Thursday, August 25, 2016

Open Call for Submissions: Wit, Verse and Wisdom in Mexican American Studies

This comes from the Responsible Ethnic Studies Textbook Coalition that has formed surrounding the potential adoption ofby all accounts— a thoroughly and profoundly flawed and racist text, Mexican American Heritage, which is under current consideration by the Texas State Board of Education.

What Coalition member, hubby, and UT History Professor extraordinaire,  Dr. Emilio Zamora, did in pulling this together is exquisite. 

Consider sharing in this wonderful opportunity to impart wit, verse, and wisdom in Mexican American Studies.  Instructions on the selection of excerpts or passages, as well as on criteria for consideration appear below.


  Wit, Verse and Wisdom in Mexican American Studies

The Responsible Ethnic Studies Textbook Coalition is overseeing the preparation of critiques of a textbook entitled Mexican American Heritage to dissuade the Texas State Board of Education from adopting it for use in our public schools. Aside from pointing out the numerous factual errors, polemical tone and the recurring offensive statements, we accuse the authors of an obvious lack of familiarity with the vast Mexican American Studies literature published during the last forty years. 

César E. Chavez
To address this issue, we wish to initiate an electronic counter-story to help shift the paradigm on how we are seen and described. We're shifting the paradigm on how Mexican-Americans are seen and described. We wish to show the wit, verse and wisdom in Mexican American Studies to underscore the dismissal of Mexican history and challenge the flawed and stereotypical depictions in the proposed textbook. 

Simply put, we seek to demonstrate the wealth of rich and important information a textbook on Mexican Americans should include. We also want to give other like-minded persons an opportunity to join our fight over the production and dissemination of our collective knowledge.

Do you have ideas for submissions? Please email Val Benavidez with any suggestions. Emilio Zamora, editor of the series, will fact check the entries and approve them for our series at the REST site. If you have questions, write to Emilio at

How should I select excerpts or passages?
Consult a book, article, speech or archival record and select a passage that you find interesting, instructive, insightful, beautiful and/or useful for teaching Mexican American Studies in high school, college and university classes. Also, please include a copy of an image associated with the author, book cover or event. If you are an author, we encourage you to submit parts of your publication(s) or other forms of creative work.

What criteria should I observe?
The passages should be brief—no longer than 20 lines of typescript—and should include their source. You may wish to include a very brief introductory statement—from one to three sentences—in which you explain why the passage is important for an understanding of Mexicans in the United States. We prefer quotes but will entertain other forms of submissions like recollections of historical experiences and art work. We will also accept multiple passages from the same source. For instance, someone may wish to submit another quote from the life of Cesar Chavez (see below). 

Have you signed the petition yet? Add your name at

Selected excerpts:


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