In this Edition -September 2021

by: Chuy Ramirez
Posted: September 23, 2021

Ricardo Romo shares with us the news that the once segregated elementary school house at Marfa, Texas has been converted to a museum. If you have kept up with us, you probably noticed Dr. Tino Villanueva’s poem, Scene from the Movie GIANT (June 2021 ed.).  The 1954 movie Giant, with Rock Hudson and Elizbeth Taylor, was shot near Marfa, Texas.  Villanueva’s poem and our review of the poem may provide a further understanding of the significance of the Marfa museum project.

It is indeed timely for us to include a review of Dr. Tatcho Mindiola’s new book, Race Talk in a Mexican Cantina. Read the review and then order the book. You will enjoy it.  But, we also share with you an interview of Tatcho in which he shares the early struggles of developing a chicano studies program at the University of Houston.    In our February 2021 edition, we have an excellent interview with Dr. Blandina Cardenas, as well as her 2004 essay, Breaking Through in Migrant Education. If time permits, consider checking into Dr. Cardenas’s interview and essay after  reading Tatcho Mindiola’s interview.

On request, M.A. Ramirez prepared a book review of the Spanish novelist, Perez-Reverte’s very, very short novella, Ojos Azueles.  The novel is based entirely on a Spanish soldier’s last breath during the Noche Triste in 1520 at Tenochtitlan.  Perez-Reverte symbolizes the Noche Triste as the genesis for our biological mestizaje.

Before Aurelio Montemayor joined Intercultural Development Research Associates (IDRA) in San Antonio, Texas, he was one of many chicano activists of the 1960s and 70s. His story is a fascinating one, quite unique, told in a couple of interviews. Montemayor’s story includes membership in the Mexican American Youth Organization  and serving as co-founder of Colejio Jacinto Trevino in 1970-71.

Publishers and editors, Anisa Onofre and Juan Tejeda, San Antonio, have great news to report. Aztlan Libre Press is launching Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez book, Writing 50 Years (mas or menos) Amongst the Gringos on October 1, 2021 in San AntonioBut there’s more.  The launch coincides with the Grand Opening of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center’s Latino Bookstore & Gift Shop in San Antonio, Texas on October 1, 2021.   And to boot, Dr. Carmen Tafolla and Dr. Tomás Ybarra Frausto will share the stage at the opening

If you are in San Antonio area on October 1st, you cannot miss this great opportunity at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.  Unfamiliar still with Carmen Tafolla’s poetry? then visit our May 2021 edition: Language as a Political Act: Poet Carmen Tafolla and Dissolving Borders, by Jen Yanez-Alaniz. On second thought, go back to our April 2021 edition and read her poems Poquita Alla  and Feeding You and our review of those two poems.

From the Bay Area in California, we are joined for an interview by Armando Rendon, a Texan by birth.  Rendon is s the award-winning author of The Adventures of Noldo books for young adults, Wizard of the Blue Hole, and the author of Chicano Manifesto (1971, 1996). He is the founder/editor of Somos en escrito, The Latino Literary Online Magazine and Somos en escrito Literary Foundation Press. Rendon tackles the subject of chicano/a identity and why that affirmation of identity was such an essential ingredient of the chicana/o movement. 

Jose Garza and Rolando Rios have the combined legal experience of close to a century.  They are among the premier voting rights and redistricting legal counsel in the country. In our interview, conducted in September, 2021, these two litigators address what legal strategies remain viable for chicana/os to challenge election law changes under current law.  Not surprisingly, given the recent rulings of the U.S. Supreme, the odds of success are a long-shot, at best.  Yet, some avenues remain available.  But, one should not overlook the power of the vote.  Now, more than ever, reliance should be placed on ourselves, rather than primarily on the courts. 

With the celebration of the Day of the Dead around the corner Gary Mounce gives us a brief introduction to Jose Guadalupe Posada, the Mexican illustrator, who in 1910 created the lithographed image of La Calavera Catrina (the female skull), now an iconic image connected to el dia de los muertos (see La Calavera Catrina). Dallas Artist, Juan J. Hernandez, shares his rendition of la calavera with an image we acquired from him many years ago, and which we have the taken the liberty of calling Thy Name is Vanity. see

Chuy Ramirez is an attorney practicing law in the Rio Grande Valley since 1983, and dabbles in writing.

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