Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Librotraficante Caravan



A few weeks ago, I shared my thoughts on the Arizona book ban. Perhaps you, too, were outraged by the assault on our culture and on our children. Perhaps, you were already outraged by that and many of the other issues occuring in the state...and around our country.

Well, we're not the only ones. A revolution has begun. And one of the forms it has taken is the Librotraficante Caravan. (Librotraficante means "book trafficker" in Spanish.) Next month, on March 12th, 2012, a group of librotraficantes from across the country will be smuggling contraband books back into Arizona. Spearheaded by author Tony Diaz, this movement is supported by many Latino authors, many of whose works have now been banned in Arizona, such as the esteemed Rudolfo Anaya whose book, Bless Me, Ultima, is now forbidden to be taught in classrooms. (Seriously?!? Bless Me, Ultima? This may be one of my favorite books ever. I read it in a high school lit class.) Other supporters include Sandra Cisneros (her book, House on Mango Street? BANNED!), Dagoberto Gilb (Wood Cuts of Women), Luis Urea (has FIVE books banned), Carmen Tafolla (Curandera), Sergio Troncoso (The Last Tortilla & Other Stories), to name just a few.

The caravan is intended to:

1. Raise awareness of the prohibition of the Mexican-American Studies Program and the removal of books from classrooms.
2. Promote banned authors and their contributions to American Literature.
3. Celebrate diversity: Children of the American Dream must unite to preserve the civil rights of all Americans.
4. Create a network of resources for art, literature, and activism.
One of the goals of the Caravan is to create "Underground Libraries," or sites to which the banned books will be donated. And it will be making stops along the way in places like San Antonio, El Paso, Mesilla, and Albuquerque. You can see their current schedule here.

To learn more about the Librotraficante Caravan, and to show your support, visit their site: Librotraficante.com.  

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