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We are excited about our May 2021 edition of IberoAzltan.  There are new faces to introduce and old friends to revisit.  Thanks to those who have heeded our invitation to put pen to paper and be creative. 

In the April 2021 edition of IberoAztlan, we introduced Diana Molina and her artistic project, Icons and Images of the Borderlands.  Happily, Diana has made available to us high definition images of artwork from her book that we featured last month.  There were also a few factual oversights that we have since corrected.  We have thus updated last month’s edition which is archived.  Our website is handy.  Simply go the April 2021 edition and you can revisit.

Gary Joe Mounce has agreed to revisit a book project that he has been working on for many years.  His piece on the iconic Mexican cartoonist and political satirist, rius, introduces us to that remarkable Mexicano.  But Mounce’s work is merely an introduction.   Rius wrote many books. Enjoy.

Ruben Barrera’s piece, Hispanics, Voting Rights and The New Texas Juan Crow Laws is a timely reflection on the long history of voter repression in Texas.  A special session of the Texas Legislature may push back many political gains made by African Americans and Chicana/os since adoption of the Voting Rights Act.

Tino Villanueva’s remarkable poetry is the centerpiece of the May 2021 edition.  His long-time friend, Jaime Armin Mejia, shares his warm tribute to Villanueva and provides an excellent review of Villanueva’s poem,  Scene From The Movie Giant. Our special thanks to Dr. Norma Elia Cantu, Dr. Arturo Madrid and Dr. Antonia Castaneda, along with the Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas and the Madrid Fund For Latin@ Arts for their invitation to the April 6, 2021 Symposium on Tino Villanueva. The presenters and panelists included a coterie of Villanueva friends and admirers. See Madrid, 2021 Symposium Program. 

The long struggle for campesino rights and fair labor laws is currently in the back-burner.  Our interviews of Rebecca Flores (formerly Harrington) and Juanita Valdez-Cox remind us that the struggle continues and that self-determination and self-sufficiency continue being principal objectives.  The mantra -si se puede – is loud and clear.

Edgar Lozano  was a junior at San Antonio’s Lanier High School in May, 1968.  Several students took on the cause cé·lè·bre of fellow student  Homer Garcia, a student government leader whom supporters believed had been victimized for expressing his First Amendment Rights.  As a result of their activism, Mexican American students at Lanier would be empowered sufficiently to demand a higher standard of public education.  Our interview of Lozano is about A Student Incident at Lanier, May, 1968.

Finally, Ricardo Romo’s pictorial tribute to San Antonio muralist Jesse Trevino is timely. 

History

By:  Ruben Barrera

Jim Crow Laws  – Much has been written about post-Civil War Jim Crow laws enacted in the South to disfranchise African Americans.   But Hispanics have also faced innumerable obstacles when exercising their right to vote which began early in the history of the state. The obstacles which have been used or attempted have included literacy and language tests, poll taxes, “white” primaries, discriminatory immigration and naturalization laws, and intimidation.

By: Chuy Ramirez

By:  Chuy Ramirez

Chuy Ramirez sits down to talk extensively with Rebecca Olivarez Flores about her life and experiences.

Tino Villanueva

By: Chuy Ramirez

By: Chuy Ramirez

Tino Villanueva has graciously permitted us to publish his poem Scene from the Movie GIANT. We are certainly humbled. A few recommendations to the reader are in order. First, Dr. Villanueva suggests that the reader watch the movie (or watch it anew) and pay particular focus to the fight scene. We have included a clip from the movie elsewhere here. Dr. Norma Elia Cantu and Drs. Arturo Madrid (Prof. Emeritus, Trinity Univ., San Antonio) and Dr. Antonia Castaneda, among many others, recently organized the Fourth Annual Arturo Madrid Symposium in Latin@ Art (April 16, 2021). We thank them and Trinity University for granting us access to the Symposium’s program, parts of which we have included in this edition of IberoAztlan. Be on the lookout, Dr. Cantu advises that some recorded sessions from the Symposium may soon be made available. Perhaps we can include some of those in the June edition of IberoAztlan.

 

By: Jaime Armin Mejía

I can’t remember exactly when I first became acquainted with Tino Villanueva. His hometown, San Marcos, Texas, is where, in 1991, I was fortunate enough to have been hired, sight-unseen, as an English instructor at a school that’s now called Texas State University. This same school is where Tino would later become garlanded as a distinguished alumnus in 1995, not long after his 1993 publication of his epic work, Scene from the Movie GIANT. Somewhere along the line during that time, we established a friendship, one we’ve maintained for nearly three decades. 

Poetry

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Featured Interview

Video: Juanita Valdez-Cox
This month's Legacy Interview is Juanita Valdez-Cox. Read her story as she sits to talk about her life.

Edition Archive

Art

By: Chuy Ramirez

We introduce amateur photographer, Jose Angel Hinojosa of McAllen, Texas to our IberoAztlan audience.  Jose Angel was born and raised in McAllen, Texas’ south side, in a neighborhood called El Barrio de la Hacha. Working many summers in the agricultural fields with his parents and grandparents, he decided at a very early age that he wanted something better out of life.

Solitude

By: Ricardo Romo, Ph.D

Jesse Trevino in his outdoor studio. San Antonio, Tx.  Photo: Ricardo Romo

Happy Cinco de Mayo. The National Hispanic Hall of Fame honored local artist Jesse Trevino on May 5th, 2021 with its annual Lifetime Achievement Award. Trevino, recognized for his brilliance in the arts, joins other Texas distinguished leaders in receiving this prestigious award, including the Honorable Henry Cisneros, General Alfred Valenuela, and Lionel Sosa. Raul Zuniga and Noe Medina, the organization’s top leaders, announced their selection recently and noted that a ceremony is being postponed until 2022 because of the Covid pandemic.

By: Gary Joe Mounce

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Rius was Mexico; Mexico produced rius. He was the grand old man of Mexican political satire. Born in Zamora, Michoacán, Mexico, Eduardo del Rio García, or “rius” (1934-2017), was an artist and social critic. In my opinion, the lower case “r” suggest his humility. He was a modern Diogenes for his times. Rius’s apodo or pen name was developed from his father’s sur-name, del Rio. He chose it primarily to save his saintly, long-suffering mother the pain of knowing her wayward son had renounced his religious training and was drawing “dirty” left-wing pictures.

By: Chuy Ramirez

Spirit of Healing. Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. 1997.  Mosaic tile. 40x93.   Photo Ricardo Romo 2020

Test your knowledge of art and culture.

Viva Chihuahua! Sustainability in a Desert Landscape

4:00 p.m., MST June 19, Broadcast from the Art and Ecology Laboratory, La Union

The Chihuahuan Desert straddles the border to cover more than 200,000 square miles of terrain across 8 states and is considered to be the most biologically diverse desert in the world as measured by the variety of species and endemic plants. Its relevance and impact to the culture and traditions of its human inhabitants is intertwined with their survival in this distinct landscape. Our program guests include sustainability activist, Kevin Bixby of the Southwest Environmental Center; landscape architect, David Christiani; historian, Anthony Mora, Ph.D. and artists Antonio Castro and Romy Hawkins.

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