Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Battleground for America’s Narrative: An Annotated Bibliography of the 84 Banned Books in Arizona

The Battleground for America’s Narrative:
An Annotated Bibliography of the 84 Banned Books in Arizona
(Note: you may prefer to read this in pdf form).

Compiled by Elaine Romero

On January 10, 2012 the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) school board voted to close down the Social Justice Education Program, a program focused on Mexican American Studies. The decision was a result of Arizona state legislation, HB2281, which makes illegal any courses that: “(1) promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, (2) promote resentment toward a race or class of people, (3) are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group, and (4) advocate ethnic solidarity instead of treating pupils as individuals.” As a result, 84 books were banned and removed from classrooms in TUSD. Sherman Alexie, a Native American writer, poet, and filmmaker, who is on the banned list writes,
"Let’s get one thing out of the way: Mexican immigration is an oxymoron. Mexicans are indigenous. So, in a strange way, I’m pleased that the racist folks of Arizona have officially declared, in banning me alongside Urrea, Baca, and Castillo, that their anti-immigration laws are also anti-Indian. I’m also strangely pleased that the folks of Arizona have officially announced their fear of an educated underclass. You give those brown kids some books about brown folks and what happens? Those brown kids change the world. In the effort to vanish our books, Arizona has actually given them enormous power. Arizona has made our books sacred documents now."
The following is the list of the 84 banned books with descriptions and pictures from unless otherwise indicated.
Personal reflection on this list of banned books
The process of compiling this annotated bibliography provided a brief look at each of the 84 banned books. Many years ago, after struggling through high school and college, I finally became
focused and intentional in my education when I committed to a degree in Creative Writing with a minor in American Studies (an emphasis on Southwest Studies) at the University of New Mexico. I was in my thirties and finally learning MY history. It created anger that I had grown up in the Southwest and never been exposed to my history. Then it created confusion of how my life (at that moment) related to my history and the history of our region. A few books that affected me during that time are on this list including 500 Years of Chicano History in Perspective, Occupied America: A History of Chicanos, and Borderlands La Frontera: The New Mextiza.
Most recently, I’ve begun writing my dissertation. As an educator for over 15 years, my focus and passion has long been to address the challenges in our high-minority and high-poverty schools. Again, there are books on this list that have been required reading and those that I have sought out on my own, including The Manufactured Crisis: Myths, Fraud, and the Attack on America’s Public Schools, Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, and Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years.
There are books on this list that are on my shelves at home as absolute favorite stories. Some are signed by the authors who are close friends of mine with beautiful personal messages. Some I keep extra copies of, to give away to relatives or friends who I know are struggling to understand this world we live in, these include Bless Me Ultima, Immigrants in Our Own Land and Selected Poems, Black Mesa Poems, and So Far From God.
As I worked on this bibliography, I ordered more books and am waiting for them to arrive. Message to Atzlan, I downloaded immediately on my iPad so I could read Corky Gonzales’ message to educators. Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, Dictionary of Latino Civil Rights History, Justice: A Question of Race, Saving Our Schools: The Case for Public Education, Saying No to“No Child Left Behind”, and The Latino Condition: A Critical Reader are on their way into my home, my life, my consciousness.
Over twenty years passed between sitting in Rudolfo Anaya’s UNM office as an undergraduate student and sitting in his home over Spring Break waiting for Librotraficante’s to stop by on their way from Houston to Tucson, where they would deliver over 1000 copies of these banned books to Tucson youth. Anaya and I spoke of many things including personal, professional, political, cultural, and the economic crisis of our country. Anaya had given the charge to Tony Diaz, organizer of Librotraficante’s to “Occupy Arizona!” with our stories and our history, and that’s exactly what Diaz’ was doing. During our visit, Rudolfo showed me a hand-carved wooden bulto of Patrociño Barela, the patron saint of Nuevo Mexicano artists. And Rudolfo, looking into me with his 74-year old, wise, eyes, asked, “what if I had learned about Patrociño in my youth?” And now I ask, what if I had read Bless Me Ultima in my youth?
This is a dangerous time in America, when policies are being written, passed, and enforced that require the disbanding of a program such as the Social Education Program in Tucson. This battle for civil rights has a long history in America but something has changed recently to escalate the danger and this list provides insight towards understanding this danger. In closing, let us consider the writing of Tim Wise (2012) in Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority. Wise, a prominent anti-racist writer writes,
“But now, white normativity is being challenged, and not only on one front, but on four: political, economic, cultural, and demographic. And each of these in turn and especially together, poses a direct challenge to whiteness on yet a fifth front, the narrative front, by which I mean the battlefield of ideas within which the national character and story itself are defined and told to others”.
This is the battlefield of ideas, the battle for the story of America, the battle for the American narrative. Who will tell the story of America?
Elaine Romero is an EdD student of Education Leadership at the University of New Mexico. She has been an educator for over 15 years always serving Title I schools including rural, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and urban New Mexico. She has served as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow with the US Department of Education under the Obama administration and recently served as an education policy for the New Mexico Senate Democrat Majority leader.
Abu-Jamal, J. (1996). Live from Death Row. NY: Harper Perennial.
Once a prominent radio reporter, Mumia Abu-Jamal is now in a Pennsylvania prison awaiting his state-sanctioned execution. In 1982 he was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner after a trial many have criticized as profoundly biased. Live From Death Row is a collection of his prison writings--an impassioned yet unflinching account of the brutalities and humiliations of prison life. It is also a scathing indictment of racism and political bias in the American judicial system that is certain to fuel the controversy surrounding the death penalty and freedom of speech.
Acuna, R. (2004). Occupied America: A History of Chicanos. NJ: Prentice Hall.
Authored by one of the most influential and highly-regarded voices of Chicano history and ethnic studies, Occupied America is the most definitive introduction to Chicano history. This comprehensive overview of Chicano history is passionately written and extensively researched. With a concise and engaged narrative, and timelines that give students a context for pivotal events in Chicano history, Occupied America illuminates the struggles and decisions that frame Chicano identity today.
Alexie, S. (1994). The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven. NY: Grove Press.
When it was first published in 1993, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven established Sherman Alexie as a stunning new talent of American letters. The basis for the award-winning movie Smoke Signals, it remains one of his most beloved and widely praised books. In this darkly comic collection, Alexie brilliantly weaves memory, fantasy, and stark realism to paint a complex, grimly ironic portrait of life in and around the Spokane Indian Reservation. These twenty-two interlinked tales are narrated by characters raised on humiliation and government-issue cheese, and yet are filled with passion and affection, myth and dream. Against a backdrop of alcohol, car accidents, laughter, and basketball, Alexie depicts the distances between Indians and whites, reservation Indians and urban Indians, men and women, and, most poetically, modern Indians and the traditions of the past.
Alexie, S. (2004). Ten Little Indians. NY: Grove Press.
Sherman Alexie is one of our most acclaimed and popular writers today. With Ten Little Indians, he offers nine poignant and emotionally resonant new stories about Native Americans who, like all Americans, find themselves at personal and cultural crossroads, faced with heartrending, tragic, sometimes wondrous moments of being that test their loyalties, their capacities, and their notions of who they are and who they love. In Alexie's first story, "The Search Engine," Corliss is a rugged and resourceful student who finds in books the magic she was denied while growing up poor. In "The Life and Times of Estelle Walks Above," an intellectual feminist Spokane Indian woman saves the lives of dozens of white women all around her to the bewilderment of her only child. "What You Pawn I Will Redeem" starts off with a homeless man recognizing in a pawnshop window the fancy-dance regalia that were stolen fifty years earlier from his late grandmother. Even as they often
make us laugh, Alexie's stories are driven by a haunting lyricism and naked candor that cut to the heart of the human experience, shedding brilliant light on what happens when we grow into and out of each other.
Allende, I. (2005). Zorro. NY: Harper Perennial.
A child of two worlds -- the son of an aristocratic Spanish military man turned landowner and a Shoshone warrior woman -- young Diego de la Vega cannot silently bear the brutal injustices visited upon the helpless in late-eighteenth-century California. And so a great hero is born -- skilled in athleticism and dazzling swordplay, his persona formed between the Old World and the New -- the legend known as Zorro.
Anaya, R. (1995). The Anaya Reader. NY: Grand Central Publishing.
A collection of works by an award-winning author features previously unavailable or unpublished writings and includes excerpts from his most noted novels, including Bless Me, Ultima and Alburquerque.
Anaya, R. (1999). Bless Me Ultima. NY: Warner Books.
Stories filled with wonder and the haunting beauty of his culture have helped make Rudolfo Anaya the father of Chicano literature in English, and his tales fairly shimmer with the lyric richness of his prose. Acclaimed in both Spanish and English, Anaya is perhaps best loved for his classic bestseller ... Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony will test the bonds that tie him to his people, and discover himself in the pagan past, in his father's wisdom, and in his mother's Catholicism. And at each life turn there is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world-and will nurture the birth of his soul.
Anzaldua, G. (1999). Borderlands La Frontera: The New Mestiza. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books.
Rooted in Gloria Anzaldúa’s experience as a Chicana, a lesbian, an activist, and a writer, the groundbreaking essays and poems in this volume profoundly challenged how we think about identity. Borderlands/La Frontera remapped our understanding of what a “border” is, seeing it not as a simple divide between here and there, us and them, but as a psychic, social, and cultural terrain that we inhabit, and that inhabits all of us. This twentieth-anniversary edition features new commentaries from prominent activists, artists, and teachers on the legacy of Gloria Anzaldúa’s visionary work.
Appleby, J., Brinkley, A., Broussard, A., McPherson, J., & Ritchie, D. (2005). The American Vision. The American Vision. NY: The McGraw-Hill.
The American Vision boasts an exceptional author team with specialized expertise in colonial, Civil War, 20th-century, and Civil Rights history. The full panorama of American history comes alive through their vivid and accurate retelling, and the co-authorship of National Geographic ensures that the program's new maps, charts, and graphs are correct to the last detail.
Description and photo are from Barnes and Nobel.
Baca, J.S. (1989). Black Mesa Poems. NY: New Directions.
The narrator of these poems lives in an adobe house built from tiles "wagon'd to Black Mesa / one hundred fifty years ago." Baca draws directly from the small New Mexico town where he was born, telling of knife fights, the birth of children and animals, buying a lime-green patio set. He creates rituals from small gestures, expanding to mythic significance a boy who prefers red chile peppers, but eats the green his grandmother chooses. Few poets have paid such close attention to the passing seasons, particularly winter's harshness; although he finds this causes the death of animals, Baca also insists that "Nature was not all that cruel." Writing in short, crisp, rhythmic lines, Baca transfigures a seemingly barren landscape.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Baca, J.S. (2002). A Place to Stand. NY: Grove Press.
Jimmy Santiago Baca's harrowing, brilliant memoir of his life before, during, and immediately after the years he spent in a maximum-security prison garnered tremendous critical acclaim and went on to win the prestigious 2001 International Prize. Long considered one of the best poets in America today, Baca was illiterate at the age of twenty-one and facing five to ten years behind bars for selling drugs. A Place to Stand is the remarkable tale of how he emerged after his years in the penitentiary -- much of it spent in isolation -- with the ability to read and a passion for writing poetry. A vivid portrait of life inside a maximum-security prison and an affirmation of one man's spirit in overcoming the most brutal adversity, A Place to Stand stands as proof there is always hope in even the most desperate lives.
Baca, J.S. (1987). Martin & Mediations on the South Valley. NY: New Directions.
Martin & Mediations on the South Valley is Baca’s semiautobiographical novel in verse. Martin and Meditations on the South Valley received the 1988 Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award in 1989.
Baca, J.S. (1990). Immigrants in Our Own Land and Selected Early Poems. NY: New Directions.
Immigrants in Our Own Land was Baca’s first significant collection, one based on his imprisonment. In the Encyclopedia of American Literature, Catherine Hardy wrote that the poems in the volume “reveal an honest, passionate voice and powerful imagery full of the dark jewels of the American Southwest landscape (llanos, mesas, and chiles) and the chaotic urban landscape (nightclubs, rusty motors, and bricks) woven into a rich lyricism sprinkled with Spanish.”
Baca, J.S. (2001). Healing Earthquakes: Poems. NY: Grove Press.
Combining a stunning lyrical intensity with a profound exploration of the human soul, Healing Earthquakes uses poetry to conjure a romance, from beginning to end. Jimmy Santiago Baca introduces us to a man and woman before they are acquainted and re-creates their first meeting, falling in love, their decision to make a family, the eventual realization of each other's irreconcilable faults, the resulting conflicts, the breakup and hostility, and, finally, their transcendence of the bitterness and resentment. Throughout the relationship we are privy to the couple's astonishing range of emotions: the anguish of loneliness, the heady rush of new love, the irritations and joys of raising children, the difficulties in truly knowing someone, the doldrums of breakup, and so on. It is impossible not to identify with these characters and to recognize one's own experience in theirs. As he weaves this story, Baca explores many of his traditional themes: the beauty and cruelty of the desert lands where he has spent much of his life, the grace and wisdom of animals, the quiet dignity of life on small Chicano farms. This is an extraordinary work from one of our finest poets.
Baca, J.S. (2002). C-Train and Thirteen Mexicans. NY: Grove Press.
In C-Train and Thirteen Mexicans, Baca trains his hallmark lyrical intensity on the dark underbelly of addiction and takes us on an unforgettable guided tour of the darkest corners of a brutal, unjust world. C-Train is a heartstopping series of episodes from the life of Dream-boy, a young man who finds himself seduced, and later enslaved, by the siren song of cocaine. Part paean to the delicious power of intoxication, part lament for those helplessly under its power, C-Train is a ride its hero, and the reader, struggle to get off. In Thirteen Mexicans, Baca writes of the Chicano community and the gulf between the American dream and American reality. In searing, elegiac vignettes he portrays the raw beauty of life in the barrio and the surreal, stomach-turning moment when people of color must confront how they are reflected in the distorted mirror of white society. Giving voice to the dispossessed and the disenfranchised, Baca illuminates the most unforgiving landscapes; yet his is a vision tempered by a searching hopefulness that brings these collections inching toward redemption.
Baldwin, J. (1990). The Fire Next Time. UK: Penguin.
It's shocking how little has changed between the races in this country since 1963, when James Baldwin published this coolly impassioned plea to "end the racial nightmare." The Fire Next Time--even
the title is beautiful, resonant, and incendiary. "Do I really want to be integrated into a burning house?" Baldwin demands, flicking aside the central race issue of his day and calling instead for full and shared acceptance of the fact that America is and always has been a multiracial society. Without this acceptance, he argues, the nation dooms itself to "sterility and decay" and to eventual destruction at the hands of the oppressed: "The Negroes of this country may never be able to rise to power, but they are very well placed indeed to precipitate chaos and ring down the curtain on the American dream."
Baldwin's seething insights and directives, so disturbing to the white liberals and black moderates of his day, have become the starting point for discussions of American race relations: that debasement and oppression of one people by another is "a recipe for murder"; that "color is not a human or a personal reality; it is a political reality"; that whites can only truly liberate themselves when they liberate blacks, indeed when they "become black" symbolically and spiritually; that blacks and whites "deeply need each other here" in order for America to realize its identity as a nation.
Berliner, D.C. & Biddle, B.J. (1995). The Manufactured Crisis: Myths, Fraud, and the Attack on America’s Public Schools. NY: Basic Books.
The Manufactured Crisis debunks the myths that test scores in America’s schools are falling, that illiteracy is rising, and that better funding has no benefit. It shares the good news about public education. Disputing conventional wisdom, this book ignited debate in Newsweek, The New York Times, and the entire teaching profession. Winner of the American Educational Research Association book award, The Manufactured Crisis is the best source of facts and analysis for people who care about what’s really happening in our schools.
Bigelow, B. & Peterson, B. (1998). Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years. Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools, Ltd.
This is a revised and expanded edition of a popular 1991 booklet that changed the way "the discovery of America" is taught in classroom and community settings. The new edition has over 100 pp. of new material, including a role-play trial of Columbus, materials on Thanksgiving Day, resources, historical documents, poetry, and more. It will help readers replace murky legends with a better sense of who we are and why we are here -- and celebrates over 500 years of the courageous struggles and lasting wisdom of native peoples.
Bjorkquist, E.D. (2001). Suffer Smoke. Bloomington, Ind: iUniverse
Suffer Smoke, a bittersweet collection of short stories, is centered on the copper mining town of Morenci Arizona. A company town, Morenci was home to generations of Mexican Americans. In the late sixties, the corporation that owned everything in sight but its employees souls saw fit to raze the town so that the open pit mine could be expanded. Elena Díaz Björkquist, a native daughter of the original Morenci, has written lucid, ardent stories about its Mexican American families and the mining company that gave them jobs and yet oppressed them. She gives voice to the characters beneath the toil, illuminating
the complexity of their yearnings and frustrations and pays tribute to the indomitable spirit of a people in their battle for equality and dignity.
Burciaga, J.A. (1992). Drink Cultura: Chicanismo. Santa Barbara, CA: Joshua Odell Editions
In this collection of essays, Chicano writer Burciaga explores from Mexican American and Chicano viewpoints the complexities of being Mexican American. Many of the essays tell of the early days of the Chicano movement in Texas, which Burciaga experienced as a child. Burciaga seeks the roots of his Chicano heritage in Mexico and Texas, telling today's Mexican Americans how the Chicano movement has changed their lives for the better. His personal anecdotes of growing up a stranger to both of his native lands speak to today's immigrants, especially the second and third generations. Heartily recommended for public libraries, this is essential for any library serving a Hispanic community.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Carlson, L. & Hijuielos, O. (1995). Cool Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Growing up Latino in the United States. NY: Fawcett Books.
Growing up Latino in America means speaking two languages, living two lives, learning the rules of two cultures. Cool Salsa celebrates the tones, rhythms, sounds, and experiences of that double life. Here are poems about families and parties, insults and sad memories, hot dogs and mangos, the sweet syllables of Spanish and the snag-toothed traps of English. Here is the glory, and pain, of being Latino American.
Latino Americans hail from Cuba and California, Mexico and Michigan, Nicaragua and New York, and editor Lori M. Carlson has made sure to capture all of those accents. With poets such as Sandra Cisneros, Martín Espada, Gary Soto, and Ed Vega, and a very personal introduction by Oscar Hijuelos, this collection encompasses the voices of Latino America. By selecting poems about the experiences of teenagers, Carlson has given a focus to that rich diversity; by presenting the poems both in their original language and in translation, she has made them available to us all.
Carlson, L. & Hijuielos, O. (2005). Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States. NY: Henry Holt and Co.
Gr. 8-11. Carlson follows up Cool Salsa (1994) with another bilingual collection of poems that appear in both Spanish and English. Included are many well-known writers, such as Gary Soto and Luis J. Rodriguez, who appeared in the first volume, as well as emerging poets. Divided into loose categories--language, identity, neighborhoods, amor, family moments, "victory"--the poems often speak about the complex challenges of being bicultural: "I'm a grafted flower that didn't / take, a Mexican without being one, / an American without feeling like one," writes Raquel Valle Senties. Among the new writers are a few high-school students, and teens of all backgrounds will easily relate to the young authors' fury over stereotypes: "I'm surrounded by a society that expects nothing of me / other than to become a regular, tired housewife,"
writes student Ivette Alvarez. Most poems are translated by the poets themselves, and many are written in an inventive blend of languages, which English speakers will easily follow with help from the appended glossary. Powerful and immediate, these are voices students and teachers will want to share.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Castillo, A. (1993). So Far From God. NY: WW Norton & Company.
Castillo's ( Sapogonia ) inventive but not entirely cohesive novel about the fortunes of a contemporary Chicana family in the village of Tome, N.M., reveals its main concerns at once. Sofi's three-year-old daughter dies in a horrifying epileptic fit but is resurrected (and even levitates) at her own funeral, reporting firsthand acquaintance with hell, purgatory and heaven. Magic and divine intervention in varying ways touch each of Sofi's three other daughters: the eldest, mainstreamed yuppie Esperanza; Caridad, whose path leads toward folk mysticism; and the more mundane Fe, who--seized with a screaming convulsion when her fiance jilts her--is brought to silence only months later through the intercession of the resurrected youngest sister, "Loca." Castillo takes a page from the magical realist school of Latin American fiction, but one senses the North American component of this Chicana voice: in her work, occult phenomena are literal, not symbolic; life is traumatic and brutal--as are men--but death is merely tentative. She sounds a secondary note as a proponent of feminism and social justice, but her hand falters when she attempts to blend the formation of an artisans' cooperative or an industrial toxins scandal into a universe of magical healings and manifestations.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Castillo, A. (2008). Loverboys. NY: Plume.
Loverboys is the award-winning author Ana Castillo's stunning collection of twenty-three stories that depict the wildly varied faces of love, from rapturous beginnings to bittersweet endings. From the regret-tinged soulfulness of the title story in which a woman reminisces about a former lover, to the down-and-dirty settling of scores in "Vatolandia" to the high-spirited comedy of "La Miss Rose," about a West Indian fortuneteller on a mission to help the lovelorn, Ana Castillo bares the secret hearts of women and men. By turns hopeful, hilarious, and heartbreaking, Loverboys is an irresistible pairing of author and subject. In prose that is at once erotic and eloquent, streetwise and surreal-in a voice like no other in recent literary fiction-Ana Castillo covers the waterfront of modern romance and proves why she is, in the words of Julia Alvarez, "a first-rate storyteller."
Chavez, C.E. (1985). Address to the Commonwealth Club of California.
A speech delivered by Cesar Chavez, President, United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO to The Commonwealth Club of California on November 9, 1984, in San Francisco.
Chavez began his speech, “Twenty-one years ago last September, on a lonely stretch of railroad track paralleling U.S. Highway 101 near Salinas, 32 Bracero farm workers lost their lives in a tragic accident. The Braceros had been imported from Mexico to work on California farms. They died when
their bus, which was converted from a flatbed truck, drove in front of a freight train. Conversion of the bus had not been approved by any government agency. The driver had "tunnel" vision. Most of the bodies lay unidentified for days. No one, including the grower who employed the workers, even knew their names.
Today, thousands of farm workers live under savage conditions--beneath trees and amid garbage and human excrement--near tomato fields in San Diego County, tomatoe fields which use the most modern farm technology. Vicious rats gnaw on them as they sleep. They walk miles to buy food at inflated prices. And they carry in water from irrigation pumps.”
Retrieved from Photo retrieved from
Cisneros, S. (1991). House on Mango Street. NY: Vintage.
Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero. Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous – it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.
Cisneros, S. (1992). Women Hollering Creek. NY: Vintage.
In this collection of Mexican-American stories, Cisneros addresses the reader in a voice that is alternately buoyant, strong, funny, and sad. The brief vignettes of the opening piece, "My Lucy Friend Who Smells Like Corn," are tiles in a mosaic. Taken together, these vignettes give a vivid, colorful picture of life on the Texas/Mexico border. Family ties are strong: aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents are all present. The stories are often about the romantic dreams of young girls longing to escape stifling small-town life who discover that things are not much different on the other side of the border. Cisneros has an acute eye for the telling detail that reveals the secrets and the dreams of her characters. She writes with humor and love about people she knows intimately.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
De La Pena, M. (2008). Mexican WhiteBoy. NY: Ember.
Danny's tall and skinny. Even though he’s not built, his arms are long enough to give his pitch a power so fierce any college scout would sign him on the spot. Ninety-five mile per hour fastball, but the boy’s not even on a team. Every time he gets up on the mound he loses it. But at his private school they don’t expect much from him. Danny’s half Mexican. And growing up in San Diego means everyone else knows exactly who he is before they find out he can’t speak Spanish, and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes. And that’s why he’s spending the summer with his dad’s family. To find
himself, he might just have to face the demons he refuses to see right in front of his face.
Delgado, R. & Stefancic, J. (1998). The Latino Condition: A Critical Reader. NY: NYU Press.
All too often, groups who do not effectively define themselves find that others assume the power to explain them. Until recently, this has certainly been the case with American Latinos/as, as evidenced by demeaning media stereotypes and the groups's near-invisibility in U.S. history texts.
Indeed, as the demise of the Soviet empire shifted America's national anxieties to domestic irritants, images of Latinos/as changed for the worse. Immigration reform acts in 1965 and 1986 brought millions of new immigrants from Latin American countries. By the end of the 1980s, their presence had become vexing to many. English-only movements sprang up. Bilingual education came under attack. Movements to close the border gained momentum.
Now, Latinos/as are speaking back. The Latino Condition brings together some of these new voices, and some of the pioneers, in law, sociology, history, politics, and literature. This pathbreaking volume addresses such questions as:
Who exactly is a Latino/a? Who is Hispanic? Who is Chicano/a?
How did Spanish-speaking people come to the United States?
Should the United States try to control Latino/a immigration and is this even possible?
How has "the silent minority" been stereotyped by popular culture?
Why don't traditional civil rights remedies work for Latinos/as?
Is assimilation possible, or even desirable, for all Latinos/as?
What makes for conflict between Latinos/as and other racial groups?
Are Latinos/as a race or an ethnicity?
Should Latino/a children be taught in Spanish?
What can border theory tell us about culture, language, and power?
Delgado, R. & Stefancic, J. (2001). Critical Race Theory: An Introduction. NY: NYU Press.
For well over a decade, critical race theory—the school of thought that holds that race lies at the very nexus of American life—has roiled the legal academy. In recent years, however, the fundamental principles of the movement have influenced other academic disciplines, from sociology and politics to ethnic studies and history. And yet, while the critical race theory movement has spawned dozens of conferences and numerous books, no concise, accessible volume outlines its basic parameters and tenets. Here, then, from two of the founders of the movement, is the first primer on one of the most influential intellectual movements in American law and politics.
Diaz, J. (1997). Drown. NY: Riverhead Trade.
With ten stories that move from the barrios of the Dominican Republic to the struggling urban communities of New Jersey, Junot Diaz makes his remarkable debut. Diaz's work is unflinching and strong, and these stories crackle with an electric sense of discovery. Diaz evokes a world in which fathers are gone, mothers fight with grim determination for their families and themselves, and the next generation inherits the casual cruelty, devestating ambivalence, and knowing humor of lives circumscribed by poverty and uncertainty. In Drown, Diaz has harnessed the rhythms of anger and release, frustration and joy, to indelible effect.
Durate, S.P. (2003). Let Their Spirits Dance. NY: Harper Collins.
Let Their Spirits Dance is the moving story of a family's journey across America. Thirty years after the death of the family's son and brother, Jesse, in Vietnam, the family has remained in many ways locked in a time of grief and pain. Having heard her son's voice, Alicia makes a vow to touch his name on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., and her decision inspires her warring children, along with hundreds of strangers across the country.
Stella Pope Duarte portrays a family struggling with the universal scars suffered by all who have been touched by death through war. In this powerfully evocative novel, Pope Duarte connects family, friends, and an entire nation with the names on the Wall, honoring the men and women who served in Vietnam as well as those who watched and waited, but never forgot.
Espada, M. (1998). Zapata’s Discipline: Essays. Cambridge, MA: South End Press.
In his first collection of essays, award-winning poet Martín Espada turns his fierce critical eye toward a broad range of urgent political and cultural issues. With the same insight and integrity displayed in his poetry, he chronicles many struggles of the Latino community: the myths and realities of machismo, the backlash against Latino immigrants and the Spanish language, the borders of racism, and U.S. colonialism in Puerto Rico.
Espada's poetry has survived everything from censorship by National Public Radio to a bomb threat at a reading. In his essay "All Things Censored," he describes how NPR commissioned him to write a poem, then refused to air the work because of its political content: a defense of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the African-American journalist on death row. In "The Poetics of Commerce," Espada takes on the Nike corporation, which solicited a poem for use in a television commercial as part of the company's ongoing propaganda campaign to divert attention from its dismal human rights record in Asian sweatshops.
Espada stirs together ingredients of memoir and reclaimed history in "Postcard from the Empire of Queen Ixolib," which recalls his pilgrimage to the town in Mississippi where his father was jailed half a century ago for not moving to the back of the bus. He also pays homage to "Poets of the Political Imagination"--a force throughout the Americas rooted in the traditions of Neruda and Whitman--and reflects on the political imagination as a catalyst in the creation of his own poetry.
Esquievel, L. (1995). Like Water for Chocolate. Logan, IA: Perfection Learning.
Each chapter of screenwriter Esquivel's utterly charming interpretation of life in turn-of-the-century Mexico begins with a recipe--not surprisingly, since so much of the action of this exquisite first novel (a bestseller in Mexico) centers around the kitchen, the heart and soul of a traditional Mexican family. The youngest daughter of a well-born rancher, Tita has always known her destiny: to remain single and care for her aging mother. When she falls in love, her mother quickly scotches the liaison and tyrannically dictates that Tita's sister Rosaura must marry the luckless suitor, Pedro, in her place. But Tita has one weapon left--her cooking. Esquivel mischievously appropriates the techniques of magical realism to make Tita's contact with food sensual, instinctual and often explosive. Forced to make the cake for her sister's wedding, Tita pours her emotions into the task; each guest who samples a piece bursts into tears. Esquivel does a splendid job of describing the frustration, love and hope expressed through the most domestic and feminine of arts, family cooking, suggesting by implication the limited options available to Mexican women of this period. Tita's unrequited love for Pedro survives the Mexican Revolution the births of Rosaura and Pedro's children, even a proposal of marriage from an eligible doctor. In a poignant conclusion, Tita manages to break the bonds of tradition, if not for herself, then for future generations.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc
Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. NY: Continuum.
First published in Portuguese in 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated and published in English in 1970. The methodology of the late Paulo Freire has helped to empower countless impoverished and illiterate people throughout the world. Freire's work has taken on especial urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centers is increasingly accepted as the norm. With a substantive new introduction on Freire's life and the remarkable impact of this book by writer and Freire confidant and authority Donaldo Macedo, this anniversary edition of Pedagogy of the Oppressed will inspire a new generation of educators, students, and general readers for years to come.
Garcia, D. (2000). When Living was a Labor Camp. Tucson, Az: University of Arizona Press.
"I write what I eat and smell," says Diana García, and her words are a bountiful harvest. Her poems color the page with the vibrancy and sweetness of figs, the freshness of tortillas, and the sensuality of language. In this, García's first collection of poems, she takes a bittersweet look back at the migrant labor camps of California and offers a tribute to the people who toiled there. Writing from the heart of California's San Joaquin Valley, she catapults the reader into the lives of the campesinos with their daily joys and sorrows. Bold, political, and familial, García's poems gift the reader with a sense of earth, struggle, and pride—each line filled with the sounds of agrarian music, from mariachi melodies to repatriation revolts. Embodied with such spirit, her poems rise with the convictions of power and equality.
Garcia, R. (2000). La Llorona: Our Lady of Deformities.
No description, publisher information, or picture available.
Garcia-Camarilo, C., Rodriguez, R., (2003). Cantos Al Sexto Sol: Anthology of Aztlanahuac Writing. San Antonio, Tx: San Antonio Wings Press.
"How can truth best be spoken?" asked the Aztec philosopher Cuahtencoztli. "It is only in poetry - xochicuicatl - flor y canto - that we can express truth," replied Prince Tecayehuatzin. A new age is dawning, Sexto Sol, the Sixth Sun, and the indigenous inhabitants of the Americas speak to both the past and the future in this volume of poetry, fiction, essay and art. From a project that began with old maps and Aztec codices, here flourishes a truth suppressed by the European conquest. It is a truth suppressed but not forgotten: We belong.
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Gilb, D. (1994). The Magic of Blood. NY: Grove Press.
These plain-spoken stories take readers to construction sites and cheap rentals where chronically underemployed, necessarily mobile, struggling yet optimistic Texas Mexicans survive in an ungenerous world. Skilled laborers and tenuous families come alive in the undramatic settings and seethe with the blood and passion that transform ordinary events into the stuff of stories. In "Nancy Flores," a breathtaking depiction of first love flows into the enigmatically sordid fall of a youthful hero. "Winners on the Pass Line" pairs the fates of two restless visitors to Las Vegas who connect briefly and profoundly. Gilb's best stories are as unexpectedly beguiling and unforgettable as the arid stretches between their settings in El Paso and Los Angeles.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gilb, D. (2000). Woodcuts of Women. NY: Grove Press.
Dagoberto Gilb is an acknowledged master of the short story, the winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award, and a PEN/Faulkner finalist for his debut collection, The Magic of Blood, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for his fiction writing. His critically acclaimed collection Woodcuts of Women is now available in paperback and features ten moving and heartbreaking stories of lust, love, and longing among men and women struggling to find their way in the world. Written in Gilb's spare, humid language, each of these haunting stories is crafted with a poetic, aching beauty. At turns powerful and resonant, hopeful and humorous, Woodcuts of Women is a tour de force by one of America's foremost Latino writers.
Gonzales, R. (1972). Yo Soy Joaquin/ I Am Joaquin. NY: Bantam Books.
An epic poem about the Chicano movement which begins:
“Yo soy Joaquín,
perdido en un mundo de confusión:
I am Joaquín, lost in a world of confusion,
caught up in the whirl of a gringo society,
confused by the rules, scorned by attitudes,
suppressed by manipulation, and destroyed by modern society.
My fathers have lost the economic battle
and won the struggle of cultural survival.
And now! I must choose between the paradox of
victory of the spirit, despite physical hunger,
or to exist in the grasp of American social neurosis,
sterilization of the soul and a full stomach”.
Poem retrieved from
Gonzales, R.C. (2001). Message to Aztlan: Selected Writings.
One of the most famous leaders of the Chicano civil rights movement, Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales was a multifaceted and charismatic, bigger-than-life hero who inspired his followers not only by taking direct political action but also by making eloquent speeches, writing incisive essays, and creating the kind of socially engaged poetry and drama that could be communicated easily through the barrios of Aztlán, populated by Chicanos in the United States.
In Message to Aztlán, Dr. Antonio Esquibel, Professor Emeritus of Metropolitan State College of Denver, has compiled the first collection of Gonzales' diverse writings: the original I Am Joaquín (1967), along with a new Spanish translation, seven major speeches (1968-78); two plays, The Revolutionist and A Cross for Malcovio (1966-67); various poems written during the 1970s and a selection of letters. Published as part of of Arte Público Press' Hispanic Civil Rights Series, these varied works demonstrate the evolution of Gonzales' thought on human and civil rights. Any examination of the Chicano movement is incomplete without this volume. More than 35 photographs accompany the text.
Goodman, XX et al. (2004). Saving Our Schools: The Case for Public Education, Saying No to “No Child Left Behind”. Bandon, OR: RDR Books
A stealth campaign to privatize American education, George Bush’s "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) threatens to close more than 6,000 public schools, pushing dedicated teachers and disadvantaged children out of our neighborhood schools.
In Saving Our Schools, leading educators and researchers show how NCLB shifts control of every aspect of American public education to a faceless Washington bureaucracy while marginalizing successful methods, materials, teacher education, staff development programs, and curriculum. Saving Our Schools investigates the devastating results of forcing financially strapped schools to squander meager resources on highstakes standardized tests. It reveals how the government blacklists successful professors, institutions, methods,
and materials that deviate from the NCLB party line. It exposes George Bush’s top education advisors who call National Education Association members "terrorists" and would like to "blow up" teachers’ colleges. A citizens’ call to unite in defense of public education, Saving Our Schools urges every American parent and teacher to take action now— before time runs out.
Guevara, E. (1965). At the Afro-Asian Conference in Algeria. NY: Ocean Press.
This speech was delivered at the Second Economic Seminar of Afro-Asian Solidarity. The conference, held in Algiers, Algeria, was attended by representatives from 63 African and Asian governments, as well as 19 national liberation movements. The meeting was opened by Algerian President Ahmed Ben Bella. Cuba was invited as an observer to the conference, and Guevara served on its presiding committee.
Guevara’s speech begins:
“Cuba is here at this conference to speak on behalf of the peoples of Latin America.[19] As we have emphasized on other occasions, Cuba also speaks as an underdeveloped country as well as one that is building socialism.
It is not by accident that our delegation is permitted to give its opinion here, in the circle of the peoples of Asia and Africa.[20] A common aspiration unites us in our march toward the future: the defeat of imperialism. A common past of struggle against the same enemy has united us along the road.”
© 2005 Aleida March, Che Guevara Studies Center and Ocean Press. Retrieved from
Hooks, B. (2000). Feminism is for Everybody. Cambridge, MA: South End Press
A genuine feminist politics always brings us from bondage to freedom, from lovelessness to loving....There can be no love without justice.—from the chapter "To Love Again: The Heart of Feminism"
In this engaging and provocative volume, Bell Hooks introduces a popular theory of feminism rooted in common sense and the wisdom of experience. Hers is a vision of a beloved community that appeals to all those committed to equality, mutual respect, and justice. Hooks applies her critical analysis to the most contentious and challenging issues facing feminists today, including reproductive rights, violence, race, class, and work. With her customary insight and unsparing honesty, Hooks calls for a feminism free from divisive barriers but rich with rigorous debate. In language both eye-opening and optimistic, hooks encourages us to demand alternatives to patriarchal, racist, and homophobic culture, and to imagine a different future.
Hooks speaks to all those in search of true liberation, asking readers to take look at feminism in a new light, to see that it touches all lives. Issuing an invitation to participate fully in feminist movement and to benefit fully from it, hooks shows that feminism—far from being an outdated concept or one limited to an intellectual elite--is indeed for everybody.
Jimenez, R. (1999). The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child. Albuquerque: UNM Press.
After dark in a Mexican border town, a father holds open a hole in a wire fence as his wife and two small boys crawl through. So begins life in the United States for many people every day. And so begins this collection of twelve autobiographical stories by Santa Clara University professor Francisco Jiménez, who at the age of four illegally crossed the border with his family in 1947.
The Circuit, the story of young Panchito and his trumpet, is one of the most widely anthologized stories in Chicano literature. At long last, Jiménez offers more about the wise, sensitive little boy who has grown into a role model for subsequent generations of immigrants.
These independent but intertwined stories follow the family through their circuit, from picking cotton and strawberries to topping carrots--and back agai--over a number of years. As it moves from one labor camp to the next, the little family of four grows into ten. Impermanence and poverty define their lives. But with faith, hope, and back-breaking work, the family endures.
Kozol, J. (1991). Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools. NY: Harper Perennial.
Kozol believes that children from poor families are cheated out of a future by grossly underequipped, understaffed and underfunded schools in U.S. inner cities and less affluent suburbs. The schools he visited between 1988 and 1990--in burnt-out Camden, N.J., Washington, D.C., New York's South Bronx, Chicago's South Side, San Antonio, Tex., and East St. Louis, Mo., awash in toxic fumes--were "95 to 99 percent nonwhite." Kozol ( Death at an Early Age ) found that racial segregation has intensified since 1954. Even in the suburbs, he charges, the slotting of minority children into lower "tracks" sets up a differential, two-tier system that diminishes poor children's horizons and aspirations. He lets the pupils and teachers speak for themselves, uncovering "little islands of . . . energy and hope." This important, eye-opening report is a ringing indictment of the shameful neglect that has fostered a ghetto school system in America.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Martinez, E. (2003). “Does Anti-War Have to Be Anti-Racist Too?” Race Wire Color Lines. August 2003. Retrieved from
Elizabeth (Betita) Martinez article begins:
“As a speaker at a San Francisco anti-war rally last fall, I tried to emphasize the importance of seeing the threatened war on Iraq in terms of this country's racism here and around the world. In that spirit, I ended my comments with a chant by some activists marching to the rally: "One, two, three, four/We don't want your racist war!"
Few people in that mostly white crowd of some 15,000 chanted with me or clapped. I shouldn't have been surprised. I had come up against an old problem: blinders on much of
the U.S. peace/anti-war movement, which still sees racism as a separate, secondary issue and usually does not realize that any U.S. anti-war movement must be anti-racist.
Today, with the "Permanent War" becoming all too permanent, that blindness is all the more problematic. Do people really think the new U.S. Empire will be stopped by white folks alone? “
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Martinez, E.S. (2008). 500 Anos Del Pueblo Chicano/500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures. NJ: Rutgers University Press.
This book is published in response to the Quincentennial celebration of Columbus's arrival and its lies. We offer a book that tells the real story of La Raza and other truths so long denied. This book also asks a question: after 500 years do Chicanos, Mexican Americans, Mexicanos, Raza, whatever we call ourselves, have anything to celebrate? Our answer is yes: we have much to celebrate. And so this book speaks with grief and bitter truth but also joy and pride.
Martinez, E.S. (1998). De Colores Means All of Us: Latina Views Multi-Colored Century.
The unique Chicana voice of Elizabeth Martinez arises from more than thirty years of experience in the movements for civil rights, women's liberation, and Latina/o empowerment. With sections on women's organizing, struggles for economic justice, and the Latina/o youth movement, De Colores Means All of Us will appeal to readers and activists seeking to organize for the future and build new movements for liberation.
Description is from the books back cover.
Montoya, R., Salinas, R., Siguenza, H. (1998). Culture Clash: Life, Death and Revolutionary Comedy. NY: Theatre Communications Group.
Nothing can prepare you for the incredible world of Culture Clash or for their first ever collection of their best. This three-person troupe of writers/performers is unique in the American landscape for its imaginative explorations of contemporary Latino/Chicano culture. Clashing with a society in transition, Culture Clash physicalizes comedy and satire, paying homage to Charlie Chaplin, Lenny Bruce, the Marx Brothers, and Catinflas, using vaudeville as a political weapon.
Contents include: The Mission, in which three out-of-work performers from San Francisco's Mission District kidnap Julio Iglesias in a desperate attempt to get nationwide exposure for their act; A Bowl of Beings, which includes the tale of the first Hispanic — Christopher Columbus's illegitimate son; "Stand and Deliver Pizza", the story of the famous math teacher who recruits young Chicanos to work in his pizza parlor; and Radio Mambo, wherein Culture Clash invades Miami to uncover a stewing pot of ethnicity, creating "a work that's as shrewd, vibrant, and outrageous as Miami itself", according to Time Out New York.
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Munoz, M. (2003). Zigzagger. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
Set mainly in California's Central Valley, Manuel Muñoz's first collection of stories goes beyond the traditional family myths and narratives of Chicano literature and explores, instead, the constant struggle of characters against their physical and personal surroundings. Usually depicted as the lush and green world of rural quiet and tranquility, the Valley becomes the backdrop for the difficulties these characters confront as they try to maintain hope and independence in the face of isolation.
In the title story, a teenage boy learns the consequences of succumbing to the lure of a town outsider; in "Campo," a young farm worker frantically attempts to hide his supervision of a huddle of children from the town police, only to have another young man come to his unexpected rescue; in "The Unimportant Lila Parr," a father must expose his own secrets after his son is found murdered in a highway motel. From conflicts of family and sexuality to the pain of loss and memory, the characters in Zigzagger seek to reconcile themselves with the rural towns of their upbringing--a place that, by nature, is bordered by loneliness.
Rebolledo, T.D. & Rivero, E.S. (1993). Infinate Divisions: An Anthology of Chicano Literature. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.
Given the explosive creativity shown by Chicana writers over the past two decades, this first major anthology devoted to their work is a major contribution to American letters. It highlights the key issues, motifs, and concerns of Mexican American women from 1848 to the present, and particularly reflects the modern Chicana's struggle for identity. Among the recurring themes in the collection is a re-visioning of foremothers such as the historical Malinche, the mythical Llorona, and pioneering women who settled the American Southwest from the sixteenth to twentieth century’s. Also included are historical documents on the lives, culture, and writings of Mexican American women in the nineteenth century, as well as oral histories recorded by the Federal Writers Project in the 1930s. Through poetry, fiction, drama, essay, and other forms, this landmark volume showcases the talents of more than fifty authors, including Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Ana Castillo, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Denise Chávez, Sandra Cisneros, Pat Mora, Cherríe Moraga, and María Helena Viramontes.
Remy, R.C. (2007). United States Government: Democracy in Action. NY: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.
United States Government: Democracy in Action shows students how they can shape the future by becoming involved in the political process. This textbook reflects the most current information on the United States government, focusing on the changes that have occurred in the last three to four years.
Rivera, T. (1971). ...y no se lo tragó la tierra " ... And The Earth Did Not Devour Him". Berkeley, CA: Quinto Sol.
...y no se lo tragó la tierra is a novel divided into fourteen vignettes. The book opens with a section called "El año perdido" (The Lost Year) told from the perspective of an anonymous Chicano child, the son of two migrant workers. The unnamed child narrates some of the sections with his
thoughts, memories and impressions while other people connected to his life narrate the remaining sections. The narrations come in many varying forms, from dialogue and prayer to descriptive passages. The varying perspectives form a collective narrative that piece together the events occurring over the past year of the child's life, prefaced in the first chapter. The reasoning behind having an anonymous protagonist and irregular form is left for the reader to infer.
Rodriguez, L. (2005). Always Running – La Vida Loca: Gang Days in LA. NY: Touchstone.
Always Running – La Vida Loca: Gang Days in LA is an award-winning and bestselling classic memoir about a young Chicano gang member surviving the dangerous streets of East Los Angeles. Winner of the Carl Sandburg Literary Award, hailed as a New York Times notable book, and read by hundreds of thousands, Always Running is the searing true story of one man’s life in a Chicano gang—and his heroic struggle to free himself from its grip.
By age twelve, Luis Rodriguez was a veteran of East Los Angeles gang warfare. Lured by a seemingly invincible gang culture, he witnessed countless shootings, beatings, and arrests and then watched with increasing fear as gang life claimed friends and family members. Before long, Rodriguez saw a way out of the barrio through education and the power of words and successfully broke free from years of violence and desperation.
Achieving success as an award-winning poet, he was sure the streets would haunt him no more—until his young son joined a gang. Rodriguez fought for his child by telling his own story in Always Running, a vivid memoir that explores the motivations of gang life and cautions against the death and destruction that inevitably claim its participants. At times heartbreakingly sad and brutal, Always Running is ultimately an uplifting true story, filled with hope, insight, and a hard-earned lesson for the next generation.
Rodriguez, R. (1996). The X in La Raza II.
Actually these writings before you have been presented in a different format before, though they are revised here. Almost 20 years ago, I wrote an article entitled, "Who Declared War on the Word Chicano?" Several years ago, I decided to update it, which resulted in the work " The X in La Raza." In effect, it's a response to myself. Apparently, it triggered a discussion -- or became part of a discussion that has not ended. That's partly the reason for making it available electronically. I wrote it because I got tired of people ripping each other apart simply because they disagreed with what they called each other and because they disagreed with how they saw their own identities. My basic thesis is that our identity is our spirit and that our spirit has no name.
Description written by Rodriguez and retrieved from
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Rodriguez, R. (1997). Justice: A Question of Race. Tempe, AZ: Bilingual Press.
Those who most need Rodriguez's story--Americans who desperately maintain "the Rodney King incident" was an isolated aberration, not a common occurrence when police forces and poor people of color come into conflict--won't read it. And Justice, which describes the author's 1979 beating and arrest, acquittal, and civil suit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, may not be the best vehicle for introducing readers who support or forgive police brutality to the sins committed in their name. Two narratives make up the book: "Assault with a Deadly Weapon," written in 1984, before the civil trial; and "The Wrong Side of the Law," written after the trial produced a $200,000 judgment against the L.A. Sheriff's office. Rodriguez, now a syndicated columnist, photographed a fairly classic minor "police riot" in East L.A.; he ended up in the hospital, charged with using his camera to attack police. Justice could have used tighter editing; unsympathetic readers will find it repetitive. But the too-often-suppressed reality it documents demands wider attention.
Rodriguez, R. (1998). Codex Tamuanchan: On Becoming Human. Published by Roberto Rodriguez online.
Subsequent to The X in La Raza, I wrote Codex Tamuanchan: On Becoming Human. This work in effect goes beyond issues of identity to attempting to understand what it means to be human. It is about sovereignty, the creation of a spiritual nation and about not simply reclaiming our identities, but of reclaiming our humanity.
In effect, the two electronic books are my own result of trying to rehumanize myself after having almost been killed. And they are actually views gathered primarily from elders from across the United States and Mexico. More than anything, they are attempts to strike up a dialogue about the world we are trying to create.
Description written by Rodriguez and retrieved from
Rosales, F.A. (2006). Dictionary of Latino Civil Rights History. Houston, TX: Piñata Books
From the Alianza Hispano-Americana, a mutual aid society founded in Tucson, Arizona in 1894, to the Zoot Suit Riots in Los Angeles in 1943, this first-ever dictionary of important issues in the U.S. Latino struggle for civil rights defines a wide-ranging list of key terms. With over 922 entries on significant events, figures, laws, and other historical items, this ground-breaking reference work covers the fight for equality from the mid-nineteenth century to the present by the various Hispanic groups in the U.S.
Rosales chronicles such landmark events as the development of farm worker unions and immigrant rights groups to the forces behind bilingual-bicultural education, feminist activities, and protests over discrimination, segregation, and police brutality. In this volume, he provides a comprehensive look at the history of the Latino civil rights movement. In addition to covering all of the major events in labor, politics, land reclamation, and education, this pioneering work includes never-before-published biographies of the major players in the history of AmericaÂ’s largest minority group.
An array of historical photos and entries outline the activities of all Hispanic populations in the United States, including citizens and immigrants, men and women. A complete subject index, timeline,
and bibliographic documentation complement this definitive reference work compiled by one of the most respected authorities on Latino civil rights.
Ruiz, M. (1997). Two Badges: The Lives of Mona Ruiz. Houston, Tx: Arte Público Press.
With this riveting autobiography, Mona Ruiz and co-author Geoff Boucher spin a gripping tale of one woman’s private war to escape the tentacles of the street gangs that have carved her barrio into turfs where one misstep leads to violence. This engrossing memoir charts Ruiz’s journey toward self-identity, tracing the tortuous path of her life—a life in which Ruiz assumed contradictory roles: gang chola, high school drop-out, disowned daughter, battered wife, welfare mother, student, and policewoman. At each step in the journey, Ruiz faced violence, ridicule, and skepticism. She nevertheless prevailed in exchanging her badge of social defiance for one of protecting her community.
This eloquent monument to courage and triumph against all odds will inspire every reader who has at some time felt overwhelmed by the daunting challenges life brandishes.
Sandoval-Sanchez, A. & Saport, N. (1999). Puro Teatro: A Latina Anthology. Tucson, Az: University of Arizona Press.
From plays produced on shoestring budgets in the 1970s to today's high-tech performance pieces, Latina Theater has emerged as a vibrant art form whose time has come. This anthology showcases this dynamic new genre through the works of established playwrights such as Cherr¡e Moraga and Dolores Prida as well as talented new playwrights and performers who have emerged in the past decade such as Migdalia Cruz, Elaine Romero, and Monica Palacios. Puro Teatro, A Latina Anthology includes a variety of theatrical genres: plays, performance pieces, puppet shows, innovative collaborations, and testimonials. It features previously unpublished plays from a broad range of experiences within the Latino/a community, including families and home, friends and community building, coming of age and empowerment, and sexual and ethnic identities.
The editors' introduction provides a comprehensive survey of contemporary Latina Theater, placing it in its theatrical context and examining its divergent roots. Puro Teatro, A Latina Anthology is the first book of its kind to reflect in print a diversified body of writing that turns the spotlight on some of America's most talented and prolific artists. A subsequent volume will complement this anthology with a theoretical, critical reading of Latina Theater and performance.
Shakespeare, W. (1994). The Tempest. Seattle, WA: Create Space. NY: Washington Square Press.
This drama is one of the great comedy plays by William Shakespeare. The themes illustrated in the play are freedom, friendship, repentance and forgiveness and feature different temperaments illustrating temperance and intemperance. The plot starts when King Alonso of Naples and his entourage sail home for Italy after attending his daughter's wedding in Tunis, Africa. They encounter a violent storm, or Tempest. Everyone jumps overboard and are washed ashore on a strange island inhabited by the magician Prospero who has deliberately conjured up the storm. Prospero and Miranda live in a cave on the island which is
also inhabited by Ariel, a sprite who carries out the bidding of Prospero, and the ugly, half human Caliban. Various plots against the main characters fail thanks to the magic of Prospero. The play ends with all the plotters repenting the Tempest is calmed.
Sheridan, T. (1986). Los Tuconensus: The Mexican Community in Tucson, 1854-1941. Tucson, Az: University of Arizona Press.
Originally a presidio on the frontier of New Spain, Tucson was a Mexican community before the arrival of Anglo settlers. Unlike most cities in California and Texas, Tucson was not initially overwhelmed by Anglo immigrants, so that even until the early 1900s Mexicans made up a majority of the town's population. Indeed, it was through the efforts of Mexican businessmen and politicians that Tucson became a commercial center of the Southwest. Los Tucsonenses celebrates the efforts of these early entrepreneurs as it traces the Mexican community's gradual loss of economic and political power. Drawing on both statistical archives and pioneer reminiscences, Thomas Sheridan has written a history of Tucson's Mexican community that is both rigorous in its factual analysis and passionate in its portrayal of historic personages.
Skolnick, S.H. & Currie, E. (2006). Crisis in American Institutions. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Crisis in American Institutions provides students with an array of engaging articles that reflect America's social problems and encourage critical thought.
This edition contains seventeen new articles, many addressing the escalating crises of American society in recent years, including the worst economic crisis in decades, the rapid rise in health care costs, the polarizing debate on immigration, and the continuing growth of economic inequality. Others update our coverage of longstanding issues, including the persistence of poverty, the continued growth of mass incarceration, and the politics of global warming.
Tafallo, C. (1993). Curandera. Santa Monica: Santa Monica College Press.
No description available.
Takaki, R. (2008). A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America. Boston: Back Bay Books.
Upon its first publication, A Different Mirror was hailed by critics and academics everywhere as a dramatic new retelling of our nation's past. Beginning with the colonization of the New World, it recounted the history of America in the voice of the non-Anglo peoples of the United States--Native Americans, African Americans, Jews, Irish Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and others--groups who helped create this country's rich mosaic culture.
Now, Ronald Takaki has revised his landmark work and made it even more relevant and important. Among the new additions to the book are:
--The role of black soldiers in preserving the Union
--The history of Chinese Americans from 1900-1941
--An investigation into the hot-button issue of "illegal" immigrants from Mexico
--A look at the sudden visibility of Muslim refugees from Afghanistan.
This new edition of A Different Mirror is a remarkable achievement that grapples with the raw truth of American history and examines the ultimate question of what it means to be an American.
Tatum, C.M. (1990). Mexican American Literature. NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The literary culture of the Spanish-speaking Southwest has its origins in a harsh frontier environment marked by episodes of intense cultural conflict, and much of the literature seeks to capture the epic experiences of conquest and settlement. The Chicano literary canon has evolved rapidly over four centuries to become one of the most dynamic, growing, and vital parts of what we know as contemporary U.S. literature. Charles M. Tatum brings a new and refreshing perspective to the ethnic identity of Mexican Americans. From the earliest sixteenth-century chronicles of the Spanish Period, to the poetry and narrative fiction of the second half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, and then to the flowering of all literary genres in the post–Chicano Movement years, Chicano/a literature amply reflects the hopes and aspirations as well as the frustrations and disillusionments of an often marginalized population. Exploring the work of Rudolfo Anaya, Sandra Cisneros, Luis Alberto Urrea, and many more, Tatum examines the important social, historical, and cultural contexts in which the writing evolved, paying special attention to the Chicano Movement and the flourishing of literary texts during the 1960s and early 1970s. Chapters provide an overview of the most important theoretical and critical approaches employed by scholars over the past forty years and survey the major trends and themes in contemporary autobiography, memoir, fiction, and poetry. This book will be an ideal reference for scholars of Hispanic and American literature.
Tatum, C.M. (1993). New Chicana/Chicano Writing. Tucson, Az : University of Arizona Press.
This impressive collection augurs a bright future for Chicana/Chicano literature, and will be of interest to those who keep track of the wide diversity of American and world literature.
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Thoreau, H.D. (1993). Civil Disobedience. Manchester: Empire Press.
Sparked by Thoreau’s outrage at American slavery and the American-Mexican war, Civil Disobedience is a call for every citizen to value his conscience above his government. Within this 19th
century essay, Thoreau explains government of any sort – including democracy – does not possess more wisdom or justice than its individual citizens, and that it is every citizen’s responsibility to avoid acquiescence. More than an essay, Civil Disobedience is a call to action for all citizens to refuse to participate in, or encourage in any way, an unjust institution.
Urrea, L.A. (1996). By the Lake of Sleeping Children. Siox City, IA: Anchor Publications.
This novelistic portrait of Tijuana garbage pickers and dump dwellers is variously funny, sad and startling. Americans who think that they have encountered real poverty in the south Bronx will be in for a shock when they read this book. And yet this is not a story of desperation. Urrea (born of a Mexican father and an American mother) does not ask pity for his subjects. Neither does he repeat childish political slogans about inequality (except to make them sound silly). Rather, he reveals the fascinating lives of resourceful Mexicans living along the border.
Urrea, L.A. (2002). Nobody’s Son: Notes from an American Life. Tucson, Az: University of Arizona Press.
Here's a story about a family that comes from Tijuana and settles into the 'hood, hoping for the American Dream.
. . . I'm not saying it's our story. I'm not saying it isn't. It might be yours. "How do you tell a story that cannot be told?" writes Luis Alberto Urrea in this potent memoir of a childhood divided. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and an Anglo mother from Staten Island, Urrea moved to San Diego when he was three. His childhood was a mix of opposites, a clash of cultures and languages. In prose that seethes with energy and crackles with dark humor, Urrea tells a story that is both troubling and wildly entertaining. Urrea endured violence and fear in the black and Mexican barrio of his youth. But the true battlefield was inside his home, where his parents waged daily war over their son's ethnicity. "You are not a Mexican!" his mother once screamed at him. "Why can't you be called Louis instead of Luis?" He suffers disease and abuse and he learns brutal lessons about machismo. But there are gentler moments as well: a simple interlude with his father, sitting on the back of a bakery truck; witnessing the ultimate gesture of tenderness between the godparents who taught him the magical power of love. "I am nobody's son. I am everybody's brother," writes Urrea. His story is unique, but it is not unlike thousands of other stories being played out across the United States, stories of other Americans who have waged war—both in the political arena and in their own homes—to claim their own personal and cultural identity. It is a story of what it means to belong to a nation that is sometimes painfully multicultural, where even the language both separates and unites us. Brutally honest and deeply moving, Nobody's Son is a testament to the borders that divide us all.
Urrea, L.A. (2009). Into the Beautiful North. NY: Little Brown and Co.
Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US to find work. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village--they've all gone north. While watching
The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men--her own "Siete Magníficos"--to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over.
Filled with unforgettable characters and prose as radiant as the Sinaloan sun, Into The Beautiful North is the story of an irresistible young woman's quest to find herself on both sides of the fence.
Urrea, L.A. (2005). The Devil’s Highway. Costa Mesa, CA: Back Bay Books.
In May 2001, 26 Mexican men scrambled across the border and into an area of the Arizona desert known as the Devil's Highway. Only 12 made it safely across. American Book Award winning writer and poet Urrea (Across the Wire; Six Kinds of Sky; etc.), who was born in Tijuana and now lives outside Chicago, tracks the paths those men took from their home state of Veracruz all the way norte. Their enemies were many: the U.S. Border Patrol ("La Migra"); gung-ho gringo vigilantes bent on taking the law into their own hands; the Mexican Federales; rattlesnakes; severe hypothermia and the remorseless sun, a "110 degree nightmare" that dried their bodies and pounded their brains. In artful yet uncomplicated prose, Urrea captivatingly tells how a dozen men squeezed by to safety, and how 14 othersâ€"whom the media labeled the Yuma 14â€"did not. But while many point to the group's smugglers (known as coyotes) as the prime villains of the tragedy, Urrea unloads on, in the words of one Mexican consul, "the politics of stupidity that rules both sides of the border." Mexican and U.S. border policy is backward, Urrea finds, and it does little to stem the flow of immigrants. Since the policy results in Mexicans making the crossing in increasingly forbidding areas, it contributes to the conditions that kill those who attempt it. Confident and full of righteous rage, Urrea's story is a well-crafted mélange of first-person testimony, geographic history, cultural and economic analysis, poetry and an indictment of immigration policy. It may not directly influence the forces behind the U.S.'s southern border travesties, but it does give names and identities to the faceless and maligned "wetbacks" and "pollos," and highlights the brutality and unsustainable nature of the many walls separating the two countries.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Valdez, L. (1992). Zoot Suit and Other Plays. Houston, TX: Arte Publico Press.
This collection contains three of playwright and screenwriter Luis Valdez's most important and recognized plays: Zoot Suit, Bandido! and I Don't Have to Show You No Stinking Badges. The anthology also includes an introduction by noted theater critic Dr. Jorge Huerta of the University of California-San Diego. Luis Valdez, the most recognized and celebrated Hispanic playwright of our times, is the director of the famous farm-worker theater, El Teatro Campesino
Yolen, J. (1997). Twelve Impossible Things before Breakfast: Stories. San Anselmo, CA: Sandpiper Press.
This solid collection of short stories (for grades 5-7) is a good introduction to various types of fantasy. Three of the 12 pieces are new and the rest have been published in other compilations. There is something here for everyone: tales that are scary, gross, or fanciful. Some of the selections are
reworkings of parts of children's classics, such as Alice in Wonderland (Alice learns how to be tough with the Jabberwock) and Peter Pan (Captain Hook is singing a new tune now that he is married to a modern-day feminist). "The Bridge's Complaint" puts a different spin on "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" by relating events from the bridge's point of view. The tales are set in different times, some in the past, some in the present, and some in the near or distant future. "Wilding" is a chilling futuristic look at New York City's Central Park, based on the gang violence that occurred there in the late 1980s. There's a story of a frightening sea monster, one about a fairy, and another about aliens; all will chill and delight the imagination.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Zepeda, O. (1995). Ocean Power: Poems from the Desert. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.
The annual seasons and rhythms of the desert are a dance of clouds, wind, rain, and flood—water in it roles from bringer of food to destroyer of life. The critical importance of weather and climate to native desert peoples is reflected with grace and power in this personal collection of poems, the first written creative work by an individual in O'odham and a landmark in Native American literature. Poet Ofelia Zepeda centers these poems on her own experiences growing up in a Tohono O'odham family, where desert climate profoundly influenced daily life, and on her perceptions as a contemporary Tohono O'odham woman. One section of poems deals with contemporary life, personal history, and the meeting of old and new ways. Another section deals with winter and human responses to light and air. The final group of poems focuses on the nature of women, the ocean, and the way the past relationship of the O'odham with the ocean may still inform present day experience. These fine poems will give the outside reader a rich insight into the daily life of the Tohono O'odham people.
Zinn, H. (2003). A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present. NY: Harper Perennial.
Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People's History of the United States is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of -- and in the words of -- America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers.
Zinn, H. (1990). Declarations of Independence: Cross-Examining American Ideology. NY: Harper Perennial.

In these informal, challenging essays that link the personal to the political, Zinn aims to shake complacency, to challenge what he calls "American orthodoxies" or received opinions about history and government. He charges that Machiavellian tactics have dominated policies of presidents in their pursuit of "national security interests." Calling the American economic system "shamefully wasteful and unjust," the Boston University political scientist urges a "real war on poverty" and on pollution, a turnaround in national priorities away from massive military spending. Recognition that the Soviet Union is a police state, he believes, should not lead us to embrace "fanatical anticommunism" or to justify the U.S. government's control over other countries. He
argues that there are no just wars, accuses the major media of slavishness to government-business control and knocks social theories that resort to "human nature" to explain war and class inequities.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Zinn, H. (2004). Voices of a People’s History of the United States. NY: Seven Stories Press.
Here in their own words are Frederick Douglass, George Jackson, Chief Joseph, Martin Luther King Jr., Plough Jogger, Sacco and Vanzetti, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Mark Twain, and Malcolm X, to name just a few of the hundreds of voices that appear in Voices of a People's History of the United States, edited by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove.
Paralleling the twenty-four chapters of Zinn's A People's History of the United States, Voices of a People’s History is the long-awaited companion volume to the national bestseller. For Voices, Zinn and Arnove have selected testimonies to living history—speeches, letters, poems, songs—left by the people who make history happen but who usually are left out of history books—women, workers, nonwhites. Zinn has written short introductions to the texts, which range in length from letters or poems of less than a page to entire speeches and essays that run several pages. Voices of a People’s History is a symphony of our nation’s original voices, rich in ideas and actions, the embodiment of the power of civil disobedience and dissent wherein lies our nation’s true spirit of defiance and resilience.

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