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Oscar Zeta Acosta
Oscar Zeta Acosta (April 8, 1935-) was a writer, lawyer, and political activist. He was born in El Paso, Texas and was raised in California's San Joaquin Valley, near Modesto. Because Acosta's father was drafted during
World War II, Oscar held much responsibility in helping to take care of the family. As an attorney his activities began in Oakland but it was in East Los Angeles where he gained notoriety, prior to his mysterious disappearance in Mexico in the Spring of 1974.
In Hunter S. Thompson's works, most notably, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, a fictionalized version of Acosta appears as "The Samoan".
Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo
This was Acosta's first novel and it focuses on his own self-discovery in a fictionalized manner. An autobiography, the plot presents an alienated lawyer of Mexican descent, who works in an Oakland antipoverty agency, without any sense of purpose or identity. This character survives on drugs, alcohol, and counseling sessions until he transforms into a Chicano activist. At the end of the work, the protagonist adds the middle name of 'Zeta,' a symbol which represents his Chicano and Mexican culture and roots. By traveling to his birthplace, the lost character discovers himself and learns lessons on the road as he reflects on his life.
The Revolt of the Cockroach People
This novel details the insurrection to the powerful institutions of religion, the courts, and schools. During the insurrections, demonstrations are held while buildings are bombed and people die. The protagonist, Buffalo Zeta Brown, represents the rioters who were indicted unjustly but attracted media to make Latinos aware of their social condition. Eventually, the pressures from the court, the community, and his life become too overwhelming, and Buffalo Zeta Brown loses his mind.
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