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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Our Sacred Maiz is Our Mother

Front Cover by Laura V. Rodriguez
University of Arizona Press (Oct 2014)

Just had to showcase the front cover to my forthcoming book

Thursday, July 10, 2014

UPDATE: OUR SACRED MAIZ IS OUR MOTHER...



My book will be out in early October as opposed to Nov. This means it can be ordered for fall/winter sessions...and spring... If you need more info re teaching from the book, write me back: XColumn@gmail.com or follow link on how to order books, etc.: 

http://www.uapress.arizona.edu/Books/bid2497.htm

My publisher also sent me this message re exam copies for instructors:

If your colleagues would like to pre-order an exam copy of the book, they can get in touch with me directly to send me a check, cash, or credit card number (with expiration date, csc code, and billing address, name and phone number) by mail, phone, email, or fax to cover the $7.00 shipping and handling charge.

I also attach this 20% off flyer, which you are more than welcome to send to anyone who you think might be interested in the book: file:///Users/rodriguez/Downloads/Rodriguez%20(5).pdf

Let me know if you have any other questions or if there is anything else you need from me!

Best,
Lela

Lela Scott MacNeil, Sales Manager 
University of Arizona Press
Main Library Building, 5th Floor
1510 E. University Blvd.
P.O. Box 210055
Tucson, AZ 85721-0055



Monday, June 23, 2014

Nakum Journal: Smiling Brown: Gente de Bronce—People the Color of the Earth

Indigenous Cultures Institute

Nakum Journal

2014 V 4 #1

 

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

By Roberto “Dr. Cintli” Rodriguez

I begin this essay on brown skin color and color consciousness with memories of my early childhood when I would sit on the porch step of my house in an alley on Whittier Boulevard in East LA and absorb the rays of the blazing hot sun. When I did this, I was constantly warned to stay out of the sun lest I get darker. I never paid any heed because I was already dark, and my body craved the rays of the sun. It was the heat I wanted; it made me feel good. It brought comfort to me, and sitting out in the hot sun (or when I grew older, playing basketball shirtless for hours on end) had nothing to do with my skin color, or so I thought. In one sense, whoever was giving me those admonitions was preoccupied not so much with the sun, but with my skin color—this in a society that has always favored light-skin.

New Mexico poet Demetria Martinez once described me in a poem on racial profiling, “Driving While Brown,” as unable to hide my Indian blood. “He is as dark as chocolate,” she writes (2005, 122). I always felt that was my skin color, except in Arizona where I feel it changes to red-brown.
I remember many years ago, an elder, Ernie Longwalker Peters, told me that when you mix the colors of maĆ­z: red, white, yellow and blue—which represent all the peoples of the world—you get the color brown. I wish I had heard those words when I was growing up because most of my early memories in regards to skin color are negative. For example, I remember walking home from junior high school in the 1960s and one of my friends telling me: “Mexicans are the color of dirt!” I remember not knowing how to respond because he meant it as an insult, and at that time, I didn’t relate dirt with the Earth. That’s where the subtitle for this essay comes from, Gente de Bronce: People the Color of the Earth. Society taught me at a very young age that dirt was a bad thing and that it was an ugly color.
The issue of color isn’t simply something external; color, even when unstated, is also an internal issue among Mexicans and other people of the Americas.1 This is true even in the home. Whether verbalized or not, color consciousness is omnipresent and is directly linked to issues of indigeneity. In other words, these communities tend to show a preference for light skin that is not necessarily related to the black-white racial paradigm in the United States. It actually goes back to the era of Spanish colonization when deep anti-Indigenous attitudes first developed.

For the rest of the essay, go to:
http://indigenouscultures.org/nakumjournal/nakum-2014-vol-4-1,

Saturday, May 31, 2014

TRUTHOUT: ''Cesar Chavez,'' Conditions in the Fields and the Struggle over Memory


I did not write a critique of the movie Cesar Chavez when it first premiered because I felt somewhat conflicted, and I didn't feel like jumping on a bandwagon. There appears to be a cottage industry of those who love to critique Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers (UFW) Movement, by people who have little first-hand knowledge of the events in question. From reading the many reviews, most of them seem to be formulaic, critiquing the movie as a hero-worshipping biopic, with deeply flawed acting, etc., etc.

Much of that critique comes from professional movie critics who know movies but who know little about Cesar Chavez and the UFW movement and know even less about the condition of farmworkers in this nation's fields. Some of the critique is along the same lines as that of his former enemies, many of whom are from the extreme far right and who always equated him or saw him as an enemy of capitalism and an enemy of the state. Some criticism is from the so-called far left, some of which is simply hypercritical, not necessarily wrong, but seemingly unaware of Chavez's larger role or value to society. Among these critiques, there is also valid and useful critique that comes from people with no ax to grind, primarily from human rights activists who lived that era or who are engaged in human rights struggles today.

What has been particularly troubling is that those who talk or write about the Chavez movie, almost never mention the conditions of farm workers today. It is within that context that I see/saw the movie. A 2007 book: The Farmworker's Journey, by Dr. Ann Lopez, gives us a glance not simply into the conditions in the fields, but examines the deplorable conditions that force migrants from their homelands to migrate to the fields in the United States. NAFTA, a trade agreement that permits goods, capital and executives to flow freely back and forth, but not workers, continues to be the cause of that migration.

For the rest of the column, go to: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/24049-cesar-chavez-conditions-in-the-fields-and-the-struggle-over-memory#.U4p8JLhxsUU.facebook

Thursday, May 29, 2014

TRUTHOUT: Ruben Salazar and the Filmmaker in the Middle


ON SALAZAR: After waiting some 44 years, most everyone I know was disappointed with the documentary on journalist, Ruben Salazar this past April. I wrote a series of observations prior to watching the documentary. Here's my view after having watched it.
http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/23884-ruben-salazar-and-the-filmmaker-in-the-middle

Friday, May 23, 2014

TRUTHOUT: Stepping Forward or Chaining Oneself for Justice


Last semester, the husband of one of my students was deported to Mexico. To see that battle ensue during the school year was not pleasant. I accompanied her to see lawyers that might help, yet in the end, all said he had no chance. He was deported and despite this, this semester, she graduated with honors.

Also, the previous semester, Cynthia Diaz, another one of my students, waged a very public battle to bring her mom back home after seeing her mother deported from their house in Phoenix some three years ago. Her public battle, which included a 6-day fast this semester in front of the White House, resulted in her mom's return into the country - as a political challenge to the Obama administration – and then her completely unexpected release.

I don't know if Arizona is different than other states, but in addition to DREAMers that are very public about their battles, there are also many students that come from families of mixed immigration status. In total, 15 of my students revealed to me this past academic year that either now or in the past, they too had to or were currently waging similar battles.

For rest of column, go to: http://truth-out.orghttp://truth-out.org/speakout/item/23893-stepping-forward-or-chaining-oneself-for-justice /speakout/item/23893-stepping-forward-or-chaining-oneself-for-justice

Saturday, May 10, 2014

CULTURAL NUTRITION/OPERATION STREAMLINE AND SALAZAR DOCUMENTARY

CULTURAL NUTRITION/OPERATION STREAMLINE AND SALAZAR:

These are student projects from my classes this semester at the U of Arizona:

From the Mexican American Studies Overview class:

Operation Streamline: Student and Community Action https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gabxf9ArwfU

And the Ruben Salazar: Man in the MIddle Documentary blog:
http://rubensalazarpbs.org/blog/roberto-dr-cintli-rodriguez/

From the Cultural Nutrition Class

An Inspiration to Eat Healthy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQtWEMjRGdA

Ricas Raices Healthy Cookbook
http://uofastudentcookbook.blogspot.com/