Education

Movimiento Mondays: Posts To Read This Morning 7/6/15

Why is Washington Saying Very Little About Puerto Rico

Whether it is by choice or necessity, the Puerto Rican diaspora is growing at an unprecedented rate.  Migration is fraying the socioeconomic fabric of the island. It is upsetting to all Puerto Ricans, particularly those who grew up in its heyday. But as the diaspora grows so does the island’s power. It is up to Boricuas to choose how to use it.

Read more at Latino Rebels


The Political Discourses of Black Indigeneity, and Why it Matters

As is our custom, we began to debate politics, popular culture, and just straight shit talking. Our conversations ranged from whether Beyonce can be a feminist, to how someone could support racist mascots. Then, we started to debate current happenings in the D (Detroit!). The bulk of our discussion was centered on how hipsters⎯white hipsters⎯are moving into Detroit, and setting up businesses downtown. One of my friends called it gentrification, the other homie chimed in and made a distinction between urban renewal, which is what is happening downtown, and gentrification, which is happening all over the city. I was pretty quiet, after all, I’m a historian, what do I know about contemporary politics?

Read more at Native Appropriations


IMAGES: CHICANO-CON AND THE SAN DIEGO YOU WON’T SEE AT COMIC-CON

While San Diego Comic-Con has become linked with the city’s economy, it’s worth pointing out that one reason other cities probably feel they have a shot at wresting it from San Diego’s grasp is, there’s very little inside the event that actually reflects the city.

Over the weekend, the Chicano-Con exhibit began putting more of the “San Diego” back into this sphere. The event, a pair of two-day art exhibitions inside Barrio Logan, a neighborhood less than a mile from the convention’s high-rent district that formed its identity in the early 1900s with the infusion of refugees from the Mexican Revolution.

Read more at Racialicious


 

In Mexico with Frida Kahlo

Frida is an artist of the post-modern world.  She painted about the parts of us that the homogenizing force of modernism and industry attempted to deny.  She illustrated the belittled world of feelings – the struggle to see ourselves as whole, beautiful, precious, especially because of our differences and imperfections.  She painted the world as herself – in fragments.  In the course of doing so, she turned herself, uni-brow, mustache and all, into an icon of beauty, cultural pride, and the unsinkable, inextinguishable, undefinable stuff of which we are made.

Read more at Race Files

 

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12 Quotes From Pedagogy of The Oppressed Rachel Dolezal Should Consider

In addition to the black face,  the appropriation of the narratives, community history, lived experiences, life struggles, and personal victories of black women and bi-/multi-racial individuals, Rachel Dolezal, you need to also own-up to your white privilege gone wild.

I don’t claim to speak for anyone within the racial justice movement, nor do I really need to add to the growing digital-literature on how you’ve damaged movements surrounding black and trans folks lives. I really don’t even need to address how your actions have so blatantly been to join, co-opt, and attempt to center yourself within the racial justice movement in a way that allowed for you to avoid conversations like checking your privilege, playing the white savior, speaking on behalf of and silencing communities, or how you, as a white woman (sans, or especially due to,  black face) reproduced racial inequalities through your taking up space and assuming leadership of the black community.

These have all been discussed at great length, by people within these communities, much smarter than me, who have powerful voices of their own . So there’s not much more for a light-skin Mexican-American (mestizo) to add.

In fact, I’d much rather point you, Rachel, to 12 quotes from Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Maybe this will remind you of the role you play(ed) in oppression, and why you, as a white person in blackface, should step entirely back.

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  1. “The oppressors, who oppress, exploit, and rape by virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves.”
  2. “The oppressor, who is himself dehumanized because he dehumanizes others, is unable to lead this struggle.”
  3. “Discovering [her-/]himself to be an oppressor may cause considerable anguish, but it does not necessarily lead to solidarity with the oppressed.”
  4. “For the oppressors, what is worthwhile is to have more–always more–even at the cost of the oppressed having less or having nothing. For them, to be is to have.”
  5. “For them, having more is an inalienable right.”
  6. “Our [white] converts… truly desire to transform the unjust order; but because of their background they believe that they must be the executors of the transformation.”
  7. “Attempting to liberate the oppressed without their reflective participation in the act of liberation is to treat them as objects that must be saved from a burning building.”
  8. “The revolutionary’s role is to liberate, and to be liberated, with the people–not to win them over.”
  9. “To simply think about the people, as the dominators do, without any self-giving in that thought, to fail to think with the people, is a sure way to cease being revolutionary leaders.”
  10. “The road to revolution involves openness to the people, not imperviousness to them; it involves communion with the people, not mistrust.”
  11. “As the oppressor minority subordinates and dominates the majority, it must divide it and keep it divided in order to remain in power.”
  12. “The culture of the [white] dominant class hinders the affirmation of [black women/] men as beings of decision.”

Why I Teach The Walking Dead in My Native Studies Classes

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by Cutcha Risling Baldy

So a friend of mine wrote me a message on Facebook that went a little like this:

Question: how the heck do you get through to someone that thinks natives need to just get over it?

Answer: Shake them? I never advocate shaking people, but maybe something is loose in there. Tell them to take a Native American Studies Course (it ain’t cheap, but it’s worth it).

But if I’m being honest, lately, when this comes up — and isn’t it telling that it comes up often enough that I can begin with “lately” instead of “well the last time, a long time ago, man I can barely remember that time?” — I like to tell them about The Walking Dead.

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4 Documentaries Every (Person) Educator Should Watch

Many activists and educators are demanding for a public school curriculum  that produces a critical and relevant education, especially for those students who have historically been marginalized within the school system. For those of us who are disrupting the systemic failings of public schools and challenging the normalization of pushing students of color out of a high school(/higher) education, it is important to look for every available resource that might develop a more inclusive and engaging environment for learning. Whether through mentorship, teaching, or expanding your own cultural consciousness the following documentary trailers should serve useful in your effort towards unpacking privilege and understanding the strict binary systems of race, gender, and sexual orientation that exist in (settler) society, as well as within the classroom.

1. Precious Knowledge

Truly a remarkable film about the end of the Mexican American Studies programs in Arizona. This film reveals how politics shape the classroom, how history and literature are not neutral subjects, and how students can become empowered through education.

2. Under the Bridge

Under the Bridge is a powerful documentary about the struggle for the creation of Chicano Park in San Diego, CA. Throughout are history lessons in the Chican@ Movement, decolonial practice, protest, and a revelation in the need for space in order for culture to thrive. Under the Bridge presents a beautiful lesson in using art as a decolonial methodology as Chican@s reclaimed land, placing artistic cultural symbols that laid claim to the stone pillars and walls that have been erected by colonization and capitalism.

3. Two Spirits

An extremely moving and sorrowful story about the horrific murder of Frank Martinez. However, the valuable lesson in Two Spirited people provides an interesting commentary on the false gender-binary established by colonization. One of the most important films in regards to the intersectionality of race and (trans)gender.

4. Miss Representation

Miss Representation should be seen by young women and men alike. It critiques the sexism and misogyny within the American patriarchy by critically examining the media’s role in consistently disseminating sexualized images of women. Kwame Appiah’s discussion of ascription comes to mind, as these limited scripts presented in media provide young women with limited views of their own future, not to mention the limited perspective that men have of women after constantly seeing women through sexist prism.

 

Fall Reads: 6 books to decolonize your mind

In that practice of striving to disrupt oppressive-repressive discourses and decolonize the mind, I’ve decided to post 6 books that changed my life–some of these are banned from being read by high school students in Arizona. I realize many of these are pretty much a no-brainer for those of us who are already attempting decolonial praxis in our daily struggle, but nevertheless I feel deeply indebted to these authors for impacting my life with their radical words, ideas, and their overall activist approach towards writing.

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Drink Cultura: Chicanismo by Jose Antonio Burciaga

This is probably the least difficult and fastest read on this list. Funny and informative, Burciaga’s autobiographical essays explain Chicanismo and Chicano identity through his eyes. This is important because too often we get history and stories told about us by the colonizer, so it’s always good to find books that explain through their own voice.

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Queer Latinidad: Identity Practices, Discursive Spaces by Juana Maria Rodriguez

Rodriguez complicates what ethnic/racial/gender/sexual identity is by analyzing how it is constructed in various social settings and how it is reinforced by these spaces, as well as how we maintain identit(ies) through performance. Her case studies are extremely informative and worth a read!

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Living for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations, 1968-1980 by Kimberly Springer

Inspirational work that details the inner-workings of Black Feminist Organizations. Springer lays out the rise and fall of these important groups, such as the Combahee River Collective. This book serves as a blueprint for organizing and is especially important to those of us interested in building coalition and consciousness raising groups to enact change within our communities.

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Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity by Chandra Mohanty

Mohanty is amazing! By combining feminism and decolonial theory we are given a third world feminism that challenges the hegemonic whiteness that is found within feminist thought. Essential decolonial reading for all–including men.

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Disrupting Savagism: Intersecting Chicana/o, Mexican Immigrant, and Native American Struggles for Self-Representation by Arturo Aldama

Aldama’s work broadens the understanding of Chicana/o identity, situating it within the context of indigenous experience. By beginning with the colonial power structure defining indigenous people’s as savage, either noble or fierce, we are given a deeper understanding of how conversations in the media today develop a binary of white superiority and Chicana/o inferiority. Aldama’s book is extremely refreshing when we consider how compartmentalized Chicana/o and Native American scholars/studies can be. Definitely worth reading if you’re interested in the intersection of Chicana/o and Indigenous identities, histories, and shared realities.

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Borderland/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldua

Such an important foundational text on Chicana feminism and border studies. Anzaldua speaks to the experience of countless Chicanas and those of us living in-between society’s strictly defined boundaries of race, (trans)gender, and sexual orientation. If you haven’t read it yet all I can say is, “JUST READ IT!”