R.I.P. Mexican American Studies in AZ

When I heard about the legislature in Arizona remove Mexican American Studies from the curriculum and all related books from all schools, my initial thought was that the people of AZ need to fix this. But, do you remember when AZ legislatures first began publicly declaring their racism by enacting laws that made illegal immigration a crime and required local law enforcement to try to determine the residency status of anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant provided they don’t stop them for that reason alone? Have you noticed how many other states have quietly passed similar legislation since then? Mine has. Has yours? Pay attention, people!!

Debbie Reese has an excellent post on the issue, which supplies this list of books being removed from the curriculum. Literally. Someone is boxing them as you read this.
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 is 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
  • Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
  • Yo Soy Joaquin/I Am Joaquin, by Rodolfo Gonzales
  • Into the Beautiful North, by Luis Alberto Urrea
  • The Devil’s Highway, by Luis Alberto Urrea
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10 thoughts on “R.I.P. Mexican American Studies in AZ

    • A number of articles reported that the books “will be cleared from all classrooms, boxed up and sent to the Textbook Depository for storage.” And it was reported they would also be removing said books from the libraries in the school district as well. The school district later said they had not banned any books, and that they were still available in the libraries, and even that they might use them in the classrooms for other classes next year. Who knows if the original reports were wrong, or if the district changed their minds due to outside pressure.

      • de Pizan, thanks for following up on Helen’s question. I haven’t seen anything about libraries, haven’t seen anything from the ALA which I’m sure I would if they were removing books from libraries.

        Districts did say they were not banning, just boxing and removing. I say ‘word games’. I do also think this all happened quite quickly with no good plan on the perpetrators part.

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