a1 California State University, Chico
A 1910 Normal School Yearbook featured six young women in basketball uniforms. Sixteen-year-old Paz Marquez, the tallest among them and the captain of the team, looks out unsmilingly. In the early years of the century, photographs of women's basketball teams appeared in hundreds of normal-school yearbooks across the American landscape, but this photo came from the normal school in Manila. Two years later, sharing another American ritual, the former team captain graced the cover of the weekly magazine Renacimiento Filipino, this time dressed in a luxurious gown befitting the Queen of the Carnival. That same year, 1912, Paz Marquez graduated with a B.A. in the first class from the College of Liberal Arts at the newly formed, secular University of the Philippines. Participating in commonplace American events, Paz Marquez (later Benitez) acted as a bridge, a link, between two cultures. Over the next decades, Paz continued in this role. In addition, however, she also became a cultural broker, as she confronted the conundrum that the use of English as the official language had imposed on Filipino culture. In these ways, Paz illustrates the complicated and intriguing story of U.S. nation-building from an intimate and distinctly Philippine viewpoint.
Judith R. Raftery is professor of history at California State University, Chico. Her publications include Land of Fair Promise: Politics and Reform in Los Angeles Schools, 1881–1941 (1992); “Gender and Politics in Los Angeles: Caroline S. Severance” in The Human Condition in California, ed. Clark Davis and David Igler (2002); and “Missing the Mark: Intelligence Testing in Los Angeles Public Schools” in Urban Education in the United States: A Historical Reader, ed. John Rury (2005). She is currently completing a book manuscript, “American Nation Building in the Philippines: Education, Gender, and Race.”