All posts by Elle Covington

Juneteenth: Celebrating Liberation

By Roxanne Bogucka

Juneteenth (variously called Emancipation Day, Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, or Cel-Liberation Day) is a holiday that commemorates the date when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached the enslaved black people in Texas. “Juneteenth” is a portmanteau word formed from “June” and “nineteenth.”

Image of printing of General Orders 3

Although the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1863, enslaved Texans were not apprised of this fact until Union Major General Gordon Granger issued General Order No. 3 in Galveston, on June 19, 1865 (Acosta, 2020). While the text of General Order No. 3 announced that “all slaves are free,” it also stated that “Freedmen are advised to remain in their present homes, and work for wages.”

In Austin, freed persons organized the first Emancipation Day celebrations in what is now Eastwoods Park, just north of present-day Dean Keeton Boulevard (Hasan, 2017). Photographs of Austin’s Juneteenth observances in 1900, taken by a Mrs. Grace Stephenson, including this one of celebrants, are available in The Portal to Texas History. According to the Portal metadata, Mrs. Stephenson later sold her photos, along with a report of the day’s festivities, to the San Francisco Chronicle. A search for the article in America’s Historical Newspapers was unsuccessful. A reference staffer from the San Francisco Public Library replied that SFPL is unable to respond to these kinds of reference questions at the moment.

Image of a page of the Parsons Weekly Blade published on June 22, 1895
Click to enlarge

As freed persons dispersed from Texas, they carried with them the tradition of celebrating emancipation on June 19th. The database African American Newspapers, Series 1 has several articles about communities’ Juneteenth celebrations. The earliest reportage was published in the Parsons (KS) Weekly Blade, in 1895.

 

Enlarged images of Juneteenth coverage in the Parson’s Weekly Blade from June 22, 1895

Cropped and enlarged version of the Juneteenth coverage in the Parsons Weekly Blade from June 22, 1895

 

 

 

Cropped and enlarged version of the Juneteenth coverage in the Parsons Weekly Blade from June 22, 1895

In 1979, Texas State Representative Al Edwards (D-Houston) introduced House Bill 1016, legislation that led to Texas becoming the first of these United States to declare Juneteenth an official holiday. Today, Juneteenth is an official holiday or observance in 46 states and the District of Columbia (National Juneteenth Observance Foundation, n.d.). While not observed by the University of Texas, Juneteenth (Emancipation Day) is an official public holiday in the state of Texas. Do not get too excited by this, as the state of Texas also lists Confederate Heroes Day on its official calendar of holidays (Texas State Auditor’s Office).

The United Kingdom, which abolished the slave trade in 1807, and passed the Slavery Abolition Act nearly 30 years before the United States, has a related observance on 18 October—Anti-Slavery Day, whose unfortunate name raises inescapable questions about the other days of the year.

Image of Stay Black And Live promotional materialThis year, with parades and gatherings being deemed unwise, Austin celebrates Juneteenth virtually. Stay Black and Live will be held online from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, June 19, 2020. There will almost certainly be a performance of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” also called the Black National Anthem. Learn the words, learn the tune, raise your voices in song on Friday, and raise your voices in citizenship every day.

Selected Resources from the UT Libraries

Works Consulted / Additional Reading

Honoring Black Lives: Josephine Baker

In light of everything that is going on in our country right now, I briefly considered cancelling plans to publish this post, which has been on our planning calendar since last Fall. The DAC blog team is working on other posts related to protests and social movements around racial justice and the history of systemic and violent racist oppression in the United States. Those posts will go up as soon as we are able to get them finished.

While we all grieve the violent and needless deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN; Michael Ramos in Austin, TX; Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY; Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, GA; and Tony McDade in Tallahassee, FL, it is my hope that remembering the incredible life of Josephine Baker on the 114th anniversary of her birth will provide another avenue today for honoring black lives and black legacies in the United States.

Black lives matter.

Early Life

Image of Josephine Baker
Van Vechten, C. (1949) Portrait of Josephine Baker, Paris, 1949. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress.
Josephine Baker was born Freda Josephine McDonald on June 3, 1906 in St. Louis. Her early life was hard. Her father abandoned Baker and her mother shortly after she was born, and she began work as a maid at the age of 8 for white families at whose hands she experience both neglect and physical and sexual abuse. At the age of 11, she survived the East St. Louis Race Riots.

At age 13, Baker ran away from home. She began working as a waitress in a club and married a man named Willie Wells, whom she separated from after only a few weeks, though technically the marriage was never legal due to Baker’s age. She performed in clubs and on the streets until she began touring the United States with an all-black theatre troupe based out of Philadelphia. At 15, she married Will Baker, and though this marriage lasted only a little longer than her first, she kept the name Baker for the rest of her life.

Fame

Baker’s comedy skills provided her with increasingly successful performance roles and an undeniable place in the Harlem Renaissance. In 1925, she was invited to join La Revue Nègre at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. She was 19 and already one of the highest paid performers in vaudeville. In Paris, her comedy and dance routines were celebrated, but it wasn’t until her performances turned to the more exotic that she truly achieved the international fame she is known for.

Image of Josephine Baker posing with her pet cheetah
Photo Card No.101, Dancer Josephine Baker posing with a cheetah wearing a collar, photograph by Piaz Studios of Paris, Early 1930’s. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Baker embraced the exotification at the time, regardless of how she may have felt personally about her “Africanized” burlesque performances. She became a larger than life persona, even adopting a pet cheetah, which she named Chiquita, and walked on a leash with a diamond collar.

In 1927, she became the first black woman to star in a movie, Siren of the Tropics, a silent French Film. This debut was followed with two “talkies,” Zouzou in 1934 and Princess Tam Tam in 1935.

Baker’s fame continued to skyrocket. She expanded her repertoire and her performances matured until she was one of the highest paid performers in the world.

Baker was an American expat in Paris at the same time as Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, all of whom, along with other Jazz Age artists including Picasso and Colette, considered Baker as a muse.

She returned to the U.S. a couple of times, but was frustrated and disgusted at the racism she experienced. In the time of McCarthyism, she was accused of communism, and hounded by both the FBI and the CIA.

Baker married her third husband, a Frenchman, in 1937. Like the other marriages, this one didn’t last long, but it did provide Baker with the opportunity to become a French citizen, after which she renounced her American citizenship.

Over the years, she had many lovers of all genders, including a nearly 10-year relationship with her manager and a Sicilian count, Pepito Abatino. While Baker never labeled her sexuality, she did have affairs with women throughout her life, including Ada Smith, Colette, and possibly Frida Kahlo.

Espionage

When World War II broke out, Baker remained in Paris, which by then, she considered her country. Baker worked as a nurse for the Red Cross. When France became occupied, Baker joined the French Resistance, smuggling information across enemy lines and hiding weapons and refugees at her chateau. Her international performances provided Baker with a unique opportunity. She would perform and attend parties at the Italian Embassy and then pass along any information she learned to the resistance, written in invisible ink on her music sheets.

For about a year and a half during the war, an illness kept Baker confined to a Casablanca clinic. However, even there, she joined the women’s auxiliary of the Free French forces as a sublieutenant and performed for the allied troops.

For her work during the war, Baker was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Légion d’Honneur with the Rosette of the Résistance.

Civil Rights

When the war was over, Baker returned to France and turned her considerable energy to the fight for civil rights. She married (self-identified homosexual) bandleader Jo Bouillon, and though they eventually separated, they remained married throughout Baker’s life. Together, they adopted 12 children of different races and religions from around the world. Baker called them her “Rainbow Tribe.”

After 9 years of “retirement,” Baker found herself facing serious debts that forced her to return to performing. She returned to the stage with a musical autobiography called Paris mes Amours at the Olympia Theatre in Paris in 1959.

She often returned to the US throughout the 50s and 60s to support the Civil Rights Movement. While in the U.S., she refused to perform for segregated audiences, and in 1963, she was the only woman asked to speak at the March on Washington.

In 1969, she and her children were evicted from the chateau in southern France where they had lived since the end of the war. However, Princess Grace of Monaco stepped in, offering Baker and her family a villa in Monaco and helping to fund a new show titled Joséphine to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her Paris debut.

After a few performances of the new show, Baker died peacefully in her sleep in her chosen country, France. Even in death, Baker accomplished another notable first. She was the first and only American woman to be buried with military honors and a 21-gun salute in France. Over 20,000 people lined the streets of Paris to mourn her passing and honor her life.

References

  1. Josephine Baker Biography. (2020). A&E Television Networks. Retrieved from https://www.biography.com/performer/josephine-baker
  2. Josephine Baker. (2004). In Encyclopedia of World Biography (2nd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 448-451). Detroit, MI: Gale. Retrieved from https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/apps/doc/CX3404700392/GVRL?u=txshracd2598&sid=GVRL&xid=c379cd99
  3. Norwood, A. R. (2017). “Josephine Baker.” National Women’s History Museum. Retrieved from https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/josephine-baker
  4. Josephine Baker. (2003). Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved from http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/j/josephine-baker/
  5. Strong, L. Q. (2006). Baker, Josephine. Reprinted from http://www.glbtq.com. Retrieved from http://www.glbtqarchive.com/arts/baker_josephine_A.pdf
  6. CIA report on activities in Latin America of Negro singer Josephine Baker. (1953, February 10). United States: Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved from https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/apps/doc/CK2349254187/GDCS?u=txshracd2598&sid=GDCS&xid=52ea60d3
  7. Josephine Baker in new challenge. (1969, March 11). Times, p. 5. Retrieved from https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/apps/doc/CS84504683/GDCS?u=txshracd2598&sid=GDCS&xid=8242988a

Resource Highlights

Videos

In her own words

Biographies

News & Magazine Articles

Books

Children’s Books

Audio

Link to YouTube video of Josephine Baker performing The Charleston on August 24th, 1928
Josephine Baker performing The Charleston on August 24th, 1928

 

Promo image for Arabs in Latin America display

Arabs in Latin America: Resources at UT Libraries

By Katie Coldiron

An Introduction

It is impossible to think about Latin America without considering the lasting impact and contributions by those of Arab descent living in the region. Beginning in the latter nineteenth century and peaking in the first 3 decades of the twentieth century, immigrants from Turkey, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and others were migrating to the Western Hemisphere for a mix of political, cultural, religious, and economic reasons. From there, many of these individuals and their descendants became leaders in business, politics, and Arab cultural organizations. Their presence varies within different Latin American countries. Notable contemporary Latin American figures of Arab descent include, but are not limited to, the following: Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, Colombian singer Shakira, Mexican actress Salma Hayek, former President of Brazil Michel Temer, and current President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele.

This blog post seeks to highlight materials about the Arab diaspora in Latin America available digitally via UT Libraries and Open Access resources. These materials include ebooks and primary-source web resources from some of Latin America’s Arab-descent communities. The materials are organized into the following categories: economic and political influence of the Arab diaspora in Latin America, religion among the Arab diaspora in Latin America, migration of Arabs to Latin America, and Arab Latin American publications.

Economic and Political Influence of the Arab Diaspora in Latin America

  1. Another arabesque: Syrian-Lebanese ethnicity in neoliberal Brazil by John Tofik Karam
    • This book is an exploration of how Brazilians of Syrian-Lebanese heritage have gained a footing in Brazil’s increasingly globalized economy, particularly with regard to transactions with nations of the Arab Gulf.
    • Temporarily available for checkout via HathiTrust.
  2. Carlos Slim: retrato inédito by José Martínez
    • This is a biography of the world’s once-richest man, the Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim. The first chapter contextualizes Slim’s success within his family’s history in Mexico as immigrants from Lebanon.
    • Temporarily available for checkout via HathiTrust.
  3. El harén: Menem, Zulema, Seineldín: los árabes y el poder político en la Argentina by Norma Morandini
    • This book, written by an Argentine of Arab descent, paints a picture of three Peronist Argentine politicians fraught with controversy. It seeks to go beyond negative stereotypes of Arabs in Argentina and explore how these individual figures came to their positions of power and ideology.
    • Temporarily available for checkout via HathiTrust.

Religion Among the Arab Diaspora in Latin America

  1. The Jews of Latin America by Judith Laikin Elkin
    • This is a comprehensive history of the Jewish presence in Latin America from migration onwards. The establishments of synagogues in different areas throughout the region are featured.
    • Temporarily available for checkout via HathiTrust.

Migration of Arabs to Latin America

    1. Los libaneses en México: asimilación de un grupo étnico by Carmen Mercedes Paéz Oropeza
      • This book offers an extensive history of the Lebanese presence in Mexico, beginning from push factors for immigrants and expanding into which parts of Mexico received the most Lebanese immigrants.
      • Temporarily available for checkout via HathiTrust.
    2. Los “turcos” de Lorica : presencia de los árabes en el caribe colombiano 1880-1960 by Joaquín Viloria de la Hoz

 

  • This is a history of the arrival of Arabs to a colonial city in the Colombian Caribbean. While it is not as large as Cartagena or Barranquilla, this resource shows the importance that Lorica, a city once known for extensive trade and merchant activity, had for arriving Arabs to Colombia. Furthermore, it shows the lasting impacts that Arabs themselves had on the city, particularly in regard to architectural styles, social clubs, and commercial activity.Image of Syrians living in Brazil
  • Temporarily available for checkout via HathiTrust.
  1. Museu da Imigração do Estado de São Paulo: Acervo Digital
    • This is an online digital archive of materials from the Immigration Museum of the State of São Paulo in Brazil. Photos, immigration records, and other resources are freely available. The photo below comes from this collection, and is the storefront of an establishment in São Paulo owned by Brazilians of Syrian descent.

Arab Latin American Publications

  1. Diario Sirio Libanés
    • This is a magazine of the Syrian-Lebanese community in Argentina. It includes resources related to this community, as well as events and news of interest from other parts of the world.
  2. Diario Armenia
    • This resource is a publication of Argentina’s Armenian community. It includes news of interest to Armenians both inside and outside of Argentina.
  3. Revista Al Damir
    • This magazine is a publication of the Palestinian community in Chile. Its name comes from the Arabic word for “awareness.” It covers a variety of topics of interest to this community, such as interviews and regular columnists.

This post is based on an exhibit planned for the PCL third floor display shelf. Due to extenuating circumstances regarding the coronavirus, the exhibit will hopefully go up at a later date.

For more information on resources made available by UT Libraries, check out this research guide about Arabs in Latin America.

Written by Katie Coldiron, M.A. in Latin American Studies and MSIS candidate, UT Austin School of Information. She is the current GRA for Global Studies Digital Projects at UT Libraries.

Promotional Image for Exploring Black Futures display

Exploring Black Futures

For Black History Month 2020, we’re using N.K. Jemisin’s How Long ‘til Black Future Month as a jumping off point to explore black futures in the library collection. Visit the display on the 3rd floor of PCL throughout the month of February to check out these items.

“But this is no awkward dystopia, where all are forced to conform.” ~ N.K. Jemisin, How Long ’til Black Future Month?

“All that you touch You Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth Is Change.” ~ Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower

Short Stories & Essays

  1. How long ’til black future month?Image of book cover: How Long 'til Black Future Month by N. K. Jemisin by N. K. Jemisin
    •  In the first collection of her evocative short fiction, Jemisin equally challenges and delights readers with thought-provoking narratives of destruction, rebirth, and redemption. In these stories, Jemisin sharply examines modern society, infusing magic into the mundane, and drawing deft parallels in the fantasy realms of her imagination.
  2. Conversations with Octavia Butler by Octavia Butler
    • In interviews ranging from 1980 until just before her sudden death in 2006, Conversations with Octavia Butler reveals a writer very much aware of herself as the “rare bird” of science fiction even as she shows frustration with the constant question,”How does it feel to be the only one?”
  3. Octavia’s brood: Science fiction stories from social justice movements by Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown
    • Whenever we envision a world without war, without prisons, without capitalism, we are producing speculative fiction. Organizers and activists envision, and try to create, such worlds all the time. Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown have brought twenty of them together in the first anthology of short stories to explore the connections between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change.
  4. Stories for Chip: A tribute to Samuel R. Delaney by Nisi Shawl and Bill Campbell
    • From surrealistic visions of bucolic road trips to erotic transgressions to mind-expanding analyses of Delany’s influence on the genre—as an out gay man, an African American, and possessor of a startlingly acute intellect—this book conveys the scope of the subject’s sometimes troubling, always rewarding genius.
  5. So long been dreaming: Postcolonial science fiction & fantasy by Nalo Hopkinson & Uppinder Mehan, eds.
    • The wealth of postcolonial literature has included many who have written insightfully about their pasts and presents. With So Long Been Dreaming they creatively address their futures.
  6. Dark matter: A century of speculative fiction from the African diaspora by Sheree R. Thomas
    • This volume introduces black science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction writers to the generations of readers who have not had the chance to explore the scope and diversity among African-American writers.
  7. Flame wars: the discourse of cyberculture by Mark Dery
    •  As the essays in this book confirm, there is more to fringe computer culture than cyberspace. Within these pages, readers will encounter flame warriors; new age mutant ninja hackers; technopagans for whom the computer is an occult engine. The term “afrofuturism” was coined in the essay “Black to the Future” in this collection.

Fiction

  1. Image of book cover: The Fifth Season by N. K. JemisinThe inheritance trilogy by N. K. Jemisin
    • Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.
  2. The fifth season by N. K. Jemisin
    • Essun, masquerading as an ordinary schoolteacher in a quiet small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Mighty Sanze, the empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years, collapses as its greatest city is destroyed by a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heartland of the world’s sole continent, a great red rift has been torn which spews ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries
  3. The obelisk gate by N. K. Jemisin
    • The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring — madman, world-crusher, savior — has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever. It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy. It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last. The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.
  4. The stone sky by N. K. Jemisin
    • Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe. For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.
  5. Image of book cover: Parable of the Sower by Octavia ButlerParable of the sower by Octavia Butler
    • The time is 2025. The place is California, where small walled communities must protect themselves from hordes of desperate scavengers and roaming bands of people addicted to a drug that activates an orgasmic desire to burn, rape, and murder. When one small community is overrun, Lauren Olamina, an 18 year old black woman with the hereditary train of “hyperempathy”—which causes her to feel others’ pain as her own—sets off on foot along the dangerous coastal highways, moving north into the unknown.
  6. Parable of the talents by Octavia Butler
    • Parable of the Talents is told in the voice of Lauren Olamina’s daughter—from whom she has been separated for most of the girl’s life—with sections in the form of Lauren’s journal. Against a background of a war-torn continent, and with a far-right religious crusader in the office of the U.S. presidency, this is a book about a society whose very fabric has been torn asunder, and where the basic physical and emotional needs of people seem almost impossible to meet.
  7. Patternmaster by Octavia Butler
    • The Patternist is a telepathic race, commanded by the Patternmaster, whose thoughts can destroy, heal, rule. Coransee, son of the ruling Patternmaster, wants the throne and will stop at nothing to get it, including venture into the wild mutant-infested hills to destroy a young apprentice—his equal and his brother.
  8. Babel-17 by Samuel Delaney
    • Babel-17, winner of the Nebula Award for best novel of the year, is a fascinating tale of a famous poet bent on deciphering a secret language that is the key to the enemy’s deadly force, a task that requires she travel with a splendidly improbable crew to the site of the next attack.
  9. Dhalgren by Samuel Delaney
    • Bellona is a city at the dead center of the United States. The population has fled. Madmen and criminals wander the streets. Strange portents appear in the cloud-covered sky. Into this disaster zone comes a young man–poet, lover, and adventurer–known only as the Kid.
  10. Everfair by Nisi Shawl
    • Fabian Socialists from Great Britain join forces with African-American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo’s “owner,” King Leopold II. This land, named Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary Utopia for native populations of the Congo as well as escaped slaves returning from America and other places where African natives were being mistreated.
  11. Image of book cover: Binti by Nnedi OkoraforBinti by Nnedi Okorafor
    • Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.
  12. Who fears death by Nnedi Okorafor
    • Born into post-apocalyptic Africa to a mother who was raped after the slaughter of her entire tribe, Onyesonwu is tutored by a shaman and discovers that her magical destiny is to end the genocide of her people.
  13. An unkindness of ghosts by Rivers Solomon
    •  Aster lives in the lowdeck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship’s leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer, Aster learns there may be a way to improve her lot–if she’s willing to sow the seeds of civil war.
  14. The deep by Rivers Solomon
    • Yetu holds the memories for her people — water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners — who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one — the historian.
  15. Black Panther: World of Wakanda by Roxane Gay
    • You know them now as the Midnight Angels, but in this story they are just Ayo and Aneka, young women recruited to become Dora Milaje, an elite task force trained to protect the crown of Wakanda at all costs. Their first assignment will be to protect Queen Shuri… but what happens when your nation needs your hearts and minds, but you already gave them to each other?
  16. Electric Arches by Eve L. Ewing
    • Blending stark realism with the surreal and fantastic, Eve L. Ewings narrative takes us from the streets of 1990s Chicago to an unspecified future, deftly navigating the boundaries of space, time, and reality. Ewing imagines familiar figures in magical circumstancesblues legend Koko Taylor is a tall-tale hero; LeBron James travels through time and encounters his teenage self.
  17. Image of book cover: The Gilda Stories by Jewelle GomezThe Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez
    • Escaping from slavery in the 1850s Gilda’s longing for kinship and community grows over two hundred years. Her induction into a family of benevolent vampires takes her on an adventurous and dangerous journey full of loud laughter and subtle terror.
  18. Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brissett
    • A computer program etched into the atmosphere has a story to tell, the story of two people, of a city lost to chaos, of survival and love. The program’s data, however, has been corrupted. As the novel’s characters struggle to survive apocalypse, they are sustained and challenged by the demands of love in a shattered world both haunted and dangerous.
  19. The galaxy game by Karen Lord
    • On the verge of adulthood, Rafi attends the Lyceum, a school for the psionically gifted. Rafi possesses mental abilities that might benefit people or control them. Some wish to help Rafi wield his powers responsibly; others see him as a threat to be contained.
  20. The prey of gods by Nicky Drayden
    • In South Africa, the future looks promising. Personal robots are making life easier for the working class. The government is harnessing renewable energy to provide infrastructure for the poor. And in the bustling coastal town of Port Elizabeth, the economy is booming thanks to the genetic engineering industry which has found a welcome home there. Yes, the days to come are looking very good for South Africans. That is, if they can survive the present challenges.
  21. Escaping exodus by Nicky Drayden
    • Rash and unconventional, Seske Kaleigh should be preparing for her future role as clan leader, but her people have just culled their latest beast, and she’s eager to find the cause of the violent tremors plaguing their new home. Defying social barriers, Seske teams up with her best friend, a beast worker, and ventures into restricted areas, searching for answers. Instead, they discover grim truths about the price of life in the void.

Youth

  1. Image of book cover: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi AdeyemiChildren of blood and bone by Tomi Adeyemi
    • Seventeen-year-old Zélie, her older brother Tzain, and rogue princess Amari fight to restore magic to the land and activate a new generation of magi, but they are ruthlessly pursued by the crown prince, who believes the return of magic will mean the end of the monarchy.
  2. Akata witch by Nnedi Okorafor
    • Twelve-year-old Sunny Nwazue, an American-born albino child of Nigerian parents, moves with her family back to Nigeria, where she learns that she has latent magical powers which she and three similarly gifted friends use to catch a serial killer.
  3. Akata warrior by Nnedi Okorafor
    • Now stronger, feistier, and a bit older, Sunny Nwazue, along with her friends from the the Leopard Society, travel through worlds, both visible and invisible, to the mysterious town of Osisi, where they fight in a climactic battle to save humanity.
  4. Dread nation by Justina Ireland
    • When families go missing in Baltimore County, Jane McKeene, who is studying to become an Attendant, finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy that has her fighting for her life against powerful enemies.

eBooks

  1. Image of book cover: Afrofuturism 2.0 by Reynaldo Anderson and Charles E. JonesAfrofuturism 2.0: The rise of astro-blackness by Reynaldo Anderson and Charles E. Jones
    • This collection examines the applicability of contemporary expressions of Afrofuturism to the fields of Africana studies, cultural studies, and other areas of academic inquiry. The essays within this book identify the twenty-first-century expressions of Afrofuturism emerging in the areas of metaphysics such as speculative philosophy, religion, visual studies, performance, art, and the philosophy of science and technology.
  2. Afrofuturism and Black Sound Studies Culture, Technology, and Things to Come by Erik Steinskog
    •  In highlighting the place of music within the lived experiences of African Americans, the author analyses how the perspectives of Black Sound Studies complement and overlap with the discussion of sonic Afrofuturism. Focusing upon blackness, technology, and sound, this unique text offers key insights in how music partakes in imagining and constructing the future.
  3. Speculative Blackness by André M. Carrington
    • André M. Carrington analyzes the highly racialized genre of speculative fiction—including science fiction, fantasy, and utopian works, along with their fan cultures—to illustrate the relationship between genre conventions in media and the meanings ascribed to blackness in the popular imagination. Speculative Blackness reveals new understandings of the significance of blackness in twentieth-century American literature and culture.
  4. Afrofuturism: The world of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture by Ytasha Womack
    • This book introduces readers to the burgeoning artists creating Afrofuturist works, the history of innovators in the past, and the wide range of subjects they explore. From the sci-fi literature of Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, and NK Jemisin to the musical cosmos of Sun Ra, George Clinton, and the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am, to the visual and multimedia artists inspired by African Dogon myths and Egyptian deities, topics range from the “alien” experience of blacks in America to the “wake up” cry that peppers sci-fi literature, sermons, and activism.
  5. Posthuman Blackness and the Black Female Imagination by Kristen Lillvis
    •  In this innovative study, Kristen Lillvis supplements historically situated conceptions of blackness with imaginative projections of black futures. This theoretical approach allows her to acknowledge the importance of history without positing a purely historical origin for black identities.
  6. Black Madness : : Mad Blackness by Therí Alyce Pickens
    • Therí Alyce Pickens examines the speculative and science fiction of Octavia Butler, Nalo Hopkinson, and Tananarive Due to rethink the relationship between race and disability, thereby unsettling the common theorization that they are mutually constitutive

DVDs and CDs

  1. Image of movie cover: Black PantherBlack Panther [DVD]
    • King T’Challa returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as new leader. However, T’Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from divisions within his own country. When two enemies conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must join forces with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Wakandan Special Forces, to prevent Wakanda from being drawn into a world war.
  2. A Seat at the Table by Solange [CD]
    • Calmly cathartic and considerably at odds with mainstream R&B, the progressive set promoted healing and empowerment in response to racial oppression. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Standout single “Cranes in the Sky” (number 74 pop, number 28 R&B/hip-hop) won that year’s Grammy award for Best R&B Performance.
  3. The archandroid by Janelle Monáe [CD]
    • An “emotion picture” brought to you by Janelle Monáe and the Mad Minds of the Wondaland Arts Society. The star-studded featured cast includes the legendary Big Boi of OutKast, renowned poet Saul Williams, psychedelic dance-punk troupe Of Montreal, punk prophets Deep Cotton, and the Wondaland Arch Orchestra.
  4. Parliament’s greatest hits by Parliament [CD]
    • Parliament engaged in a funk free-for-all, blending influences from the godfathers with freaky costumes and themes inspired by ’60s acid culture and science fiction. Parliament hit the R&B Top Ten with funk classics such as “Up for the Down Stroke,” “Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk),” “Flast Light,” and “Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop).”
  5. Blade [DVD]
    • When the bloodthirsty Immortals’ lord, Deacon Frost, declares war on the human race, Blade is humanity’s last hope for survival.

Streaming Film

  1. Image of movie cover: The WizThe Wiz
    • A young kindergarten teacher finds herself in the Land of Oz, where she is greeted by Munchkins. She journeys down the Yellow Brick Road in search of the Wiz, and encounters a scarecrow, a tin man and a cowardly lion.

Streaming Music

  1. Space is the place by Sun Ra
    • This is the music that was recorded by Sun Ra & His Intergalactic Solar Arkestra for the film Space is the Place. Most of the music on this album is not heard in the film except in short excerpts, and there’s music in the film which is not on this album.

Twitter Handles

  1. Nnedi Okorafor
  2. N. K. Jemisin
  3. Tomi Adeyemi
  4. Janelle Monáe

Reading Recommendations: Chosen Family

By Brenna Wheeler

It’s December, and that means holiday season. This time of the year can come with so many different feelings and experiences. As the fall and winter holidays arrive, many LGBTQIA+ members of our community are returning home to families who either don’t know or don’t accept aspects of their identities. Others may not even have that option. For many in this community, chosen family provides the acceptance their biological families may not. With this in mind, the DAC blog has put together a reading list with LGBTQIA+ authors and characters to keep you company during this season and share their own experiences with family, love, and acceptance.

I just need a novel to read

  1. Image of Book Cover for Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseAristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz“Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.”
  2. Juliet takes a breath by Gabby Rivera
    • “Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that’s going to help her figure out this whole ‘Puerto Rican lesbian’ thing.”
  3. Nevada by Imogen Binnie
    • “Nevada is the darkly comedic story of Maria Griffiths a young trans woman living in New York City and trying to stay true to her punk values while working retail. When she finds out her girlfriend has lied to her, the world she thought she’d carefully built for herself begins to unravel, and Maria sets out on a journey that will most certainly change her forever.”
  4. Image of book cover: Confessions of a maskConfessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima
    • “Confessions of a Mask tells the story of Kochan, an adolescent boy tormented by his burgeoning attraction to men: he wants to be ‘normal.’ To hide his homosexuality, he courts a woman, Sonoko, but this exacerbates his feelings for men. As news of the War reaches Tokyo, Kochan considers the fate of Japan and his place within its deeply rooted propriety.”
  5. Witchmark by C.L. Polk
    • “Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family’s interest or to be committed to a witches’ asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn’t leave his past behind. When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles’ healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient’s murder. To find the truth he’ll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.”
  6. Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
    • “Based on a true story plucked from Highsmith’s own life, Price of Salt tells the riveting drama of Therese Belivet, a stage designer trapped in a department-store day job, whose routine is forever shattered by a gorgeous epiphany–the appearance of Carol Aird, a customer who comes in to buy her daughter a Christmas toy. They fall in love and set out across the United States, ensnared by society’s confines and the imminent disapproval of others, yet propelled by their infatuation.”
  7. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
    • “This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance.”
  8. Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
    • “Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin’s now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.”Image of book cover: Heiresses of Russ 2016
  9. Heiresses of Russ: The year’s best lesbian speculative fiction.
    • “Heiresses of Russ offers readers in one volume the best lesbian-themed tales of the fantastical, weird and otherworldly, published during the prior year.”
  10. Meanwhile, elsewhere: Science fiction and fantasy from transgender writers edited by Cat Fitzpatrick and Casey Plett
    • “The #1 post-reality generation device approved for home use This manual will prepare you to travel from multiverse to multiverse. No experience is required. Choose from twenty-five preset post-realities. Rejoice at obstacles unquestionably bested and conflicts efficiently resolved.”
  11. Transcendent: the year’s best transgender speculative fiction
  12. Transcendent 2 : the year’s best transgender speculative fiction
    • “This anthology will be a welcome read for those who are ready to transcend gender through the lens of science fiction, fantasy, and other works of imaginative fiction.”

…but with fewer words.

  1. America: the life and times of America Chavez, Volume 1Image of book cover: America Volume 2
  2. America: Fast and fuertona, Volume 2 by Gabby Rivera
    • “In Marvel’s first series centered on an LGBTQIA+ Latinx character, America Chavez is kicking her way through dimensions, battling cults, viruses, and other aliens threatening Earth, all while attending her first college courses.”
  3. Black Panther: World of Wakanda by Roxane Gay
    • “You know them now as the Midnight Angels, but in this story they are just Ayo and Aneka, young women recruited to become Dora Milaje, an elite task force trained to protect the crown of Wakanda at all costs. Their first assignment will be to protect Queen Shuri… but what happens when your nation needs your hearts and minds, but you already gave them to each other?”
  4. Bingo Love by Tee Franklin
    • “When Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray met at church bingo in 1963, it was love at first sight. Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families. Decades later, now in their mid-’60s, Hazel and Mari reunite again at a church bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage.”
  5. Image of book cover: HeathenHeathen, Volume 1 by Natasha Alterici
    • “Aydis is a viking, a warrior, an outcast, and a self-proclaimed heathen. Aydis is friend to the talking horse Saga, rescuer of the immortal Valkyrie Brynhild, and battler of demons and fantastic monsters. Aydis is a woman. Born into a time of warfare, suffering, and subjugation of women, she is on a mission to end the oppressive reign of the god-king Odin.”
  6. Art & queer culture by Catherine Lord & Richard Meyer.
    • “Art & Queer Culture is a comprehensive and definitive survey of artworks that have constructed, contested, or otherwise responded to alternative forms of sexuality. Rather than focusing exclusively on artists who self-identify as gay or lesbian, Art & Queer Culture instead traces the shifting possibilities and constraints of sexual identity that have provided visual artists with a rich creative resource over the last 130 years – and it does so in an accessible, authoritative voice, and with a wealth of rarely-seen imagery.”

Actually, some poetry really sounds good right now

  1. Image of book cover: NepantlaNepantla: an anthology for queer poets of color edited by Christopher Soto
    • “The first major literary anthology for queer poets of color in the United StatesIn 2014, Christopher Soto and Lambda Literary Foundation founded the online journal Nepantla, with the mission to nurture, celebrate, and preserve diversity within the queer poetry community, including contributions as diverse in style and form, as the experiences of QPOC in the United States.”
  2. The collected poems of Audre Lorde
    • “Collected here for the first time are more than three hundred poems from one of this country’s major and most influential poets, representing the complete oeuvre of Audre Lorde’s poetry. Included here are Lorde’s early, previously unavailable works: The First Cities, The New York Head Shop and Museum, Cables to Rage, and From a Land Where Other People Live.”
  3. When My Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz – Digital Copy; Physical Copy
    • “This debut collection is a fast-paced tour of Mojave life and family narrative: A sister fights for or against a brother on meth, and everyone from Antigone, Houdini, Huitzilopochtli, and Jesus is invoked and invited to hash it out. These darkly humorous poems illuminate far corners of the heart, revealing teeth, tails, and more than a few dreams.”
  4. Image of book cover: Night Sky with Exit WoundsNight sky with exit wounds by Ocean Vuong
    • “A haunting debut that is simultaneously dreamlike and visceral, vulnerable and redemptive, and risks the painful rewards of emotional honesty.”
  5. Cuicacalli / House of song by Ire’ne Lara Silva
    • “Part song, part grito, part wail, part lullaby, and part hymn, Cuicacalli / House of Song is a multi-vocal exploration of time, place, and history. Song lives within and without the poet’s physical and spiritual experience of body, of desire, of art, of loss, and of grief on an individual and communal level. Cuicacalli / House of Song sings survival, sings indigeneity, sings some part of the tattered world back together.”

I want a memoir or biography of LGBTQIA+ people!

  1. Image of book cover: Looking for LorraineLooking for Lorraine: the radiant and radical life of Lorraine Hansberry by Imani Perry
    • “Lorraine Hansberry, who died at thirty-four, was by all accounts a force of nature. Although best-known for her work A Raisin in the Sun, her short life was full of extraordinary experiences and achievements, and she had an unflinching commitment to social justice, which brought her under FBI surveillance when she was barely in her twenties.” -Amazon Summary
  2. Mama’s boy: a story from our Americas by Dustin Lance Black
    • “Black shares a candid, powerfully resonant memoir about growing up in a military, Mormon household outside San Antonio, Texas. His mother had contracted polio as a small girl, endured leg braces and iron lungs, and was repeatedly told that she could never have children or live a normal life. While Black struggled to come to terms with his sexuality, she remained his source of strength and his guiding light, and years later stood by his side when he helped bring the historic gay marriage case to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
  3. What drowns the flowers in your mouth: a memoir of brotherhood by Rigoberto Gonzalez
    • “Burdened by poverty, illiteracy, and vulnerability as Mexican immigrants to California’s Coachella Valley, three generations of González men turn to vices or withdraw into depression. As brothers Rigoberto and Alex grow to manhood, they are haunted by the traumas of their mother’s early death, their lonely youth, their father’s desertion, and their grandfather’s invective.”
  4. At the broken places: a mother and trans son pick up the pieces by Mary Collins and Donald Collins
    • “In this collaborative memoir, a parent and a transgender son recount wrestling with their differences as Donald Collins undertook medical-treatment options to better align his body with his gender identity. As a parent, Mary Collins didn’t agree with her trans son’s decision to physically alter his body, although she supported his right to realize himself as a person.”
  5. Image of book cover: MarblesMarbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by  Ellen Forney
    • “Shortly before her thirtieth birthday, Ellen Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Flagrantly manic but terrified that medications would cause her to lose her creativity and livelihood, she began a years-long struggle to find mental stability without losing herself or her passion.”
  6. Nîtisânak by Lindsay Nixon
    • “Using a form of generative refusal towards western writing practices, the text works with the idea of kinship that derives from the author’s Plains Cree and other kinship teachings. It also examines how queer kin were some of their first experiences of reciprocal relationality and care.”
  7. Spit and Passion by Cristy C. Road
    • “At twelve years old, Cristy C. Road is struggling to balance tradition in a Cuban Catholic family with her newfound queer identity, and begins a chronic obsession with the punk band Green Day. In this stunning graphic biography, Road renders the clash between her rich inner world of fantasy and the numbing suburban conformity she is surrounded by. “

…or essays about their experiences

  1. Image of book cover: Cuentamelo¡Cuéntamelo! testimonios de inmigrantes latinos LGBT/Cuéntamelo! oral histories by LGBT Latino immigrants by Juliana Delgado Lopera; editado por/edited by Shadia Savo and Santiago Acosta; ilustrado por/illustrations by Laura Cerón Melo
    • “¡Cuéntamelo! Contains the oral history of nine different LGBTQIA+ Latinx immigrants and their experiences.”
  2. Reflections on female and trans* masculinities and other queer crossings edited by Nina Kane and Jude Woods
    • “The book presents many voices exploring themes of female and trans* masculinities, gender equality, and the lives, work and activism of LGBT*IQ artists and thinkers. It includes discussion of arts-making, cultural materials, diverse identities, contemporary queer politics, and social histories, and travels across time telling gender-crossing stories of creative resistance.”
  3. Nobody passes: rejecting the rules of gender and conformity edited by Mattilda, a.k.a. Matt Bernstein Sycamore – Physical Copy; Digital Copy
    • Nobody Passes explores and critiques the various systems of power seen (or not seen) in the act of “passing.” In a pass/fail situation, standards for acceptance may vary, but somebody always gets trampled on. This anthology seeks to eliminate the pressure to pass and thereby unearth the delicious and devastating opportunities for transformation that might create.”
  4. Image of book cover: I am your sister I am your sister: collected and unpublished writings of Audre Lorde edited by Rudolph P. Byrd, Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Beverly Guy-Sheftall
    • “Audre Lorde was not only a famous black poet; she was also one of the most important radical black feminists of the past half century. I Am Your Sister collects her non-fiction prose from 1976 to 1990, and it is the first volume to provide a full picture of Lorde’s political work (as opposed to her aesthetic work). The essays cover an impressive variety of topics: sexuality, race, gender, culture, class, parenting, disease, resistance, and power – both within the United States and across the African diaspora.”
  5. Affirmative acts: political essays by June Jordan
    • “Piercingly intuitive, eloquent, and caustic, Affirmative Acts is an address to the social, economic, racial, and political conflicts that mar the otherwise beautiful human experience. In this new collection of political essays, Jordan explores the confusion of an America in the grip of pseudo-multiculturalism and political intolerance.” -Google Books
  6. Black Lesbian in White America by Anita Cornwell
    • “Anita Cornwell (b.1923) is an American lesbian feminist author. Her writings in this book are the first collection of essays by an African-American lesbian. It also includes her interview with Audre Lorde, also a black lesbian.” -Amazon

Honestly, I just want to watch Queer Eye, but I won’t have access to Netflix for a while

  1. Image of book cover: Queer EyeQueer eye: love yourself, love your life by Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk & Karamo Brown
    • “At a cultural moment when we are all craving people to admire, Queer Eye offers hope and acceptance. After you get to know the Fab Five, together they will guide you through five practical chapters that go beyond their designated areas of expertise (food & wine, fashion, grooming, home decor, and culture), touching on topics like wellness, entertaining, and defining your personal brand, and complete with bite-sized Hip Tips for your everyday quandaries. Above all else, Queer Eye aims to help you create a happy and healthy life, rooted in self-love and authenticity.”
  2. Karamo: my story of embracing purpose, healing, and hope by Karamo Brown with Jancee Dunn
    • “An insightful, candid, and inspiring memoir from Karamo Brown–Queer Eye’s beloved culture expert–as he shares his story for the first time, exploring how the challenges in his own life have allowed him to forever transform the lives of those in need.”
  3. Over the top: a raw journey to self-love by Jonathan Van Ness
    • “Over the Top uncovers the pain and passion it took to end up becoming the model of self-love and acceptance that Jonathan is today. In this revelatory, raw, and rambunctious memoir, Jonathan shares never-before-told secrets and reveals sides of himself that the public has never seen.”
  4. Image of book cover: Naturally TanNaturally Tan by Tan France with Caroline Donofrio
    • “In this memoir, France illuminates his winding journey of coming of age, finding his voice (and style!), and marrying the love of his life – a Mormon cowboy from Salt Lake City. He shares the lessons he’s learned about being a successful businessman, a devoted spouse, and the importance of self-acceptance.”
  5. Queer eye for the straight guy: the fab 5’s guide to looking better, cooking better, dressing better, behaving better, and living better by Ted Allen, et al.
    • “Imagine this: Five eminently stylish and hilariously witty gay men — authoritative experts in food and wine, grooming, decorating, fashion, and culture — invade your life, assess your strengths and weaknesses, and, in the course of a day, make you better dressed, better groomed, better mannered, and a better cook, living in a better home.”

Native American Heritage Month

by Andres Ramirez

*This post may use some terms and vocabulary that some readers feel are out of date or inaccurate. We recognize the sensitivity of and inherent problems with referring to various indigenous peoples with monolithic and colonizer-imposed terms. For this post, we have made the decision to use the vocabulary of the sources from which information was pulled within its historical and cultural context.

This month, we’re celebrating Native American Heritage Month by highlighting library materials that celebrate Native American lives, accomplishments, and voices. For more information and additional resources, come visit our display on the third floor of PCL!

While this month’s designation has also been referred to under other variants of the name, including “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month,” the current designation reflects growing recognition of the continued presence of Native Peoples, far predating European exploration and colonization. The trend toward the term “Native American” also reflects the misnomer of the term “Indian” as European colonial explorers incorrectly assumed they had found a western passage to India/ East Asia. The term Native American was proposed by the U.S. government. This is an ongoing, evolving term in how Native Peoples identify and describe themselves, as well as how they are identified by others. As Native Peoples are far from being a monolithic identity, some identify as native, indigenous, Indian, First Nations, or specifically to their tribal identity(ies). This can be more complex for individuals with multiple heritage backgrounds.

Native Peoples have served as an inspiration throughout U.S. history, with colonial settlers appropriating aspects of tribal cultures dating from the first act of disobedience by New England colonial people dressing as “Indians” during the Boston Tea Party to protest taxation, through the inspiration of our governmental model taken from the Iroquois confederacy. Even the name of Texas derives from the Caddo language word taysha meaning “friend” or “ally,” which in Spanish was spelled as tejas.

Nearly from the beginning, Native Peoples became stereotyped as “noble savages,” both in need of a civilizing influence and paradoxically idealized as inherently innocent and paragons of ecological responsibility. This tension continues through the ongoing struggles for native civil rights and sovereignty, and as the figures at the forefront of environmental justice movements for sustainable policies like the recent protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline at North Dakota Standing Rock Reservation.

The collective breadth of Native People’s experience calls into question national myths and popular narratives of “manifest destiny” and American exceptionalism. Furthermore, indigenous concepts of tribal governance, land stewardship, alternative cosmologies and deeper relations to the natural world are powerful and timely models for roads forward into future equitable and sustainable societies.

As David Treuer (Ojibwe) explains in The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: “If you want to know America—if you want to see it for what it was and what it is—you need to look at Indian history and at the Indian present. If you do, if we all do, we will see that all the issues posed at the founding of the country have persisted. How do the rights of the many relate to the rights of the few? What is or should be the furthest extent of federal power? How has the relationship between the government and the individual evolved? What are the limits of the executive to execute policy, and to what extent does that matter to us as we go about our daily lives? How do we reconcile the stated ideals of America as a country given to violent acts against communities and individuals? To what degree do we privilege enterprise over people? To what extent does the judiciary shape our understanding of our place as citizens in this country? To what extent should it? What are the limits to the state’s power over the people living within its borders? To ignore the history of Indians in America is to miss how power itself works.”

This month, and every month, we encourage others to explore the rich traditions of the vast spectrum of native tribes and sovereign nations. Here we highlight some books and resources by native authors from this rich and varied tradition.

Collection Highlights

Digital exhibits and resources

Nonfiction

Image of book coverThe heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the present by David Treuer (Ojibwe)

The received idea of Native American history–as promulgated by books like Dee Brown’s mega-bestselling 1970 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee–has been that American Indian history essentially ended with the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee. Not only did one hundred fifty Sioux die at the hands of the U. S. Cavalry, the sense was, but Native civilization did as well. Growing up Ojibwe on a reservation in Minnesota, training as an anthropologist, and researching Native life past and present for his nonfiction and novels, David Treuer has uncovered a different narrative.

Shapes of Native nonfiction: Collected essays by contemporary writers edited by Elissa Washuta and Theresa Warburton

While exploring familiar legacies of personal and collective trauma and violence, these writers push, pull and break the conventional essay structure to overhaul the dominant cultural narrative that romanticize Native lives, yet deny Native emotional response.

Braiding sweetgrass: Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

An inspired weaving of indigenous knowledge, plant science, and personal narrative from a distinguished professor of science and a Native American whose previous book, Gathering Moss, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing.

Memoir

Image of book cover

Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo (Muscogee)

A memoir from the Native American poet describes her youth with an abusive stepfather, becoming a single teen mom, and how she struggled to finally find inner peace and her creative voice.

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma.

Popular Fiction

Image of book cover

There, There by Tommy Orange (Cheyenne – Arapaho)

“We all came to the powwow for different reasons. The messy, dangling threads of our lives got pulled into a braid–tied to the back of everything we’d been doing all along to get us here. There will be death and playing dead, there will be screams and unbearable silences, forever-silences, and a kind of time-travel, at the moment the gunshots start, when we look around and see ourselves as we are, in our regalia, and something in our blood will recoil then boil hot enough to burn through time and place and memory. We’ll go back to where we came from, when we were people running from bullets at the end of that old world. The tragedy of it all will be unspeakable, that we’ve been fighting for decades to be recognized as a present-tense people, modern and relevant, only to die in the grass wearing feathers.”

Books and islands in Ojibwe country by Louise Erdrich (Ojibwe-Chippewa)

Erdrich compellingly writes about the Ojibwe spirits and songs, language, and sorrows that have passed down through generations. Erdrich later travels to Rainy Lake, to an island of real books, the world of an exuberant eccentric and close friend to the Ojibwe, who established an extraordinary library there a hundred years ago.

Genre Fiction

Image of book coverTrail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo)

While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters. Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Walking the clouds: An anthology of indigenous science fiction edited by Grace L. Dillon

In this first-ever anthology of Indigenous science fiction Grace Dillon collects some of the finest examples of the craft with contributions by Native American, First Nations, Aboriginal Australian, and New Zealand Maori authors.

Poetry

Image of book coverNative voices: Indigenous American poetry, craft and conversations edited by CMarie Fuhrman and Dean Rader

In this groundbreaking anthology of Indigenous poetry and prose, Native poems, stories, and essays are informed with a knowledge of both what has been lost and what is being restored. It presents a diverse collection of stories told by Indigenous writers about themselves, their histories, and their present. It is a celebration of culture and the possibilities of language, in conversation with those poets and storytellers who have paved the way.

Whereas by Layli Long Soldier (Oglala Lakota)

WHEREAS confronts the coercive language of the United States government in its responses, treaties, and apologies to Native American peoples and tribes, and reflects that language in its officiousness and duplicity back on its perpetrators.

Image of book coverWhen My Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz

This debut collection is a fast-paced tour of Mojave life and family narrative: A sister fights for or against a brother on meth, and everyone from Antigone, Houdini, Huitzilopochtli, and Jesus is invoked and invited to hash it out. These darkly humorous poems illuminate far corners of the heart, revealing teeth, tails, and more than a few dreams.

Bone Dance: New and Selected Poems, 1965-1992 by Wendy Rose

A prolific voice in Native American writing for more than twenty years, Rose has been widely anthologized, and is the author of eight volumes of poetry. Bone Dance is a major anthology of her work, comprising selections from her previous collections along with new poems. The 56 selections move from observation of the earth to a search for one’s place and identity on it. In an introduction written for this anthology, Rose comments on the place each past collection had in her development as a poet.

Nature Poem by Tommy Pico

Nature Poem follows Teebs–a young, queer, American Indian (or NDN) poet–who can’t bring himself to write a nature poem. For the reservation-born, urban-dwelling hipster, the exercise feels stereotypical, reductive, and boring. He hates nature. He prefers city lights to the night sky.

IRL by Tommy Pico

IRL is a sweaty, summertime poem composed like a long text message. It follows Teebs, a reservation-born, queer NDN weirdo, trying to figure out his impulses/desires/history in the midst of Brooklyn rooftops, privacy in the age of the Internet, street harassment, suicide, boys boys boys, literature, colonialism, religion, leaving one’s 20s, and a love/hate relationship with English.

Public Domain images of Eleanor Roosevelt

The Life and Legacy of Eleanor Roosevelt

By Elle Covington and Brenna Wheeler

This week, we’re celebrating the life and legacy of the rabble rousing and possibly queer human rights activist and First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. She was an outspoken and controversial figure during her life, making many interesting friends and powerful enemies, including J. Edgar Hoover, and thus the FBI. She has the distinction of having one of the largest files in the FBI’s collection.

The sheer amount accomplished during her 78 years can and does fill volumes, and though we can’t do the full breadth or depth of it justice here, we highly recommend the linked resources to get a taste of the fascinating life of this fearless person.

October 11 marks the 135th anniversary of her birth, and it feels especially appropriate this year to revisit her words and reflect on the legacy that continues through the ongoing struggle for equality for all people, including those she considered her chosen family.

Early Years

Roosevelt was born on October 11, 1884 in New York City to Anna Rebecca Hall and Elliot Roosevelt, brother of future president Theodore Roosevelt. She was raised by her maternal grandmother, Mary Livingston Ludlow after the death of both of her parents by the time Roosevelt was 9.

In 1905, at the age of 20, Eleanor Roosevelt married her fifth cousin, once removed, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. During the early years of their marriage, she became increasingly politically and socially active, while her husband started his own political climb.

Image of the Cover of The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt
The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt

White House Years

In 1933, FDR was inaugurated as the 32nd president of the United States and Eleanor Roosevelt became an explosive and influential first lady. Two days after the inauguration, Roosevelt became the 1st First Lady to hold her own press conferences. The idea was suggested to her by Associated Press reporter Lorena Hickok, who Roosevelt would go on to have long and likely intimate relationship.

Attendance at these press conferences was restricted to women reporters only, beginning the Women’s Press Corps for the White House. This forced many newspapers to hire women reporters—often the first women they’d ever hired for these positions—so that they’d be able to cover the press conferences.

Roosevelt also began writing a regular newspaper column, entitled “My Day,” and worked as a radio commentator to the chagrin of many in the White House. On December 7, 1941, Roosevelt gave a radio address on the attack at Pearl Harbor before FDR’s address to the nation.

During World War II, Roosevelt continued to be a voice for human rights. She wrote and spoke out harshly against Hitler and Mussolini and even openly criticized and argued against her husband’s policy of Japanese internment in the US. She lobbied for day care centers and wage equity for women entering the work force, and convinced FDR to create a Committee on Fair Employment Practices to ban employment discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity.

Image of Book Cover of No Ordinary Time
No Ordinary Time

Post-White House Years

FDR died in April 1945 while still in office, ending Roosevelt’s time as First Lady after 12 years in the position. However, this did not conclude her influence or humanitarian drive. No longer constrained by the political restraints of the white house, she immediately joined the NAACP Board of Directors and the Congress on Racial Equality Board. Then, in December, President Truman appointed Roosevelt to serve as the only woman delegate to the new United Nations General Assembly.

In April 1946, Roosevelt became the first chairperson of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, where she was instrumental in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She went on to have a long and influential tenure in the United Nations.

In 1961, President Kennedy appointed Roosevelt to chair the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. Though she participated in the commission for as long as she was able, Roosevelt succumbed to bone marrow disease before the final report could be issued.

Relationships and FBI File

During her life, Roosevelt’s social status as well as her activism put her into contact with many well-known figures. She forged long-standing friendships with such pioneers as Carrie Chapman Catt, Pauli Murray, Martha Gellhorn, and Amelia Earhart as well as many other reformers and activists.

There has been much debate surrounding the extent of the relationship between Roosevelt and AP reporter Lorena Hickok. Lengthy, daily letters between the two hint at more than a platonic friendship, at least during some portion of their relationship. Whether or not the relationship ever became physical, queer relationships were not a foreign concept for Roosevelt. Her closest friendships throughout the 1920s were with two lesbian couples whom she considered her chosen family: Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook, and Esther Lape and Elizabeth Read (p. 70).

Image of Book cover of Eleanor and Hick
Eleanor and Hick: The love affair that shaped a First Lady

Image of book cover of Empty without you
Empty Without You: the intimate letters of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok

Roosevelt’s friendship with activist and future Pulitzer Prize winner Joseph Lash brought Roosevelt to the attention of the FBI, culminating in a 3,000 page FBI file following her through the White House years and beyond, concerned primarily with her involvement in civil rights activism.

Legacy

Thirty-eight years after her death, President Clinton declared October 11, 2000 Eleanor Roosevelt Day in honor of her tireless work to promote the health, dignity, and welfare of all people. Now, 19 years after that, October 11 is marked by a US Supreme Court hearing in which the basic tenants of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights hang in the balance.

Earlier this week, the court began hearing and debating three cases of alleged employment discrimination against members of the LGBTQIA+ community. The debate centers around whether or not sexual and gender minorities fall under the employment protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Throughout her life, and especially during the later years when her most ardent civil rights work was accomplished, Roosevelt adamantly insisted that education, housing, and employment were basic human rights, to which all people are entitled.

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, arguably Roosevelt’s greatest accomplishment:

  • Article 1: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
  • Article 7: “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.”
  • Article 23
    • (1): “Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
    • (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
    • (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
    • (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.”

*Read the full declaration

It is still to be seen whether the Supreme Court will follow the example of Eleanor Roosevelt in declaring these rights for all people, or whether they will decide that employers are able to deny the right to employment to members of a community with whom Roosevelt, if she were alive today, might even choose to identify.

The Supreme Court’s decision is expected next June.

More Collection HighlightsImage of Book Cover for Eleanor Roosevelt and the anti-nuclear movement

Her Own Words

Correspondence

AV Materials

*Featured photos at the top of this post are Public Domain images courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library archives.

Image of Gloria Anzaldua

Celebrating the Birth and Life of Gloria Anzaldúa

For the latest blog post, we want to celebrate the birthday of Gloria Anzaldúa by highlighting her life and works. The full post is available on TexLibris, the blog of the Office of the Director of the University of Texas Libraries. Thanks so much to Julia Davila Coppedge, the LLILAS Benson User Services GRA for writing this post.

Check out a sample of the post below and be sure to check out UT Libraries and Benson Latin American Collection materials by and about Anzaldúa.

“I am a Libra (Virgo cusp) with VI — The Lovers destiny”: Celebrating the Birth and Life of Gloria Anzaldúa By Julia Davila Coppedge

Her Life

Seventy-seven years ago, on September 26th, Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa was born to migrant farmers Urbano and Amalia Anzaldúa in Raymondville, Texas. As the oldest of four, she helped work on ranches and farms to help support her family. It was during this time in the Valley that she first learned about discrimination against Mexican Americans. Anzaldúa would later leave South Texas, living in other parts of the state, and in Indiana and California. She would also spend a large part of her career traveling internationally. But, her experiences growing up in the borderlands would influence her writing for the rest of her career, as she alludes to, when states that “I am a turtle, wherever I go I carry ‘home’ on my back.”

Anzaldúa was a self-described “tejana patlache (queer) nepantlera spiritual activist.” Her contributions to U.S. American literature, U.S. feminisms, queer theory, postcolonial theory, and Chicana/o Studies cannot be overstated. Anzaldúa won many awards in her lifetime including the National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Award (1991) and the Lambda Lesbian Small Book Press Award (1991).

Anzaldúa died on May 15, 2004 due to Diabetes-related complications. It is fitting we celebrate Anzaldúa’s life in the middle of Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed September 15th – October 15th.

Her Time at UT Austin

Anzaldúa received her master’s degree in English and Education in 1972 at UT and returned in 1974 to pursue a PhD in Literature. In the foreword to the third edition of This Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women of Color, she reflected on her struggles at UT: “As a Chicana, I felt invisible, alienated from the gringo university and dissatisfied with both el movimiento Chicano and the feminist movement…I rebelled, using my writing to work through my frustrations and make sense of my experiences.”

Read more.

Image of Dolores documentary

Dolores Huerta

By Brenna Wheeler

On September 10th, UT Libraries and the Latino Studies department are co-sponsoring a screening of the film “Dolores: Rebel, Activist, Feminist, Mother.” In collaboration with this event, the DAC blog would like to highlight some collection resources available on the work and life of Dolores Huerta.

Early Life

Dolores Huerta and her two brothers were raised in Stockton, California by their mother Alicia Chávez after her divorce from their father Juan Fernández, a coal miner who later became a politician in New Mexico. As a single mother Alicia supported herself and her children by working her way up through the food service industry until she owned a restaurant and a hotel. It was her mother’s “independence and entrepreneurial spirit” that would inspire Huerta’s feminism and activism. From a young age, Huerta joined her mother in becoming active in community civic organizations and local church events (Dolores Huerta Foundation; García 2008, pg. xvi). She continued being active in her community through high school. Soon after graduating, she earned a teaching credential from the University of Pacific’s Delta College in Stockton (Dolores Huerta Foundation).

In 1955, Huerta founded the Stockton branch of the Community Service Organization (CSO), which promoted civic participation in Spanish-speaking communities and focused on political and social concerns of working-class, urban, Mexican-American families in California and Arizona (“Huerta, Dolores Clara Fernandez (B. 1930)” 2013; Rose 2008, pg. 10). Through the CSO, Huerta met the activists Fred Ross and Cézar Chávez. In 1962, Chávez and Huerta left the CSO to begin the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) in order to focus specifically on agricultural labor (García 2008, pg. xvii).

Labor Unions

In the newly formed NFWA, Huerta and Chávez worked to gather a member base and set up the organization from their base of operations in Delano. The NFWA was quickly called upon by the AFL-CIO-supported union the Agricultural Workers’ Organizing Committee (AWOC) to honor the Delano Grape Strike of 1965 (Rose 2008, pg. 15). Despite NFWA’s small size, the new union voted to join the strike on Mexican Independence Day, September 16th (García 2008, pg. xvii). For five years, Huerta led strikes, directed boycotts, and negotiated collective bargaining until 1970, when the Delano and Coachella grape growers finally negotiated with the strikers to create new contacts meeting the union’s demands. Before the strike, growers utilized racial and ethnic tensions to divide workers, a tactic which Huerta and Chávez fought against by gathering support from a wide audience across the United States (Rose 2008, pg. 15-18). The strike’s success was partially due to the solidarity between AWOC (a large portion of which were Filipino-Americans), NFWA (a large portion of which were Mexican-Americans), and middle-class white supporters of the boycotts.

The strike would eventually lead to the merging of ALF-CIO and the NFWA into the new United Farm Workers Organizing Committee in 1966. Huerta became Chief Negotiator and Director of Boycotts, which gave her the responsibility of managing the boycotts against table grapes, lettuce, and Gallo Winery. These boycotts pushed for the passing of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act (1975), which allowed California farm workers to collectively organize and bargain for better wages and working conditions, as well as establish the Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Later, United Farm Workers of America would become an independent affiliate of the AFL-CIO (“Huerta, Dolores Clara Fernandez (B. 1930)” 2013, Dolores Huerta Foundation).

Feminism

Huerta’s work with the grape boycotts involved directing the boycott in New York and later the entire East Coast. While in these areas, she came into contact with feminist activists like Eleanor Smeal and Gloria Steinem, who supported the farmworker’s cause. The feminist movement encouraged Huerta to challenge gender bias and sexism in her own organization and to openly discuss women’s issues, including childcare and sexual harassment in the workplace (Huerta and Rosenbloom 2019; Rose 2008, pg. 17-18). In an interview with Frontline, Huerta described counting the number of sexist remarks she heard during board meetings and then announcing the number at the end of the meeting. After she started doing this, the number dropped from fifty-eight instances to zero, and soon, the men would “check themselves” before the meetings began. Through such openness, workshops, and discussions with other women about their experiences, Huerta pushed for feminism within her own labor movement (Breslow 2013). In 1991, Huerta left the United Farm Workers to work with the Feminist Majority’s Feminization of Power Campaign to encourage Latina women to run for public office (“Huerta, Dolores Clara Fernandez (B. 1930)” 2013).

Activism Today

In 1993, Huerta returned as leader to the UFW after Chávez passed away, and today, she still acts as Vice-President Emeritus. She also currently runs the Dolores Huerta Foundation, which defines itself as a “community benefit organization which recruits, trains, organizes, and empowers grassroots leaders in low-income communities to attain social justice through systemic and structural transformation”. In recent years, she has won a series of awards for her activism, including The Eleanor Roosevelt Humans Rights Award from President Clinton in 1998, the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2012, and being inducted into the California Hall of Fame in 2013 (Dolores Huerta Foundation). Even today, Huerta is still active in her work, speaking at various organizations, hosting workshops and trainings, and giving TED Talks.

References

Breslow, J.M. (2013). “Dolores Huerta: An ‘Epidemic in the Fields’.” from PBS: Frontline. Retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/dolores-huerta-an-epidemic-in-the-fields/

García, M.T. (ed.) (2008) A Dolores Huerta Reader. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press.

Griswold del Castillo, R. and García, R.A. (2008) “Coleadership: The Strength of Dolores Huerta” in A Dolores Huerta Reader. Edited by Mario T. García. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Dolores Huerta Foundation. Retrieved from here.

“Huerta, Dolores Clara Fernandez (B. 1930).” (2013). In Suffrage to the Senate: America’s Political Women: an Encyclopedia of Leaders, Causes & Issues (3rd ed.). Edited by S. O’Dea. Amenia, NY: Grey House Publishing. Retrieved from here.

Huerta D. and Rosenbloom, Rachel. (2019). “Ask a Feminist: Dolores Huerta and Rachel Rosenbloom Discuss Gender and Immigrant Rights,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 44, no. 2. Retrieved from here.

Rose, M. (2008) “Dolores Huerta: The United Farm Workers Union” in A Dolores Huerta Reader. Edited by Mario T. García. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press.

Collection Highlights

Image of Dolores documentary coverDolores (2018) [DVD, Streaming]

“Dolores Huerta is among the most important, yet least known, activists in American history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers unions with Cézar Chávez, her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the twentieth century. Includes Spanish subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.”

In Her Own Words

Cover image for A Dolores Huerta ReaderA Dolores Huerta Reader edited by Mario T. García [Book]

“Farm labor leader and civil rights advocate Dolores Huerta first worked with César Chávez as a community organizer in Mexican American areas of southern California in the mid-1950s. Chávez dreamed of organizing farm workers, and in 1962 he started the National Farm Workers Association. He asked Huerta to work with them, and in the next three years they recruited a number of members. This is the first book to focus on Dolores Huerta. Throughout six decades of activism, she has made her own history and has been part of major events in the history of the country. A Dolores Huerta Reader includes an informative biographical introduction, articles and book excerpts written about her, her own writing and speeches, and a recent interview with Mario García where she expresses her unbending dedication to social justice.”

Cover image of The Migrant ProjectThe Migrant Project: Contemporary California Farm Workers by Rick Nahmias, foreword by Dolores Huerta. [Book]

“The Migrant Project includes the images and text of the traveling exhibition of the same name, along with numerous outtakes and an in-depth preface by Nahmias. Accompanied by a Foreword from United Farm Worker co-creator Dolores Huerta, essays by top farm worker advocates, and oral histories from farm workers themselves, this volume should find itself at home in the hands of everyone from the student and teacher, to the activist, the photography enthusiast, and the consumer.”

Cover image of Signs journal“Ask a Feminist: Dolores Huerta and Rachel Rosenbloom Discuss Gender and Immigrant Rights” in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society [Article]

“For this edition of Ask a Feminist, Dolores Huerta—renowned labor organizer, immigrant rights activist, and feminist advocate—speaks with Rachel Rosenbloom, professor of Law at Northeastern University, about the role that gender plays in today’s struggles and social movements, especially those working on behalf of immigrants and workers. Drawing on her long history of organizing, Huerta offers insights on the contemporary political landscape—from the #MeToo movement to the fight for the DREAMers to opposition to Donald Trump. Huerta’s long history of fighting for social justice serves as a crucial guide for building a sustained and intersectional resistance.”

Documents from the Labor Movement

  1. Documents of the Chicano Movement edited by Roger Bruns [Book]
    • “This book provides a variety of original source documents–from first-hand accounts to media responses to legislative texts–regarding the Chicano movement of the 1960s through 1970s that enable readers to better comprehend the key events, individuals, and developments of La Causa: Chicanos uniting to free themselves of liberation from exploitation, oppression, and racism.”
  2. Image of United Farm Workers logoThe sabotage and subversion of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act: a United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO [White Paper]
  3. Collections of the United Farm Workers of America [Microfilm]
    • “Collection includes: executive correspondence and meeting minutes, as well organizer’s reports from the field, testimony and speeches, boycott flyers, letters from supporters and autograph seekers, songs, and prayers, communications between Chavez and his organizers, the Kennedy’s, the Church hierarchy, civil rights leaders, union leaders, and Chicano militants.”
  4. Collections of the United Farm Workers of America. Papers of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, 1959-1966 [Microfilm]
    • “Correspondence, clippings, reports, press releases, memoranda, newsletters, notes, and other materials relating to Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee.”
  5. Collections of the United Farm Workers of America: Series 2, Papers of the United Farm Workers of America Work Department, 1969-1975 [Microfilm]
    • “Correspondence, clippings, memoranda, reports, financial papers, speeches, pamphlets, minutes, and other materials relating to the United Farm Workers Work Department.”
  6. Collections of the United Farm Workers of America: Part 2, 1965-1992, Office Files of the President of the United Farm Workers of America [Microfilm]
    • “Collection includes: executive correspondence and meeting minutes, as well organizer’s reports from the field, testimony and speeches, boycott flyers, letters from supporters and autograph seekers, songs, and prayers, communications between Chavez and his organizers, the Kennedy’s, the Church hierarchy, civil rights leaders, union leaders, and Chicano militants.”
  7. National Farm Workers Association Records, 1960-1967 [Microfilm]
    • “Organized into the following series: I. General correspondence files, 1962-1966, boxes 1-2. II. Correspondence with NFWA members files, 1962-1966, boxes 3-4. III. General topic files, 1960-1967 ; arranged alphabetically and chronologically.”
  8. National Farm Workers Association Records, 1960-1967 [Microfilm]
    • “Organized into the following series: I. General correspondence files, 1962-1966, boxes 1-2. II. Correspondence with NFWA members files, 1962-1966, boxes 3-4. III. General topic files, 1960-1967 ; arranged alphabetically and chronologically.”
  9. Papers of the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, 1959-1970 [Microfilm]
  10. “Position paper in support of the United Farm Workers of America” Researched and Prepared by Judy Elders. [Book]
    • “Adopted by the Houston Metropolitan Ministries Board of Directors, August 5, 1974.”
  11. The Texas Farm Worker Boycott Newsletter by the United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO [Book]
    • “Description based on: #27, published in 1975”
  12. The Texas Farm Worker Newsletter [Book]Cover image of El Malcriado
  13. “Illegal Alien Farm Labor Activity in California and Arizona” prepared by the United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO [Book]
  14. Huelga: a Film (c. 1966) by the United Farm Workers of America [Video]“Depicts the 100 mile protest march of the migrant farm workers from Delano to Sacramento, California.”
  15. El Malcriado: the Voice of the Farm Worker [Serial] English, Español
    • “Issued as the official voice of the United Farm Workers, AFL-CIO.”
  16. No Grapes (1992) [Video] English, Español
    • “Exposes the dangers of pesticides that are used on grapes in California and the health hazards to the farm workers and their children who work in the vineyards.”
  17. Si se puede! [CD]Cover image of Si Se Puede CD
    • “An anthology of original songs composed by actual members of the UnitedFarm Workers and by others [who] have long supported their struggle for justice and dignity in the agricultural fields of America”

Scholars on Huerta

  1. Cover image of Si, Ella Puede¡Sí, Ella Puede!: the Rhetorical Legacy of Dolores Huerta and the United Farm Workers by Stacey K. Sowards [Book]
    • “In this new study, Stacey K. Sowards closely examines Huerta’s rhetorical skills both in and out of the public eye and defines Huerta’s vital place within Chicana/o history. Referencing the theoretical works of Pierre Bourdieu, Chela Sandoval, Gloria Anzaldúa, and others, Sowards closely analyzes Huerta’s speeches, letters, and interviews. She shows how Huerta navigates the complex intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, language, and class through the myriad challenges faced by women activists of color. Sowards’s approach to studying Huerta’s rhetorical influence offers a unique perspective for understanding the transformative relationship between agency and social justice.”
  2. Dolores Huerta: Labor Leader and Civil Rights Activist by Robin S. Doak.[Book]
    • “Born on April 10, 1930, Huerta learned to be outspoken at a young age from her mother, who was a businesswoman and an activist. As a young woman, she battled segregation and pushed for better public services through the Community Service Organization, which she co-founded. Huerta soon realized that the needs and rights of farmworkers needed support. She worked with Cesar Chavez, a fellow activist for farmworkers, to organize the farmworkers into a single union. From organizing boycotts to lobbying for the farmworkers’ job conditions, Huerta relentlessly strove to help others.”
  3. Dolores Huerta Stands Strong: the Woman who Demanded Justice by Marlene Targ Brill [Book]
    • “Dolores Huerta Stands Strong follows Huerta’s life from the mining communities of the Southwest where her father toiled, to the vineyards and fields of California, and across the country to the present day. As she worked for fair treatment for others, Dolores earned the nation’s highest honors. More important, she found her voice.”
  4. Chicana Leadership: the Frontiers Reader edited by Yolanda Flores Neimann et al. [Book, eBook]
    • “Chicana Leadership: The “Frontiers” Reader breaks the stereotypes of Mexican American women and shows how these women shape their lives and communities. This collection looks beyond the frequently held perception of Chicanas as passive and submissive and instead examines their roles as dynamic community leaders, activists, and scholars.”Cover image of A Crushing Love
  5. A Crushing Love: Chicanas, Motherhood, and Activism (2009) [DVD]
    • “A documentary that honors five mothers who have raised families and have made important contributions as workers, activists, educators, leaders, and who effect broad-based social change.”
  6. La Causa: the Migrant Farmworkers’ Story by Dana Catharine de Ruiz and Richard Gutierrez [Book]
    • “Describes the efforts in the 1960s of Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta to organize migrant workers in California into a union which became the United Farm Workers.”
  7. Dolores Huerta by Rebecca Thatcher Murcia [Book]
    • “This special series focuses on the unique contributions Hispanics have made in the United States from the earliest Spanish explorers to the many successful Latinos in contemporary America. Each book provides historical and factual easy-reading stories. The books are jam-packed with information and contain between 7500 and 9000 words. Along with Cesar Chavez established the United Farm Workers to protect the rights of farm workers.”
  8. Dolores Huerta: General Bibliography and Short Biography by Denise Guckert [Book]

Have recommendations of your own? Let us know about them in the comments!

Image of Tajana Poets Exhibit flyer

Women of the Texas Mexican Earth

Curated by Julia Coppedge, student in the School of Information and Graduate Research Assistant at the Benson Latin American Collection Library

The UT Poetry Center at the PCL has a new exhibit up for the fall semester! This exhibit, entitled “Women of the Texas Mexican Earth” features the works of Tejana poets and is meant to honor the great literary contributions of these Texas-Mexican mujeres. In the context of this exhibit, “Tejana” refers to a woman of Mexican descent who was either born and raised in Texas, or was born elsewhere and eventually came to know Texas (even for a little while) as her home.

Poets like Carmen Tafolla, Sonia Saldívar-Hull, Celeste Guzman Mendoza, and Ariana Brown were born and raised in San Antonio, while poets Liliana Valenzuela, Sandra Cisneros, and Angela De Hoyos are “adopted” Tejanas, and have lived in both the U.S. and Mexico. As Tejana scholars, Inés Hernández-Ávila and Norma Elia Cantú proposed “the reach of Tejas,” or Tejana cultural work, extends far beyond the South region of Texas, into Austin, San Antonio, Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and to “wherever there are Tejanas.”

The title of this exhibition comes from Inés Hernández-Ávila’s introductory essay to Entre Guadalupe y Malinche: Tejanas in Literature and Art, an anthology that was instrumental to this project’s conceptualization.

Exhibit Details
Women of the Texas Mexican Earth
On View through December 9
UFCU Room (PCL 2.500), Perry-Castañeda Library
Poster artwork by Isabel Ann Castro, @queenoftacostx