Tuesday, January 24, 2012

AICL Coverage of Arizona Law that resulted in shut down of Mexican American Studies Program and Banning of Books

This is a comprehensive set of links to AICL's coverage of the Arizona law that led to the shut down of the Mexican American Studies Program in Arizona and the subsequent banning of books used in the program. It will be updated as my coverage continues.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sunday, February 12,  2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012
Monday, May 7, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thursday,  June 6, 2013

Additional information outside of AICL:

For insider updates from Tucson, read these blogs (on a daily basis):
Tuesday, January 24, 2012:
Wednesday, January 25, 2012:
  • CNN is reporting that Norma Gonzales, a teacher who taught in the MAS program, has been reassigned to teach American history and was asked to teach out of a textbook that says the Tohono O'odham tribe mysteriously disappeared. She has two Tohono O'odham students in her class. Among the books no longer being taught in the shut down MAS program is Ofelia Zepeda's Ocean Power. Zepeda is Tohono O'odham, teaches in the American Indian Studies program at the University of Arizona, and won a MacArthur Genius Grant.
Monday, January 30, 2012:

Efforts to support Mexican American Studies teachers and students:
To order a copy of Precious Knowledge, a documentary of the Mexican American Studies program (view trailer here):
  1. Send an email to preciousknowledgedvd@gmail.com
  2. Send a check made out to DOS VATOS PRODUCTIONS to:
Dos Vatos Productions
4029 E. Camino de la Colina
Tucson, AZ 85711
The DVD is priced as follows---Individual: $28, Community Group, High School, Public Library, Non-profit: $40, University and public performance rights: $200


SafeLibraries® said...

Let's be clear no book "banning" was involved. The issues are more serious than false claims of book "banning." In reality, no book has been banned in the USA for about half a century.

If book "banning" is one of the arguments, it only telegraphs that the remainder of the arguments may be similarly specious. I know that is not what is intended. So I respectfully suggest dropping references to false claims of book "banning" or "censorship."

Even the ALA's own resolution in support of the curriculum does not use either word, instead opting for "restriction of access to educational materials," which may be accurate.

So I strongly suggest removing any false claims of "banning" or "censorship" from any of your arguments regarding the curriculum.

Beverly Slapin said...


In answer to your assertion that “no book has been banned in the USA for about half a century”: In 1983, the US government banned Peter Matthiessen’s book, IN THE SPIRIT OF CRAZY HORSE, and virtually every one of the first edition copies was destroyed. After eight years of what has been called the “most bitterly fought legal case in publishing history,” the courts exonerated both author and publisher, and in 1991, the book was released in a paperback edition. I think the terms “banned” and “censorship” would be appropriate here, wouldn’t you?

Fast-forward to more recent events: In Arizona, the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) shut down the Mexican American Studies program and seized a wide selection of amazing material by and about Raza peoples throughout the Diaspora—and including William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” Henry David Thoreau’s classic essay, “On Civil Disobedience,” and Paulo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed.”

The difference between what the US government did in 1983 with IN THE SPIRIT OF CRAZY HORSE and what the school district did recently with the MAS books and curriculum material—and what’s more egregious—is the fact that the TUSD took this material away from ONLY the Raza students. The fact that the TUSD left a copy or two of several of the books in the school libraries does not diminish what they’ve done.

Nevertheless, despite the best attempts of the school board to the contrary, the Raza teachers are now engaged in the highest form of critical pedagogy, and the Raza students are now engaged in experiential learning about critical thinking and critical problem-solving, about racism, about colonialism, about struggle, and about resistance.

So, in essence, the TUSD has given the Raza students the opportunity to engage in precisely the kind of education that it’s trying to squelch, that more than replaces the books and curricula that have, for now, been taken away from them. This is REAL struggle—the kind they have been reading about. This is history being brought into the present and theory being put into practice.

According to definition, banned books are books that have been removed from the shelves of a library or classroom because of controversial content. But the significance of the TUSD’s actions carries more import than whatever particular terminology we choose to describe it. Restricted access to educational materials. Seized. Purged. Censored. Banned. For now, I’ll stick with “banned.”