Flag of the San Patricio Battalion

Hola Mis Queridos Latinopianos! Your Tia Tenopia has two themes this week. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, which is just around the corner, we focus on what I call “the Irish/Mexican Connecta.”. That’s the special affinity between the Irish and the Mexican people. We start with a guest blog by Arizona-based Irish/Chicano Ernesto Hogan who reflects on the meaning of the “Irish Mexicano conecta” from first-hand experience. In Art, we feature Wayne Healy, whose parents were also Irish and Mexicano–though known for his pioneering mural work with the East Los Streetscapers, Wayne also was the first Chicano to take an exhibit of Chicano Art to Ireland! In History, we have a classic Moment in Time, when artist Victor Ochoa led an international group of muralists in painting a mural in Belfast, Northern Ireland. To round off our celebration of Irish Mexican week, we reprise Mark Day’s documentary on the “San Patricio Battalion”– check out this incredible story of how more than 300 Irish left the U.S. Army during the Mexican American War of 1848 to fight on the side of Mexico! And in Food, break out your baking soda and raisins and prepare for Bobbi Murray’s recipe for Jalapeno Soda Bread! Hijole, Irish and Mexicanos…what a combo!

Our other theme this week is the Librotraficantes Caravan of Banned Books. As your Tia has been telling you, this whole thing started last year when the Arizona state legislature passed a law banning the teaching of ethnic studies in public schools. To comply. the Tucson Unified School District took the unprecedented step of removing books used in Chicano Studies classes from the school libraries. In effect, Chicanitos can’t read about their history, culture and literature and neither can anyone else! Enter Tony Diaz who is leading a caravan from Texas to Tucson to bring these banned books by Latino authors to the children of Ariozna. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, meanwhile poets mounted an impassioned Benefit Poetry Reading on March 4, 2012. Take a look at the vide of this event as shot and edited by filmmaker Daniel Sonis. Also check out Luis Torres’s review of Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me Ultima–one of the books banned in Tucson–he explains why the book is still so powerful.
And, of course, please check out Dan Guerrero’s blog Out and About with Dan Guerrero. This week he reports on the screening of new film.

What a week on Latinopia! Enjoy! OOXX Tia Tenopia