Recently, my friend, Raquel “Rocky” Rodriguez, fought her final battle, having been the one who coined the modern-day language for equality using terms such as “culturally competent” and “level playing field,” she was the modern-day Rosa Parks who would not give up her seat just because of the color of her skin or because the sound of her native language was not that of the gringo.
She was not overly religious, although she allowed others to practice theirs. But her religion was just as passionate and it was better in some way than others, because she did not just talk about what she believed, she lived it daily.
Rocky was my friend and she accepted me when others didn’t and made this black man (me) claim the title of president of El Ballet Folkloricao de Aztlan and taught me to yell “¡Ya Basta!”
She and Robert, her husband, along with other Latino families, their children and Tony Martinez, put Solano County on the map when it came to programs for drug and alcohol prevention with award-winning programs for which they (the county) took credit.
Robert kept his vow, “till death do us part,” and was the wind beneath Rocky’s wing, allowing her to fly. He did a great job giving Rocky the dignity she deserved in the failing days of her life on Earth. Her daughters Nicole and Sonja were a mother’s joy, giving her a legacy of strong women that they are and a crown of beautiful jewels in grandchildren. They were the success she fought for.
I thank Rocky for the memories, thank her for the fight. Now she can rest; she taught us well.
The Rev. Morris A. Curry Jr.