Hola Latinopianos Tia Tenopia here with some another weeks’s eclectic stew of tasty Latino culture–this week it’s history, literature and music! Sabroso!
In music, we present a performance by long time Chicano rocker, Ruben Guevara. Now even though he is a bit before my time, I have heard of Ruben and his cool music–if it’s good people keep coming back to it. He has a new group out now, called “Ruben Guevara and the Eastside Luvers” and he performs regularly throughout Los Angeles. The group has just released a new CD “The Tao of Funkahuatl.” But our musical selection this week is a music poem he wrote called “Con Safos.” Now your Tia must admit, as hip as I am I was a little uncertain about what “Con Safos” really means. So I asked my Tio Braulio and he tells me that it’s a barrio phrase you often see accompanying graffiti on barrio walls. It means, “Whatever you say about me or do to me, right back on you!” Anyway, on this performance Ruben takes the concept to another level–he is accompanied by John Densmore who was the drummer for the rock group “The Doors.”
In history we revisit Houston, Texas in 1969. No, your Tia was not there (Por Dios I was not even born yet!). But, again I go to my Uncle Braulio (he knows so much!) and he tells me that in 1968 Chicano students had walked out of high schools in East Los Angeles to protest the inferior education they were being given. In those days, me dice, 50% of the Mexican American students who entered high school never graduated! And those that remained in school were “tracked” into taking shop courses and agricultural rather than college preparatory classes. Well, as I understand it, news of these students standing up for better education spread throughout the Southwest. And a year later, at Jefferson Davis High School in Houston, Texas, when the principal told a model student that if she continued to speak Spanish on campus she would be expelled, things started to get really hot! Check it out all in this week’s Moment in Time photo, “1969 Houston High School Walk-Out.”
Y hablando de walk-outs, in literature, we have another Luis Torres book review. This one is on the book, “Blowout!,” which tells the story of Sal Castro and his efforts of educational reform in East Los Angeles high schools. You’d think when a Chicano teacher speaks out for better education, that he would be commended. In Sal’s case, he was arrested and charged with conspiracy to disturb the peace! Check out Luis’s book review of this chronicle written by Prof. Mario Garcia and Sal Castro himself. Oh, and if you want to learn about the seven-day sit-in by community activist and parents who came to Sal Castro’s defense and resulted in Sal being reinstated to his teaching post, just check out the LATINOPIA EVENT “1968 SCHOOL BOARD SIT-IN.”
Bueno, on to this week’s postings! Abrazos, from your keeping it suave y firme Tia Tenopia