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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Taking Back Cinco

Taking Back Cinco... one city at a time... Sobriety run and a Healthy Cinco de Mayo Food Festival in Tucson, Arizona... Let's make this idea go natoinal


"Salazar: Assassinated or accident?" April 23
Earlier posts:
Salazar, Justice, and “The Price of a Mexican” April 14
"Salazar and Me" April 1
go to:
(April 29 screening and program of Salazar documentary at the U of A ILC #130 7pm)

SMILING BROWN: Reminder: This is an ongoing project that will become a book, play and videologues. About 100 stories have been received. Continuing to gather stories of our earliest memories of color consciousness and when we realized that there never was anything wrong with our color. See prelim article and if interested, please contact me: Looking for 300-1200 word vignettes. No deadline... but June 1 is ideal because that's when major work will recommence on this very important topic, a topic that deals not simply racism and denial of Indigeneity, but also a deep internalized oppression, involving those closest to us. Thanks:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

This, fall: Our Sacred Maiz is Our Mother

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Our Sacred Maíz Is Our Mother
Indigeneity and Belonging in the Americas
By Roberto Cintli Rodriguez
288 pp. / 6.00 x 9.00 / 2014
Paper (978-0-8165-3061-8) [s]
Related Interest
  - Native American Studies
  - Latina and Latino Studies

Not Yet Published - Pre-order Today
"If you want to know who you are and where you come from, follow the maíz." That was the advice given to author Roberto Cintli Rodriguez when he was investigating the origins and migrations of 
Rodriguez provides a highly unique and multifaceted account of the ways in which de-Indigenized communities have managed to preserve and pass on knowledge of their traditions across centuries.

—Roberto D. Hernández, San Diego State University

Sacred maíz narratives offer the opportunity to recover history and, in the process, to recover one's Indigeneity.

—Lara Medina, author of Las Hermanas: Chicana/Latina Religious-Political Activism in the U.S. Catholic Church
Mexican peoples in the Four Corners region of the United States.

Follow it he did, and his book Our Sacred Maíz Is Our Mother changes the way we look at Mexican Americans. Not so much peoples created as a result of war or invasion, they are people of the corn, connected through a seven-thousand-year old maíz culture to other Indigenous inhabitants of the continent. Using corn as the framework for discussing broader issues of knowledge production and history of belonging, the author looks at how corn was included in codices and Mayan texts, how it was discussed by elders, and how it is represented in theater and stories as a way of illustrating that Mexicans and Mexican Americans share a common culture.

Rodriguez brings together scholarly and traditional (elder) knowledge about the long history of maíz/corn cultivation and culture, its roots in Mesoamerica, and its living relationship to Indigenous peoples throughout the continent, including Mexicans and Central Americans now living in the United States. The author argues that, given the restrictive immigration policies and popular resentment toward migrants, a continued connection to maíz culture challenges the social exclusion and discrimination that frames migrants as outsiders and gives them a sense of belonging not encapsulated in the idea of citizenship. The "hidden transcripts" of corn in everyday culture—art, song, stories, dance, and cuisine (maíz-based foods like the tortilla)—have nurtured, even across centuries of colonialism, the living maíz culture of ancient knowledge. 

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Running With Our Hummingbird Named Consuelo

There’s nobody that I know that doesn’t like a hummingbird. That is especially true in Tucson. For many of us, the hummingbird signifies Consuelo Aguilar. For some, she is but a memory. For others, not even that. And yet, in Tucson, we run for her. We run with her. And on April 5th, we will run and walk for and with her again.

She represents all of what was right with Tucson several years ago. All that was good. And yet, something went wrong…  She was our soaring eagle… who prematurely transformed into our hummingbird… at least she remains with us… always, especially when we run.

Since she passed on Feb. 17, 2009, a lot of water has passed under the bridge. Actually, don’t know if this water metaphor works in Arizona. There’s no water here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


SPECIAL INVITE TO OBAMA & HOLDER RE OPERATION STREAMLINE: Please sign and share this far and wide... 24 human rights activists put their lives and liberty on the line to end this for-profit scheme called Operation Streamline. 

To: President Barack Obama
To: First Lady Michelle Obama
To: Honorable Attorney General Eric Holder
We are writing to you regarding an urgent situation taking place in Tucson, Arizona. Every weekday, Monday through Friday at 1:30 PM Operation Streamline takes place at the Federal Court House. Every day, 70 or so Mexican and Central American men and women are processed, charged, convicted, sentenced and sent to a private for-profit prison, before finally being deported.
We invite you and members of your administration to step inside this operation.
In the courtroom, you will witness a most dehumanizing court procedure: Dozens of brown men and women, inexplicably chained from the ankles, waist and wrists, all waiting to be criminally charged at incredible speeds. You will come to know that prior to this judicial procedure, each person gets but a few minutes of consultation with an attorney, on the same day they see the judge. There is no time for adequate counsel, no deliberation, and no contemplation of justice. The daily proceeding takes about 90 minutes
Operation Streamline is purportedly designed to give non-violent undocumented immigrants criminal jail sentences before they are deported, as a deterrent to keep them from trying to reenter the country in the future. However, we see this as a for-profit operation that criminalizes non-violent migrants, who are only trying to survive and improve the lives of their families.
Last October,  24 people have risked their freedom, taking part in actions of peaceful civil disobedience, in attempts to both shut down this abhorrent program and bring attention to the injustices that take place every day in that court room. Their willingness to risk their freedom comes from understanding the urgency of the situation, and the injustices that are imposed on migrants.
Mr. President, this is why we invite you, your family,  and members of administration, including Attorney General Eric Holder. We are convinced that if you witness Operation Streamline, you would be offended by the program, and would know that the right decision is to immediately shut it down. 
Thank you for your time,

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Smiling Brown: Gente de Bronce – People the Color of the Earth

Re the Smiling Brown: Gente de Bronce – People the Color of the Earth Project:  A draft of a preliminary article appears in

It has been reworked and updated and submitted as an academic article for the spring of 2014. It is slated to become a book, play and videologues. This week, I’ve received about ten more contributions, adding to the 75 or so previously received. This is an ongoing project, so feel free to contribute at any time. Looking for vignettes re color consciousness, primarily first memories of when people became conscious of their skin color. People of all colors can submit contributions… the color brown is emphasized because in this country, that is the color that is generally left out of the discussion re race/color. Looking for vignettes/testimonies/memories of any length, but recommended; 300-1200 words. You can also record into your smartphone and send the file or you can also videotape yourself. While the topic of racial profiling is perfect for this project, looking primarily for childhood memories … and how people came to realize that there was never anything ever wrong with our skin color, though contemporary stories also welcome. Inbox or (for more info), send to: There will soon be an interactive website. Currently, there's an FB Page by same name.

* I should add that the stories that have been sent in, as expected, are extremely powerful because the stories I have been looking for are more internal, than external, which includes the self, family, neighbors, schoolmates – all from our formative years. This means there is a historical silence associated with this topic. The objective of this project is to change the dynamics within our communities that for some 500 years has favored light-skin preference.  The objective is to teach children that all shades of the human spectrum are good – none better than the other. Again, no deadline, but please send in when you can. Dr Cintli