant for dividing ourselves by culture, color, and creed, when you strip away the labels, we are much more alike than we are different.