Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Howard Zinn Has Died

I'm devastated that Howard Zinn has died. When Michael Jackson died I didn't feel anything really. But with him, I do. I felt the same way I did when Gloria Anzaldua died. I wrote this as one of my first blog posts on sexuality, health, latinidad about her and her death:

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

When Celia Cruz died I wasn't that deeply affected; i mean i listened to la mega all day in her honor. When mr. rogers died i could have cared less, when mother teresa died, my momma was upset. but now, gloria anzaldua dies and i'm a mess. yeah yeah white feminist have claimed her as "THE latina feminist" to quote and cite and sweat, kind of how they have done with audre lorde, and alice walker. but anzaldua means more to me, i am a chicana feminist, a puerto rican, a woman of color, a border crosser. her writings, and i'm not just talking her creative pieces, but i'm talking her theory; have been irreplaceable in my ethnic/racial/sexual/social identity. when i think of how i see myself as not just puerto rican, but as latino, as chicana, as part of la raza, anzaldua's work it what helped me achieve that acceptance of community difference, need, change and mobility is paramount. what does it mean that the person who helped legitimize you, written your story, without ever meeting you, or having a conversation with you? this is what anzaldua did/does for me. this is her spiritual activism at work. will she ever know how this bridge called my back changed my interpretation of social justice and change? does this now mean that she will become famous all over the world and among men (especially white men) now that she is dead? i'm more upset cause i never got a chance to have a conversation with her about her political strategies, about love and about activism. reading a book isn't the same as having conversations with someone directly. i waited too long and missed out on making my physical connection. i've learned from and decided that i am going to make contact with those i believe to be influential, important, essential, and fierce leaders in my community, in our community now, instead of later. i encourage us all to do the same, don't wait for somebody to come at you, go to them. viva la lucha de luz, paz y amor viva la memoria de los revolucionarios viva puerto rico libre

Internationally recognized cultural theorist and creative writer, Gloria Evangelina Anzaldua, passed away on May 15 from diabetes-related complications. She was 61 years old. A versatile author, Anzaldua published poetry, theoretical essays, short stories autobiographical narratives, interviews, children's books, and multigenre anthologies. As one of the first openly lesbian Chicana authors, Anzaldua played a major role in redefining contemporary Chicano/a and lesbian/queer identities. And as editor or co-editor of three multicultural anthologies, Anzaldua has also played a vital role in developing an inclusionary feminist movement. Anzaldua is best known for Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1987), a hybrid collection of poetry and prose which was named one of the 100 Best Books of the Century by both Hungry Mind Review and Utne Reader. Anzaldua's published works also include This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1981), a ground-breaking collection of essays and poems widely recognized by scholars as the premiere multicultural feminist text; Making Face, Making Soul/Haciendo Caras: Creative and Critical Perspectives by Feminists-of-Color (1990), a multigenre collection used in many university classrooms; two bilingualchildren's books--Friends from the Other Side/Amigos del otro lado (1993) and Prietita and the Ghost Woman/ Prietita y la Llorona (1995); Interviews/Entrevistas (2000), a memoir-like collection of interviews; and this bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation (2002), a co-edited collection of essays, poetry, and artwork that examines thecurrent status of feminist/womanist theorizing. Anzaldúa has won numerous awards, including the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, the Lamda Lesbian Small Book Press Award, an NEA Fiction Award, the Lesbian Rights Award, the Sappho Award of Distinction, an NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Fiction Award, and the American Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award. Anzaldua was born in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas in 1942, the eldest child of Urbano and Amalia Anzaldua. She received her B.A. from Pan American University, her M.A. from University of Texas, Austin, and was completing her doctorate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is survived by her mother, Amalia, her sister, Hilda, and two brothers: Urbano Anzaldua, Jr. and Oscar Anzaldua; five nieces, three nephews, eighteen grandnieces and grandnephews, a multitude of aunts and uncles, and many close friends. A public memorial will be planned at a later date.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Night Common Sense

Alright I've been slacking on the SNCS, so here's a quick one I love.

Sex is the servant of art.

Robert Longo

Friday, January 22, 2010

37th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Today is the 37th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade being passed in the US. There are a lot of writing on the internet and I want to highlight some and do a bit of self promotion.

I wrote over at VivirLatino about the series "What Choice Means To Me" and highlighted several of the Latina voices that are featured.

My article remembering Rosie Jimenez was included in that featured series and you can go directly to it here.

Here's my article about being an abortion doula, which I've written about here before.

What does choice and reproductive freedom and justice mean to you?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Throw Back Foto

true story. mofo on the subway in 2000 saw me w/my jew jenny. followed me on train. sat next to me and gave me this. i took it home and framed it.

Teaching About Haiti

If you are an educator or parent or mentor and are looking for texts on how to teach about Haiti, my homegirl SuperHussy sent this link with great information:

Teaching About Haiti

Please consider doing a Teach In if you are an instructor. Here's an example of an upcoming one in NYC at the Brecht Forum.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

LatiNegr@s Project

I'm collaborating with several other writers and bloggers (specifically writers of Inside My Head and Like A Whisper) to include LatiNegr@s during Black History Month. If YOU are interested, or know someone who may be, please let me know or send them my way. Leave a comment below with a way to contact you and I will make sure that you are in on the project announcement and help plan the project!


Read more about my post that started this project here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Just Listen

Ten OTHER Things Martin Luther King Said

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Remember These Items Are Needed In Haiti Too

People often forget these sexual and reproductive health care need during times of distress, terror, confusion, natural disaster, etc. If we don't learn from what people needed during 9/11 then we surely need to learn from what people needed during Hurricane Katrina. If you are sending items to Haiti please remember the following:

-Sanitary Napkins
-Morning After Pill (Plan B)
-Napkins/Paper Towels/Toilet Paper
My homegirl Prof. Susurro (who has also made a comprehensive list of places to give) reminded those of us with access to meds:
-HIV medications
-Hormone medication

Folks may not want to recognize that often when people are scared, confused, and needing something tangible in their life, sex is often one of the most accessible forms of affection and touch that can be experienced. When 9/11 happened I was at NYU and students were evacuated from downtown housing. Those students were placed in the NYU arena/gymnasium. They had to distribute condoms to students because in that time that was the one thing that they found comfort in: one another's bodies. Please help the possibility of infection and unwanted pregnancies by remembering condoms, spermicide and plan b.

Also, people may be menstruating and needing various products to help them from experiencing any more frustration and discomfort than they already have. Please make sure that if you are sending items to Haiti to remember these items. I have yet to see a list of what Haiti needs that includes these items.

I've heard (but can't find confirmation) that FedEx is shipping anything under 50 pounds FREE of charge to Haiti. UPDATE neither FedEx nor UPS are offering free shipping at this time. Please take the time to remember all the things people lost and need and how reproductive and sexual health intersect with coping and healing.

Ways To Help Haiti

Many of you don't know this but growing up in the DC/MD area there is a HUGE contingent of Haitians and I grew up in a very Caribbean space while in High School. One of my best friends since high school (that's over 15 years!) is a Haitian woman, Flo, who has loved me and supported me for all that I am and all that I'm becoming. My first friend in NYC when I moved back was a Haitian man, T. When I got the flue last year and was dripping from every orifice it was him, not my other "friends," who came to help me. He also has helped me with local daily necessities (like making sure no mice get into my apartment (we are still working on this one). T. and Flo are my family. My family has lost family and therefore I have. We have.

Please check out VivirLatino's links on how to help Haiti at this time.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

MC Lyte Called It

Many of you know already that when I teach I use music and various dynamic forms of artwork. One of the many examples I use is from Hip-Hop culture. I wanted to let folks realize that this new strategy to utilize the genre and culture in the classroom was foreseen by female rapper MC Lyte. It's not "new" or on the "vanguard" to use the genre or culture in the classroom. What is "new" or on the "vanguard" is HOW the material is used, what is it used to discuss, how are those discussions facilitated?

Here's proof that MC Lyte saw her craft as reaching students (you'll see it at the 3:15 mark)

LatiNegr@s To Look Out For in 2010

Jimmy Smits y Wanda De Jesus

I've worked on this list, that is still being added onto, so please send suggestions and I'll do an updated version!

Check out my piece on LatiNegr@s To Look Out For In 2010

Roberto Clemente

Sofia Quintero

foto credit:
De Jesus y Smits: