Celebrating diversity booklist

Given that today is Martin Luther King Day, and that we’re still dealing with book banning based on race even today, I’d like to make a booklist in honor of those books banned in Arizona. Let’s crowd-source. This can be a pretty wide list, and some of the books might be a little radical, if by “radical” we mean considering that Columbus might not have had the best of intentions when it came to indigenous peoples in the Caribbean and on the American continents, but I think that books like this are important to the discourse in this country, especially in places like Arizona where they’re dealing with the confluence of several cultures with conflicting goals. After all, couldn’t that apply in so many places in this world? How will we come to understand one another’s points of view if we ban those viewpoints? From the Salon.com article:

Another notable text removed from Tucson’s classrooms is Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest.” In a meeting this week, administrators informed Mexican-American studies teachers to stay away from any units where “race, ethnicity and oppression are central themes,” including the teaching of Shakespeare’s classic in Mexican-American literature courses.

Here’s the list of books banned in the Tucson school district last week (source). What other books like this should we celebrate?

*For more on the situation in Arizona, see here and here.

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

ETA: Also appropriate to this discussion, OTHER things that MLK once said besides the quotes you normally hear on this day:


About The Author

Stacy Whitman is the publisher of Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books. She specializes in fantasy, mystery, and science fiction for children and young adults.

Comments

One Response to “Celebrating diversity booklist”

  1. Julie Daines says:

    Every time I read about stuff like this, I can’t help thinking about the Nazis–and just about every other dictatorial, tyrannical form of leadership where the main objective is to keep people ignorant for the purpose of maintaining oppressive control.

    It seems like an attempt to remove the agency of the students to learn and see both side and understand how to think critically for themselves. Shakespeare? Come on! One cannot undo the past simply by hiding it. It’s there to learn from.