THIS WEEK ON LATINOPIA: DR. EMILIO ZAMORA ON THE ACTIVIST HISTORIAN, MATT SEDILLO ON POLITICAL POETRY, JOSÉ UMPIERRE’S BURUNDANGA BORICUA ON “AL FINAL DE LA FILA,” MATT SEDILLO’S MOWING LEAVES OF GRASS AND DAVID GARZA PERFORMS “I-10 CHARM.”
This week we visit with historian Dr. Emilio Zamora from Austin, Texas who was recently recognized with the Roy Rosenweig Distinguished Service Award. In addition to his many writings, Dr. Zamora has been in the forefront of championing the inclusion of the histories of Latinos and other marginalized groups into Texas history books. In this Latinopia Platica, Dr. Zamora speaks about the importance of activist historians.
Also this week, we visit with poet Matt Sedillo who has been called “the most political poet in America.” In the first of two videos, Matt speaks about what makes his poetry political. In the second video he reads from his poem Mowing Leaves of Grass. Now if you are like your Tia Tenopia, you probably read Walt Whitman poems sometime when you were growing up and presumed because Walt Whitman was in the canon of great American writers that he was an okay guy. Well, Matt Sedillo makes clear that Whitman was a bit of a racist who supported the war against Mexico. Further, Matt reminds us that Latino writers don’t need to look to the icons of the American literary canon for validation of their works. Check out this new irreverent voice in American poetry.
In this week’s Burundanga Boricua, Don José Umpierre returns with a review of a new book titled Al Final de la Fila (At the End of the Line) , a compilation of commentaries by Puerto Rican authors considering the dire plight of the University of Puerto Rico. This is in Spanish and worth the read.
Lastly, singer and composer David Garza sings his original composition “I-10 Charm,” about a dashboard nun who protects him during his long drives from Texas to Los Angeles.
Enjoy your week on Latinopia! And of course, not to nag, but you have gotten your Covid vaccine, right?!