Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mexican American Studies Department Reading List

[Note: For a chronological and comprehensive list of links to AICL's coverage of the shut-down of the Mexican American Studies Department at Tucson Unified School District, go here. To go right to information about the National Mexican American Studies Teach-in, go here.]

Book list below; author responses to their books being banned is here:
Authors banned in Tucson respond


Cambium Learning, Inc. conducted an audit of the Mexican American Studies program in Tucson. The findings were published in May 2, 2011. The audit took place between March 7, 2011 and May 2, 2011. [Update, Jan 16, 7:35 PM: Cambium was hired by Arizona's Superintendent of Public Instruction, John Huppenthal, district to do the audit. Cambium recommended the Mexican American Studies program be continued. The superintendent disagreed with the audit findings, and shut the program down.]

The following books are listed on Appendix Item Mexican American Studies Department Reading List of the audit of the Mexican American Studies program. I am presenting the lists here, replicating the lists as shown on the audit. News stories indicate that book in the Mexican American Studies classrooms were boxed up and removed from classrooms last week. At this point is is not known if all the books listed below were boxed and removed. They were placed in storage.

For critical discussion, see "Teaching Critical Thinking in Arizona: NOT ALLOWED".
The report (in pdf) is available here: Curriculum Audit of the Mexican American Studies Department, Tucson Unified School District, May 2, 2011.

High School Course Texts and Reading Lists Table 20: American Government/Social Justice Education Project 1, 2 - Texts and Reading Lists
  • Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years (1998), by B. Bigelow and B. Peterson
  • The Latino Condition: A Critical Reader (1998), by R. Delgado and J. Stefancic
  • Critical Race Theory: An Introduction (2001), by R. Delgado and J. Stefancic
  • Pedagogy of the Oppressed (2000), by P. Freire
  • United States Government: Democracy in Action (2007), by R. C. Remy
  • Dictionary of Latino Civil Rights History (2006), by F. A. Rosales
  • Declarations of Independence: Cross-Examining American Ideology (1990), by H. Zinn

Table 21: American History/Mexican American Perspectives, 1, 2 - Texts and Reading Lists
  • Occupied America: A History of Chicanos (2004), by R. Acuna
  • The Anaya Reader (1995), by R. Anaya
  • The American Vision (2008), by J. Appleby et el.
  • Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years (1998), by B. Bigelow and B. Peterson
  • Drink Cultura: Chicanismo (1992), by J. A. Burciaga
  • Message to Aztlan: Selected Writings (1997), by C. Jiminez
  • De Colores Means All of Us: Latina Views Multi-Colored Century (1998), by E. S. Martinez
  • 500 Anos Del Pueblo Chicano/500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures (1990), by E. S. Martinez
  • Codex Tamuanchan: On Becoming Human (1998), by R. Rodriguez
  • The X in La Raza II (1996), by R. Rodriguez
  • Dictionary of Latino Civil Rights History (2006), by F. A. Rosales
  • A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present (2003), by H. Zinn

Course: English/Latino Literature 7, 8
  • Ten Little Indians (2004), by S. Alexie
  • The Fire Next Time (1990), by J. Baldwin
  • Loverboys (2008), by A. Castillo
  • Women Hollering Creek (1992), by S. Cisneros
  • Mexican WhiteBoy (2008), by M. de la Pena
  • Drown (1997), by J. Diaz
  • Woodcuts of Women (2000), by D. Gilb
  • At the Afro-Asian Conference in Algeria (1965), by E. Guevara
  • Color Lines: "Does Anti-War Have to Be Anti-Racist Too?" (2003), by E. Martinez
  • Culture Clash: Life, Death and Revolutionary Comedy (1998), by R. Montoya et al.
  • Let Their Spirits Dance (2003) by S. Pope Duarte
  • Two Badges: The Lives of Mona Ruiz (1997), by M. Ruiz
  • The Tempest (1994), by W. Shakespeare
  • A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America (1993), by R. Takaki
  • The Devil's Highway (2004), by L. A. Urrea
  • Puro Teatro: A Latino Anthology (1999), by A. Sandoval-Sanchez & N. Saporta Sternbach
  • Twelve Impossible Things before Breakfast: Stories (1997), by J. Yolen
  • Voices of a People's History of the United States (2004), by H. Zinn

Course: English/Latino Literature 5, 6
  • Live from Death Row (1996), by J. Abu-Jamal
  • The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven (1994), by S. Alexie
  • Zorro (2005), by I. Allende
  • Borderlands La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1999), by G. Anzaldua
  • A Place to Stand (2002), by J. S. Baca
  • C-Train and Thirteen Mexicans (2002), by J. S. Baca
  • Healing Earthquakes: Poems (2001), by J. S. Baca
  • Immigrants in Our Own Land and Selected Early Poems (1990), by J. S. Baca
  • Black Mesa Poems (1989), by J. S. Baca
  • Martin & Mediations on the South Valley (1987), by J. S. Baca
  • The Manufactured Crisis: Myths, Fraud, and the Attack on America's Public Schools (19950, by D. C. Berliner and B. J. Biddle
  • Drink Cultura: Chicanismo (1992), by J. A Burciaga
  • Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States (2005), by L. Carlson & O. Hijuielos
  • Cool Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Growing up Latino in the United States (1995), by L. Carlson & O. Hijuielos
  • So Far From God (1993), by A. Castillo
  • Address to the Commonwealth Club of California (1985), by C. E. Chavez
  • Women Hollering Creek (1992), by S. Cisneros
  • House on Mango Street (1991), by S. Cisneros
  • Drown (1997), by J. Diaz
  • Suffer Smoke (2001), by E. Diaz Bjorkquist
  • Zapata's Discipline: Essays (1998), by M. Espada
  • Like Water for Chocolate (1995), by L. Esquievel
  • When Living was a Labor Camp (2000), by D. Garcia
  • La Llorona: Our Lady of Deformities (2000), by R. Garcia
  • Cantos Al Sexto Sol: An Anthology of Aztlanahuac Writing (2003), by C. Garcia-Camarilo, et al.
  • The Magic of Blood (1994), by D. Gilb
  • Message to Aztlan: Selected Writings (2001), by Rudolfo "Corky" Gonzales
  • Saving Our Schools: The Case for Public Education, Saying No to "No Child Left Behind" (2004) by Goodman, et al.
  • Feminism is for Everybody (2000), by b hooks
  • The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child (1999), by F. Jimenez
  • Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools (1991), by J. Kozol
  • Zigzagger (2003), by M. Munoz
  • Infinite Divisions: An Anthology of Chicana Literature (1993), by T. D. Rebolledo & E. S. Rivero
  • ...y no se lo trago la tierra/And the Earth Did Not Devour Him (1995), by T. Rivera
  • Always Running - La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. (2005), by L. Rodriguez
  • Justice: A Question of Race (1997), by R. Rodriguez
  • The X in La Raza II (1996), by R. Rodriguez
  • Crisis in American Institutions (2006), by S. H. Skolnick & E. Currie
  • Los Tucsonenses: The Mexican Community in Tucson, 1854-1941 (1986), by T. Sheridan
  • Curandera (1993), by Carmen Tafolla
  • Mexican American Literature (1990), by C. M. Tatum
  • New Chicana/Chicano Writing (1993), by C. M. Tatum
  • Civil Disobedience (1993), by H. D. Thoreau
  • By the Lake of Sleeping Children (1996), by L. A. Urrea
  • Nobody's Son: Notes from an American Life (2002), by L. A. Urrea
  • Zoot Suit and Other Plays (1992), by L. Valdez
  • Ocean Power: Poems from the Desert (1995), by O. Zepeda

UPDATE, Monday, January 16, 2012
The list above is not complete. As I learn of other titles that have been boxed, I will add them to the list.
  • Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
  • Yo Soy Joaquin/I Am Joaquin, by Rodolfo Gonzales
  • Into the Beautiful North, by Luis Alberto Urrea
  • The Devil's Highway, by Luis Alberto Urrea

UPDATE, Tuesday, February 21, 2012
I'm inserting a list of items taught by Curtis Acosta in his Social Justice course.

Non-Fiction - Personal Reflections
  • My Dungeon Shook by James Baldwin
  • La Conciencia de la Mestiza: Towards a New Consciousness by Gloria Anzaldua
Short Stories
  • Selections from Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie
  • Eleven by Sandra Cisneros
  • Vatolandia by Ana Castillo
  • Love in L.A. by Dagoberto Gilb
  • Lindo y Querido by Manuel Munoz
  • Brisa by Dagoberto Gilb
  • Aurora by Juno Diaz
  • Lost Girls by Jane Yolen
  • Selection from Tuff by Paul Beatty
Counter Story Telling and Cultura Through Teatro 
  • And Where Was Pancho Villa When You Really Needed Him? by Silviana Wood 
  • Culture Clash in America and Culture Clash: Life, Death and Revolutionary Comedy by Culture Clash
Shakespeare, Colonization, and Critical Race Theory
  • The Tempest by William Shakespeare
Immigration - La Lucha Sigue
  • The Devil's Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea
Resistance Through Rhetoric
  • The Puerto Rican Dummy and the Merciful Son by Martin Espada
  • Jesse Jackson's speech at the 1984 Democratic National Convention
  • Barack Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention
  • Speech at the Afro-Asian Conference by Ernesto "Che" Guevara
  • "Women, Power, and Revolution" by Kathleen Cleaver
  • "Political Prisoners, Prisons, and Black Liberation" by Angela Davis
  • Message to Aztlan by Corky Gonzales
  • Message to the Grass Roots by Malcom X
  • "Beyond Vietnam" and Where We Go From Here by Martin Luther King Jr.
  • "Does 'Anti-War' Have to be 'Anti-Racist', too? by Elizabeth "Betita" Martinez
Resistance/Revolution in Spoken Word, Slam Poetry, and Hip Hop
  • Selections from William Carlos Williams, Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, Ana Castillo, Tracy Morris, Paul Beatty
Hip Hop
Selections from Olmeca, Sihuatl-De, Dead Prez, Common, Kanye West, KRS-1, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Rage Against the Machine, etc.

In the video below, teacher Yolanda Sotelo (she taught in the Mexican American Studies program that was shut down last week) discusses novels she can no longer teach. They were boxed and removed. Teachers have been told that they will be monitored to make sure they do not teach those novels. Ironically, if Sotelo was teaching at Tucson's college prep school, she'd be able to teach Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me Ultima. [Video source: ThreeSonorans channel on YouTube]

Update: Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 7:00 AM CST

Brenda Norrell of Censored News has video interviews of three students at her site. Interviews were recorded at an MLK event yesterday.

In the first one, the student describes how shelves were cleared of books during class.  In the second, the student points to a double standard. It is only the Mexican American Studies class and books in those classrooms that are being targeted. Those books include more than just ones by Latino/a authors. Amongst the curriculum are books by African American, Asian American, American Indian, feminist, and progressive writers. Other ethnic studies programs are being left alone.  In the third video, the student talks about the importance for all Americans of knowing the histories of all Americans.

Update: Tuesday, January 17, 6:40 PM CST

There are conflicting reports on how many books were removed. Cara Rene, spokesperson for the Tucson Unified School District says:
"The books... have been moved to the district storage facility because the classes have been suspended as per the ruling by Arizona Superintendent (of) Public Instruction John Huppenthal," 
The Tempest was not removed. According to the news story at Arizona Central (Update, 1/29/2012: Listen to an audio discussion between Curtis Acosta, MAS teacher, and TUSD administrators, discussing how he can and can not teach Tempest),
Rene said the seven books removed from the classrooms were: "Critical Race Theory" by Richard Delgado; "500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures" edited by Elizabeth Martinez; "Message to AZTLAN" by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales; "Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement" by Arturo Rosales; "Occupied America: A History of Chicanos" by Rodolfo Acuña; "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" by Paulo Freire; and "Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years" by Bill Bigelow.


The Tucson Unified School District website has a statement with contradictory statements about the books they boxed up.  Below, I'm reproducing the statement in its entirety, and I am placing the contradictory statements in red. You can find the statement here. The copy below is accompanied with "Last updated: 01/17/2012 14:32:39".

Reports of TUSD book ban completely false and misleading

Posted on: January 17, 2012
Contact: Cara Rene, Communication Director, (520) 225-6101,

Tucson Unified School District has not banned any books as has been widely and incorrectly reported.

Seven books that were used as supporting materials for curriculum in Mexcian American Studies classes have been moved to the district storage facility because the classes have been suspended as per the ruling by Arizona Superintendent for Public Instruction John Huppenthal. Superintendent Huppenthal upheld an Office of Adminstriation Hearings’ ruling that the classes were in violation of state law ARS 15-112.

The books are:
  • Critical Race Theory by Richard Delgado
  • 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures edited by Elizabeth Martinez
  • Message to AZTLAN by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales
  • Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement by Arturo Rosales
  • Occupied America: A History of Chicanos by Rodolfo Acuna
  • Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
  • Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years by Bill Bigelow
NONE of the above books have been banned by TUSD. Each book has been boxed and stored as part of the process of suspending the classes. The books listed above were cited in the ruling that found the classes out of compliance with state law.

Every one of the books listed above is still available to students through several school libraries. Many of the schools where Mexican American Studies classes were taught have the books available in their libraries. Also, all students throughout the district may reserve the books through the library system.

Other books have also been falsely reported as being banned by TUSD. It has been incorrectly reported that William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” is not allowed for instruction. Teachers may continue to use materials in their classrooms as appropriate for the course curriculum. “The Tempest” and other books approved for curriculum are still viable options for instructors.

The suspended Mexican American Studies classes were converted last week to standard grade-level courses with a general curriculum featuring multiple perspectives, as per the directive by the state superintendent. Students remained in classes with their teachers, who are now teaching general curriculum.

As the district has taken action to comply with the order from the state, the goal of the district has continued to be to prevent disruption to student learning. Books used as instructional materials in the former Mexican American Studies classes were collected only from classrooms in schools where the courses were taught. Again, all the books are still available to students through the TUSD library system.

In one instance, at Tucson High Magnet School, materials were collected from a filing cabinet while students were in class though teaching did not stop during the process.

Tucson High Magnet School Principal Dr. Abel Morado acknowledges that the gathering of materials could have been accomplished outside of class time in all instances.

“We had a directive to be in compliance with the law and acted quickly to meet that need,” says Morado. “Part of that directive is communicating with teachers, students and parents, and collecting materials. We regret that in one instance materials were collected during class time.”

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


Anonymous said...

As a k-12 librarian in a reservation school, I would include the books in this list in my libraries, but I differ on which libraries some of the titles belong in. There were two titles in the 5-6 level that are taught at our 7-8 grade level. They would be in our high school (7-12) library. Basically, our k-6 students don't have access to books written for adults in their library, though they can request books from the high school library. I could see how a school district could look at those age recommendations, and use that as an excuse to remove books, but I don't think these people are lodging their true complaints, they are just looking for an excuse to remove books. It's sad to see such blatant hatred legislated. Poor educators: Legislated to improve the success rates of Mexican Americans in their schools, but also legislated not to use a program that has proven to be effective.

Jean Mendoza said...

Doesn't it seem that that is exactly the point of these actions? -- all across the nation, policymakers pretend to support good ideas, but act in ways that doom the programs to fail.
As we went through the book list, my husband commented, "Fahrenheit 451."

Anonymous said...

This is like Celsius 212.7777777777778.

Anonymous said...

To the TUSD Communication Director: By removing the books from the classroom, you ARE banning the teachers from using the books in their curriculum. And removing all other curriculum from the classroom and for youth to witness the removal of their opportunities to knowledge is openly admitting Intellectual Apartheid.

Debbie Reese said...

Dear Nick Roberts:

Your comment didn't quite make sense. Can you resubmit?