Saturday, January 14, 2012

Banning of Books Signals Revolution in Tucson


Banned book includes Leslie Marmon Silko, Buffy Sainte Marie and Winona LaDuke

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/
Translation in French:
http://www.chrisp.lautre.net/wpblog/?p=577

UPDATE Jan. 18, 2012:
'Custer Huppenthal's Last Big Lie about Seized Books, by Censored News:
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/01/custer-huppenthals-last-big-lie-seized.html

TUCSON -- Outrage was the response on Saturday to the news that Tucson schools has banned books, including "Rethinking Columbus," with an essay by award-winning Pueblo author Leslie Marmon Silko, who lives in Tucson, and works by Buffy Sainte Marie, Winona LaDuke, Leonard Peltier and Rigoberta Menchu.

All books and materials of the now forbidden Mexican American Studies classes were seized from the classrooms. This follows the 4 to 1 vote on Tuesday by the Tucson Unified School District board to succumb to the State of Arizona, and forbid Mexican American Studies, rather than fight the state decision.

Students said the books were seized from the classrooms and out of their hands after the vote banning Mexican American Studies, including a book of photos of Mexico. Crying, students said it was like Nazi Germany and they have been unable to sleep since it happened.

The banned book, "Rethinking Columbus," includes work by many Native Americans, as Debbie Reese of Nambe Pueblo reports. The book includes:

Suzan Shown Harjo's "We Have No Reason to Celebrate"
Buffy Sainte-Marie's "My Country, 'Tis of Thy People You're Dying"
Joseph Bruchac's "A Friend of the Indians"
Cornel Pewewardy's "A Barbie-Doll Pocahontas"
N. Scott Momaday's "The Delight Song of Tsoai-Talee"
Michael Dorris's "Why I'm Not Thankful for Thanksgiving"
Leslie Marmon's "Ceremony"
Wendy Rose's "Three Thousand Dollar Death Song"
Winona LaDuke's "To the Women of the World: Our Future, Our Responsibility"

All books in the Mexican American Studies classrooms were seized. The reading list includes two books by Native American author Sherman Alexie and a book of poetry by O'odham poet Ofelia Zepeda.

Jeff Biggers writes in Salon:

The list of removed books includes the 20-year-old textbook “Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years,” which features an essay by Tucson author Leslie Silko. Recipient of a Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas Lifetime Achievement Award and a MacArthur Foundation genius grant, Silko has been an outspoken supporter of the ethnic studies program.

Biggers said Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest," was also banned during the meeting this week. Administrators told Mexican-American studies teachers to stay away from any class units where “race, ethnicity and oppression are central themes."

Other banned books include “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by famed Brazilian educator Paolo Freire and “Occupied America: A History of Chicanos” by Rodolfo Acuña, two books often singled out by Arizona state superintendent of public instruction John Huppenthal, who campaigned in 2010 on the promise to “stop la raza.” Huppenthal, who once lectured state educators that he based his own school principles for children on corporate management schemes of the Fortune 500, compared Mexican-American studies to Hitler Jugend indoctrination last fall.
http://www.salon.com/2012/01/13/whos_afraid_of_the_tempest/singleton/

Bill Bigelow, co-author of Rethinking Columbus, writes:

Imagine our surprise.
Rethinking Schools learned today that for the first time in its more-than-20-year history, our book Rethinking Columbus was banned by a school district: Tucson, Arizona ...

As I mentioned to Biggers when we spoke, the last time a book of mine was outlawed was during the state of emergency in apartheid South Africa in 1986, when the regime there banned the curriculum I’d written, Strangers in Their Own Country, likely because it included excerpts from a speech by then-imprisoned Nelson Mandela. Confronting massive opposition at home and abroad, the white minority government feared for its life in 1986. It’s worth asking what the school authorities in Arizona fear today.
http://rethinkingschoolsblog.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/rethinking-columbus-banned-in-tucson


Roberto Rodriguez, professor at University of Arizona, is also among the nation's top Chicano and Latino authors on the Mexican American Studies reading list. Rodriguez' column about this week's school board decision, posted at Censored News, is titled: "Tucson school officials caught on tape 'urinating' on Mexican students." http://drcintli.blogspot.com/

Rodriguez responded to Censored News on Sunday about the banning of his books at Tucson schools.

"The attacks in Arizona are mind-boggling. To ban the teaching of a discipline is draconian in and of itself. However, there is also now a banned books list that accompanies the ban. I believe 2 of my books are on the list, which includes: Justice: A Question of Race and The X in La Raza. Two others may also be on the list," Rodriguez said.

"That in itself is jarring, but we need to remember the proper context. This is not simply a book-banning; according to Tom Horne, the former state schools' superintendent who designed HB 2281, this is part of a civilizational war. He determined that Mexican American Studies is not based on Greco-Roman knowledge and thus, lies outside of Western Civilization.

"In a sense, he is correct. The philosophical foundation for MAS is a maiz-based philosophy that is both, thousands of years old  and Indigenous to this continent. What has just happened is akin to an Auto de Fe -- akin to the 1562 book-burning of Maya books in 1562 at Mani, Yucatan. At TUSD, the list of banned books will total perhaps 50 books, including artwork and posters.

"For us here in Tucson, this is not over. If anything, the banning of books will let the world know precisely what kind of mindset is operating here; in that previous era, this would be referred to as a reduccion (cultural genocide) of all things Indigenous. In this era, it can too also be see as a reduccion."

The reading list includes world acclaimed Chicano and Latino authors, along with Native American authors. The list includes books by Corky Gonzales, along with Sandra Cisneros’ “The House on Mango Street;” Jimmy Santiago Baca’s “Black Mesa Poems,“ and L.A. Urreas’ “The Devil’s Highway.“ The authors include Henry David Thoreau and the popular book “Like Water for Chocolate.”

On the reading list are Native American author Sherman Alexie's books, “Ten Little Indians,“ and “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven.“ O’odham poet and professor Ofelia Zepeda’s “Ocean Power, Poems from the Desert” is also on the list.

DA Morales writes in Three Sonorans, at Tucson Citizen, about the role of state schools chief John Huppenthal. "Big Brother Huppenthal has taken his TEA Party vows to take back Arizona… take it back a few centuries with official book bans that include Shakespeare!"
http://tucsoncitizen.com/three-sonorans/2012/01/13/did-you-know-even-shakespeare-got-banned-from-tusd-with-mas-ruling/

BANNED MEXICAN AMERICAN STUDIES READING LIST
Curriculum Audit of the Mexican American Studies Department, Tucson Unified School District, May 2, 2011.
High School Course Texts and Reading Lists Table 20: American Government/Social Justice Education Project 1, 2 - Texts and Reading Lists

Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years (1998), by B. Bigelow and B. Peterson

The Latino Condition: A Critical Reader (1998), by R. Delgado and J. Stefancic

Critical Race Theory: An Introduction (2001), by R. Delgado and J. Stefancic

Pedagogy of the Oppressed (2000), by P. Freire

United States Government: Democracy in Action (2007), by R. C. Remy

Dictionary of Latino Civil Rights History (2006), by F. A. Rosales

Declarations of Independence: Cross-Examining American Ideology (1990), by H. Zinn

Table 21: American History/Mexican American Perspectives, 1, 2 - Texts and Reading Lists

Occupied America: A History of Chicanos (2004), by R. Acuna

The Anaya Reader (1995), by R. Anaya

The American Vision (2008), by J. Appleby et el.

Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years (1998), by B. Bigelow and B. Peterson

Drink Cultura: Chicanismo (1992), by J. A. Burciaga

Message to Aztlan: Selected Writings (1997), by C. Jiminez

De Colores Means All of Us: Latina Views Multi-Colored Century (1998), by E. S. Martinez

500 Anos Del Pueblo Chicano/500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures (1990), by E. S. Martinez

Codex Tamuanchan: On Becoming Human (1998), by R. Rodriguez

The X in La Raza II (1996), by R. Rodriguez

Dictionary of Latino Civil Rights History (2006), by F. A. Rosales

A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present (2003), by H. Zinn

Course: English/Latino Literature 7, 8

Ten Little Indians (2004), by S. Alexie

The Fire Next Time (1990), by J. Baldwin

Loverboys (2008), by A. Castillo

Women Hollering Creek (1992), by S. Cisneros

Mexican WhiteBoy (2008), by M. de la Pena

Drown (1997), by J. Diaz

Woodcuts of Women (2000), by D. Gilb

At the Afro-Asian Conference in Algeria (1965), by E. Guevara

Color Lines: "Does Anti-War Have to Be Anti-Racist Too?" (2003), by E. Martinez

Culture Clash: Life, Death and Revolutionary Comedy (1998), by R. Montoya et al.

Let Their Spirits Dance (2003) by S. Pope Duarte

Two Badges: The Lives of Mona Ruiz (1997), by M. Ruiz

The Tempest (1994), by W. Shakespeare

A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America (1993), by R. Takaki

The Devil's Highway (2004), by L. A. Urrea

Puro Teatro: A Latino Anthology (1999), by A. Sandoval-Sanchez & N. Saporta Sternbach

Twelve Impossible Things before Breakfast: Stories (1997), by J. Yolen

Voices of a People's History of the United States (2004), by H. Zinn

Course: English/Latino Literature 5, 6

Live from Death Row (1996), by J. Abu-Jamal

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven (1994), by S. Alexie

Zorro (2005), by I. Allende

Borderlands La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1999), by G. Anzaldua

A Place to Stand (2002), by J. S. Baca

C-Train and Thirteen Mexicans (2002), by J. S. Baca

Healing Earthquakes: Poems (2001), by J. S. Baca

Immigrants in Our Own Land and Selected Early Poems (1990), by J. S. Baca

Black Mesa Poems (1989), by J. S. Baca

Martin & Mediations on the South Valley (1987), by J. S. Baca

The Manufactured Crisis: Myths, Fraud, and the Attack on America's Public Schools (19950, by D. C. Berliner and B. J. Biddle

Drink Cultura: Chicanismo (1992), by J. A Burciaga

Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States (2005), by L. Carlson & O. Hijuielos

Cool Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Growing up Latino in the United States (1995), by L. Carlson & O. Hijuielos

So Far From God (1993), by A. Castillo

Address to the Commonwealth Club of California (1985), by C. E. Chavez

Women Hollering Creek (1992), by S. Cisneros

House on Mango Street (1991), by S. Cisneros

Drown (1997), by J. Diaz

Suffer Smoke (2001), by E. Diaz Bjorkquist

Zapata's Discipline: Essays (1998), by M. Espada

Like Water for Chocolate (1995), by L. Esquievel

When Living was a Labor Camp (2000), by D. Garcia

La Llorona: Our Lady of Deformities (2000), by R. Garcia

Cantos Al Sexto Sol: An Anthology of Aztlanahuac Writing (2003), by C. Garcia-Camarilo, et al.

The Magic of Blood (1994), by D. Gilb

Message to Aztlan: Selected Writings (2001), by Rudolfo "Corky" Gonzales

Saving Our Schools: The Case for Public Education, Saying No to "No Child Left Behind" (2004) by Goodman, et al.

Feminism if for Everybody (2000), by b hooks

The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child (1999), by F. Jimenez

Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools (1991), by J. Kozol

Zigzagger (2003), by M. Munoz

Infinite Divisions: An Anthology of Chicana Literature (1993), by T. D. Rebolledo & E. S. Rivero

...y no se lo trago la tierra/And the Earth Did Not Devour Him (1995), by T. Rivera

Always Running - La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. (2005), by L. Rodriguez

Justice: A Question of Race (1997), by R. Rodriguez

The X in La Raza II (1996), by R. Rodriguez

Crisis in American Institutions (2006), by S. H. Skolnick & E. Currie

Los Tucsonenses: The Mexican Community in Tucson, 1854-1941 (1986), by T. Sheridan

Curandera (1993), by Carmen Tafolla

Mexican American Literature (1990), by C. M. Tatum

New Chicana/Chicano Writing (1993), by C. M. Tatum

Civil Disobedience (1993), by H. D. Thoreau

By the Lake of Sleeping Children (1996), by L. A. Urrea

Nobody's Son: Notes from an American Life (2002), by L. A. Urrea

Zoot Suit and Other Plays (1992), by L. Valdez

Ocean Power: Poems from the Desert (1995), by O. Zepeda




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6 comments:

Marc said...

Most of these writers are poets. Salman Rushdie, another writer who knows something about banned books, said, "A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep."

Debbie Reese said...

Glad you posted the list here, too. I've added three more books to it. I also posted video of a teacher in the program, talking about the books she used.

JacalineJ said...

Suprised they did not include "1491". I forget who the author is, but it is a great read.

Journey into Love said...

I think banning the program was terrible. What are they doing with all those textbooks and material? Can they put some in the library for kids to check out on their own? I hope they aren't going to actually burn them or put them in the refuse.

SStormsinger said...

I thought Hitler was dead by now. seems he just moved to Arizona. This is so stupid I had to post it on my FB!

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