This photo is a story of cultural assimilation. I photographed these two kids behind the Guatemala Cafe on Wilson Avenue in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood in 1975. The young girl was about four years old at the time. Her brother (wearing the Daffy Duck shirt} was a couple years younger. Daffy Duck, a Warner Brothers creation, was one of the longest running cartoon series in history.
Neither of the kids spoke English at the time. The girl now speaks three languages. She learned how to speak English at Temple Sholom Montessori School on Lake Shore Drive and Cornelia.
When she started school, she came home and eagerly taught her brother the words she was learning. However her parents only wanted her to speak Spanish at home. So she had to do her tutoring whenever they weren’t within earshot. By the time her brother went to school, he was almost fluent in English and, no doubt, able to figure out what was going on in those wacky Daffy Duck cartoons.