19.2.12

Small feature on "Aztlan Reads"

I want to start this post out by giving a reference to how I first came to understand what the word Xican@ means. I was fortunate enough to attend one of the only high schools that had both African American and Raza studies class. I know, right? But I didn't fully appreciate the value of that until I got much older. One of my instructors/mentors of the time was a Xicana from LA named Julia Luna. Ms Julia Luna (whom I both respected and thought was beautiful) once scolded me for not knowing what Xicano meant.

Corky Gonzales, who? Oh, its related to UFW? Oh yeah, No Grapes! After she explained it, she told me, if you want to write it for a girl use "A". If for a guy use "O", but if you really want to be cool (I did, I so did) write it starting with an X and ending with the @ symbol. This is in the mid 90's yall, no one was using the @ symbol. When I was still struggling to accept all of my heritage, she invited me to participate in a Xicano graduation ceremony at my school. I was nervous as hell because I wasn't sure if I fit in at all, but i still have the plaque. Thank you Ms Luna, where ever you are.

 Case in point, if I didn't have someone to expose me to cultural ideas like that I would'nt have had the courage to say I want to know more, or this IS who I am. Check out AZTLAN READS when you get a chance. There is a wealth of information here with links to books, authors, and artists I've always loved and people who I've never heard of. Its a new blog, so please spread the word and contribute, they need love so knowledge can over come bullshit and racism.

Folks, this is one step higher on the staircase of storytelling for me. Some of the stories from my series are grammatically incorrect, without a shadow, an extra brush stroke, etc. But, the point is that they are experiments and a practice of letting go. Not over thinking whether they are "finished" but rather sharing them with people, lots of them.

So anyways, check them out and support.See? twitter is worth something! I found Aztlan Reads there. Big thanks to David Cid and Art Meza. Check out the Antonia I. Castaneda prize for writing Flight to Freedom-A story about Central Americans refugees in California, and their list of documentaries is ridiculous, who wants to watch some?

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